From The Editor:
Every Spring, we start our youth travel team practices at the end of February. We have the guys practice each Sunday throughout the Spring before picking up weeknight practices in May leading up to the Summer tournament season. At one of our first practices each Spring, we ask our young Team 91 players to pick a favorite player in college lacrosse. We want the guys to follow them throughout the Spring so that they start to develop role models within the sport. We encourage our guys to follow their favorite players on social media, watch them on TV, find highlights of them on YouTube, etc. We want our youngsters to consume as much lacrosse as they can throughout the Spring. It helps develop their lacrosse IQ and their love for the game. It's part of how we continue to promote the lacrosse culture and create a lacrosse environment in the area.
In our last edition of The Scoop, I talked about 5 early season match ups of the college lacrosse season that I am looking forward to. This week, I wanted to hit on 10 of my favorite players in college lacrosse this Spring. If you have a chance, check them out!
Charlotte North – Attack – Boston College
Charlotte North is the Lebron James/Steph Curry/Michael Jordan of women’s lacrosse. She is Mia Hamm/Abby Wambach/Alex Morgan or Crosby/Ovi/Gretzky. She is that good and when she is playing, it is must watch TV. North scored over 100 goals in 2021 on her way to winning a national championship and the Tewaaraton Award as the best player in college lacrosse. She will likely do it all again in 2022 and I strongly suggest tuning into her final season in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She’s bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else, she plays with a ton of energy and she shoots the ball as well as any player in the country…in men’s or women’s lacrosse. Check it out for yourself here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR3t9IRSG24
Chris Gray – Attack – UNC
Chris Gray put up 91pts in 2021 on his way to being names a Tewaraaton finalist and is widely considered the favorite for the award in 2022. Gray was under-recruited out of high school and started his career at Boston University. After 2 seasons in Boston, Gray transferred to UNC where he has continued his habit of scoring; a lot. He doesn’t look the part, at all. He’s 5’7”, 170lbs. but has an exceptional lacrosse IQ, he’s incredibly skilled and everything UNC does on offense will run through him. If you’re a young attackman, you should be watching Gray as much as you can. He is proof that great players come in all shapes and sizes in this sport. If you love it and you work hard, you can be pretty good. Here are his highlights from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRkvTDwamQI
Mike Sisselberger – Lehigh – Faceoff Specialist
The top returning faceoff specialist in the country, Sisselberger won 79% of the faceoffs he took in 2021. Lehigh is playing “make it, take it” when he is playing well. He is built like a refrigerator and is a FREAK in the weight room. There have not been many guys in our sport with his combination of power, explosion and hand speed. You can find the videos of him squatting close to 600lbs and bench pressing over 400lbs in the links below. These are from September. The word is that he is even bigger, faster and stronger now:
A 2nd team AA in 2021, Pat Kav is expected to contend with Chris Gray for Player of the Year honors. He is quicker than Gray and will use a hard change of direction or change of speed dodge to beat his defenseman. Kav is also a walking highlight reel. He’s going to shoot it between the legs, behind the back, around the world. He’ll throw no-look skip passes or a behind the back pass. He’s got a flair to his game and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’ll beat a defenseman, score a goal, celebrate in their face and let them know about it. He put up 19pts against Syracuse last year in 2 games. He’s key to everything ND does. Check him out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk-0jykTkPQ
Asher Nolting – High Point – Attack
A 3x All-American, Nolting will look to become the first ever 4x All-American in High Point program history. Asher is a fullback or a middle linebacker playing attack. If Pat Kav is going to beat you with quickness, Asher is going to beat you with brute strength. He’ll lower his shoulder or back down any defenseman in the country. He has done an outstanding job of letting the game come to him over the last few years. He’ll beat his defenseman to start the game, then he starts picking teams apart as a passer when they start sliding early to him. His 45 assists in 2021 ranked 2nd in the country. If you have a chance to get to a High Point game this year to see Asher live before he graduates, I suggest doing it. Him and Brayden Mayea will put up points. Check out his highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCCzejP1YUc
Bobby Van Buren – Ohio State – Defense
Even if I didn’t coach Bobby, I would be pounding the table to everyone about his story. He is everything that lacrosse needs more of. Bobby is an African-American from a non-hot bed area (Charlotte) that was homeschooled. He breaks every stereotype our sport has and he is walking proof that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you set your mind and heart to. You also will not meet a better person off the field. On the field, the best part of Bobby’s game is his footwork. It’s exceptional and he can match feet with the best players in the country even if he is just a freshman. He’s got a powerful lower body and is built to be high level cover man at the Division 1 level. If you’re a fan of shutdown corners in the NFL, you’re going to like Bobby’s game. He’ll be asked to cover some of the top attackmen in the country from the start of his career at Ohio State. More importantly, he is a local guy that all of our young players can relate to and they will get plenty of opportunities to see him play on TV over the next few years. Since he hasn’t played a college game yet, you can check out Bobby’s summer high school highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtnIieEKR6o
Brennan O’Neill – Duke – Attack
The biggest jump in a player’s game is usually from his freshman year to his sophomore year. That is when a guy figures it out and what he needs to do to be successful. The game slows down for him and he he adjusted to the speed and physicality of the college game. O’Neill was the #1 recruit in the 2020 class and one of the most hyped recruits our sport has seen in a long time. He is another one of those guys that is just bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else. He had an okay season in 2021 as a freshman by his standards. At times, I thought he made plays where he was unguardable but you only saw flashes of it throughout the Spring. At times, he would disappear. My guess is that we see a lot more plays this year where he is unguardable and he completely takes over games. Here are his 2021 highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbnWz32954Y
Will Bowen – Georgetown – Defense
Calling Bowen’s college lacrosse career “circuitous” may be an understatement. He arrived at UNC in 2019 as a highly regarded recruit on the field with enough academic credits to make him a sophomore in the classroom. He was expected to start at UNC as a freshman but tore his ACL the first week of the Spring season and redshirted his freshman year. In 2020, the season was cancelled due to COVID. By the time he took the field for the first time in 2021, he was a senior academically but a freshman athletically. He graduated from UNC and transferred to Georgetown to receive his MBA with 3 years of eligibility left (though he’ll likely only use 2). He was a first-team AA in 2021 and is the favorite to be the defenseman of the year in 2022. If Van Buren is going to match feet with quarterbacks, Bowen is going to just beat them up. He’s very physical, he’s got a good stick and he’ll be the quarterback of a Georgetown defense that is expected to be one of the top units in the country. He matches up very well with the Brennan O’Neill and Asher Nolting type attackman that play a more bruising style.
Tucker Dordevic – Syracuse – Midfield
While Dordevic may not be the best midfielder in the country, or the best midfielder on his own team, he may be the most fun to watch. He is as quick as any midfielder in the country and does an outstanding job getting his hands free and getting off a shot. He’s got a great change of direction that makes him a difficult cover for longstick midfielders and almost impossible to cover for short stick defensive midfielders. He’s known for his exceptional work ethic off the field and is the unquestioned leader of a Syracuse team with a new coaching staff that is looking to bounce back from a 7-6 season in 2021. The biggest question for Dordevic is his shooting. If he can put the ball on net this year, he should be a first team AA. If he can't, Syracuse could struggle again. Check him out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=234pG0WuUvU
Liam Entenmann – Goalie – Notre Dame
Notre Dame has had a tradition of great defense and great goalies for the last 15 years. It has been the backbone of their program on their rise to becoming one of the top programs in college lacrosse. Entenmann is the next in line. He’s 6’3” and takes up a ton of the cage which makes life really difficult for shooters. He was a 2nd team AA in 2021 and will contend with Georgetown’s Owen McElroy for 1st team honors in 2022. Enternmann is an outstanding communicator with quick hands and he explodes to the ball. Despite his size, you’ll see him play in a really low crouch that makes shooters feel like they can score high on him despite his tall stature. He’ll explode to the ball and it feels like he gets a piece of everything. You’ll be able to see Entenmann and the Irish on ESPNU throughout the Spring.
If you’re looking for a favorite player to watch this Spring, try checking out one of these guys. You can find the full breakdown on where all of our Team 91 guys are playing at the next level here: https://charlotte.team91lacrosse.com/commitments/
Enjoy what should be a great slate of college games this weekend!