Carter Hagen‘s strategy with the game on the line was based off of logic, analysis and deep thought.
The lights at IMG, set to a timer, had just gone out in the middle of overtime in the 2024 All-Star Game in the NLF Futures at IMG. With some uncertainty as to whether or not the lights would come back on, the Eclipse goalie by way of Darien (Conn.) squared off with fellow keeper Hayes Schreiner (Springside Chestnut Hill, Pa. / Big 4 HHH) with the only way to determine a winner.
Rock, Paper, Scissors.
“We both went rock, and I knew he’d come back again with rock,” Hagen said. “I felt good when I threw paper.”
Hagen got the W that set off his team’s celebration, but it was Schreiner and the White squad who got the last laugh when the lights came back on a minute later. The two teams went to a 3v3 Braveheart where Schreiner made an unbelievable 1v1 step on the doorstep. The ball made its way to Kyle Colsey (Ridgefield, Conn. / Eclipse), who pocketed his second Braveheart goal of the day with a righty twister to cap White’s 5-4 win.
— Matt Chandik (@MChandik26) January 17, 2022
Big-Time Plays With The Game On The Line
Schreiner made the crown jewel of his five-save effort when he came up to deny Hudson Hausmann (Brunswick, Conn. / Eclipse), one of the most offensively-gifted midfielders in the class, on a high-to-high shot. Moments later, Colsey did the honors for the winner.
“I was freaking out, honestly,” Schreiner said. “Seeing Huddy get the ball on the crease, getting ready to post up and shoot that, I knew he was going high-to-high. I stood tall, stood my ground, matched stick on stick and gave it to Colsey. He ends up going down for the game-winner. It was great. Going against the best of the best is just a blast.”
Back-to-Back Braveheart Winners
Colsey, the uber-athletic lefty who broke Yale freshman and Eclipse alum Leo Johnson‘s (Avon Old Farms, Conn.) FCIAC freshman points record with a ridiculous 101-point campaign, had ice in his veins yet again. In his team’s opener on Sunday morning, he came up the hash in Braveheart and sniped out the far high corner. On this one, he ducked under a check from Laxachusetts takeaway machine Jimmy Kenney (Needham, Mass.) and weaved his way into prime shooting position for the goal.
“It feels great,” Colsey said. “I didn’t think it’d happen twice, but it’s a great feeling. It was actually sick. All the kids were hyped up and that just made it better. Overtime was fun. I knew that check was coming, so I just pulled my stick across and finished righty. This event is so much fun. To be here at IMG and to be with all these kids is great. You develop relationships. All of my relationships are mainly from this event. It’s just really fun.”
It’s even more fun when you keep scoring Braveheart winners.
If there was an MVP award for the game, it would have pretty easily gone to the Leading Edge stopper. Stevens was out of this world in the first half, denying 10 of the 11 shots on cage with a mix of flashiness, poise and positioning. He doesn’t really look like he’s ever trying all that hard because he’s just always in the right spot. Stevens made a handful of saves in tight, perhaps none better than a stuffing on the crease on a high-to-high shot from Michael Quinn (St. Sebastian’s, Mass. / Laxachusetts). He’s a taller goalie that has the flexibility and footwork to get down and take away low shots well.
Other 2024 All-Star Game Standouts
If you’re looking strictly at short-stick defensive midfielders, there might not be a better one in the class. Balzi is a SSDM, knows he’s a (damn good) SSDM and relishes being a SSDM. There’s something to be said for someone who embraces the role, and he’ll be highly recruited as a result. He was excellent defensively throughout, is a fixture on faceoff wings and also even tossed in the goal to send it to OT for good measure. Balzi isn’t overly big, but he plays very big and oozes toughness and grit.
The younger brother of NLF No. 59 ’22 Pat Crogan, Crogan‘s game has a ton of similarities to the Georgetown commit’s, but he might be a little bit more advanced offensively at the same age. Crogan is a tough cover offensively, especially when he has room to work with. On his goal, he stuck his foot in the ground, weaved through a double team and snapped a stick-side high rocket while falling to the ground. He also set up Owen West (South Side, N.Y. / LI Express) for a goal. Shifty, tough and versatile with the grit that his older brother’s known for, Crogan will be a priority for a lot of programs on Sept. 1.
Laake and Luke Hublitz (Eclipse, Conn. / Brunswick) were announced as the first two NLFRankings five-star prospects in the ’24 class this weekend. They play different styles, but both will be atop a ton of schools’ boards on Sept. 1. Laake just doesn’t get beat. He always seems to know where his matchup wants to go and positions himself in the right spot every… freaking… time. Laake took on all comers and passed those tests with flying colors. He’s a thick, well-built defender who has the power to push back bigger attackmen and the footwork and stick placement to keep the speedsters at bay. Dodging him was basically an exercise in futility in a low-scoring All-Star Game.
There are a lot of good ’24 faceoff middies in the class, but Moon’s ability to make plays after the win stands out. The faceoff battles were spread out pretty evenly, but he came away with an unofficial 5-for-7 effort. He did a good job of getting the rock off the ground and also showed in the All-Star Game and throughout the weekend that he can play the field. Moon can cause some matchup problems with opposing teams with his versatility.
Midfielder Sean Crogan (Lexington, Mass. / Laxachusetts) 1 goal, 1 assist
Attackman Kyle Colsey (Ridgefield, Conn. / Eclipse) 1 goal (3v3 Braveheart game-winner)
Defenseman Luke Hublitz (Brunswick, Conn. / Eclipse) 1 goal
Attackman Owen West (South Side, N.Y. / LI Express) 1 goal
Midfielder Jack Balzi (New Milford, Conn. / Eclipse) 1 goal
Faceoff midfielder Michael Moon (St. Anthony’s, N.Y. / Team 91 LI) 5-for-7 faceoffs
Faceoff midfielder Beck Trafton (Miami Country Day, Fla. / SweetLax Florida) 1-for-6 faceoffs
Goalie Graham Stevens (Pingry, N.J. / Leading Edge) 10 saves, one goal allowed
Goalie Hayes Schreiner (Springside Chestnut Hill, Pa. / Big 4 HHH) 5 saves, three goals allowed
Midfielder Kyle Bilello (St. Anthony’s, N.Y. / LI Express) 1 goal
LSM Patrick Quinn (Seton Hall Prep, N.J. / Leading Edge) 1 goal
Attackman Clayton Baddley (Gilman, Md. / Crabs) 1 goal
Defenseman Robert Plath (Brunswick, Conn. / Prime Time) 1 goal
Faceoff midfielder Spencer Reagan (Culver, Ind. / West Coast Starz) 4-for-7 faceoffs
Faceoff midfielder Griffin Strange (IMG, Fla. / DC Express) 3-for-5 faceoffs
LSM Jimmy Kenney (Needham, Mass. / Laxachusetts) 1-for-1 faceoff
Goalie Carter Hagen (Darien, Conn. / Eclipse) 5 saves, 2 goals allowed
Goalie Tucker Williams (Brunswick, Conn. / 2Way) 6 saves, 3 goals allowed