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The November recruiting period capped off in style once again with the NLF Fall Invitational.

The event, which welcomed more than 200 college coaches alongside the My Lacrosse Tournaments Fall Classic, was once again the spot to find the best 2024, 2025 and 2026 talent in the country.

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Here’s a breakdown of some of the top 2025 players that shined at the event. The first NLF class of 2025 rankings will be released after the NLF Futures at IMG event in January. Standouts below are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Jack Barton, defense, Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) / West Coast Starz 

The younger brother of North Carolina defenseman and ’21 four-star Paul Barton made his presence felt throughout the day for the Starz. He’s a 6-4, 190-pound lefty with the body control and athleticism of a 5-11, 170-pounder. Barton has a solid stick and relished the opportunity to get out and cover his guy. For a massive defenseman, Barton did a good job of staying low and taking away space.

Alex Bauer, midfield, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) / Team 91 LI Shock

Bauer’s seen his stock rise after a complete fall campaign. A tall, athletic midfielder from one of Long Island’s premier public programs, Bauer shined with how he got up and down the field. He continued to establish himself as a dependable two-way middie, able to make plays all over. Bauer showed off an impressive offensive game, striking for a couple of goals, and his defense and transition work will endear him to a lot of college coaches.

Jameson Blakeslee, midfield, Horace Greeley (N.Y.) / Express North

Blakeslee picked up all-league honors as a freshman on the strength of a 40-point campaign. He unfortunately missed the summer with an injury, but this fall, picked right back up where he left off. Blakeslee showed the versatility to shoot well with either hand as he led a 2-1 Express North team in scoring. He excelled at getting his hands free on the dodge to put stress on defenses.

Dennis Brady, goalie, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Long Island Express 

Brady’s game has been on a straight upward trajectory in the past year or so. He capped off a terrific fall with a standout day at Farmingdale, regularly making big saves. Brady offsets his lack of prototypical size with excellent positioning, good footwork and sneaky good rebound control. He made a couple of showstoppers and didn’t cede any bunnies, which is worth its weight in gold.

Jack Cappadona, defense, Tabor (Mass.) / Laxachusetts 

Another year, another stud defenseman from a program that never stops cranking them out. While Cappadona isn’t really flashy, coaches tend to love it when their defensemen can hold guys entirely off the scoresheet. That’s what Cappadona did in a win over Big 4 HHH. A freshman starter at Tabor, Cappadona does a great job of moving his feet well and of separating his man from the cage.

Aidan Diaz-Matos, faceoff midfield, Brunswick (Conn.) / Prime Time

Diaz-Matos took every faceoff on the day for the defending NLF national champions. He acclimated himself well in his first NLF event with Prime Time, routinely winning forward and straining defenses in transition. Diaz-Matos pocketed a couple of goals on the day, but he really shined at getting possession, winning what must have been close to 80 percent of his faceoffs. He did an excellent job of popping the ball to his wings and quickly diagnosed plays.

Keoni Johnson, goalie, St. Ignatius (Calif.) / West Coast Starz

Johnson had an absolutely jaw-dropping sequence against Big 4 HHH when he made back-to-back 1v1 saves on the crease, one of them a kick save that he followed with a high swat. It gave a quick glimpse at the footwork, agility and athleticism that make him a big-time talent in the cage. He impressed throughout the day, both on close shots and from range, and was remarkably consistent throughout.

Colin Kenney, attack, Noble & Greenough (Mass.) / Laxachusetts 

Kenney was as consistent as you can ask for an attackman to be against the ridiculous schedule that Laxachusetts played at Farmingdale. He popped home multiple goals in every game, including a hat trick against the West Coast Starz. He already looks the part of a Division I attackman at 6-1, 180 pounds, and Kenney uses his size very well to create separation as a hard north-south dodger. Also a football quarterback whose sister plays at Notre Dame, Kenney looked almost uncoverable at times and will be one to watch this spring and summer.

Daniel Kolin, midfield, Manhasset (N.Y.) / Long Island Express 

Kolin could find himself in the defending New York Class C state champions’ lineup at attack this spring, but for now, he’s Express’ best overall midfielder. He’s undersized, but manages to overcome that with his tough, tenacious game on ground balls. Kolin was once again Express’ best initiator from the midfield, using a good first step to open up a hard on-the-run shot. He plays bigger than his size and could fill a couple of different roles moving forward.

Connor Kuttin, attack, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Long Island Express 

A well-known commodity for years on the ’25 circuit, Kuttin comes into every event with a massive reputation and always finds a way to live up to it. The youngest of the Kuttin brothers – Sean and Kevin both play at Yale – might end up as the best of the bunch. He’s always in control of play, showing alligator blood with the ball in his stick and never flinching, even though everyone knows that the entire Express offense runs through him.

Kuttin continued to show that he can outsmart defenses, playing a step ahead of everyone mentally. He also showed a wealth of dodges and myriad attacking spots, dodging from X and the high wing and being a threat as both a feeder and a shooter. Kuttin dodges with his head up and always understands where his teammates are going, and he’s terrific at tossing feeds into tight windows for them to bury.

Kuttin is the kind of attackman that elevates the play of those around him. There’s a good chance that you’ll see him slide into the Chaminade starting lineup this spring.

Chris Iuliano, defense, Rye (N.Y.) / Prime Time 

Straight out of central casting as the next great Prime Time defenseman, Iuliano was lights-out once again. He has a great frame for a No. 1 defenseman at 6-2, 175 pounds. His brother, Jack, is a 6-3, 245-pound defensive end at Penn, so there’s plenty to suggest that the younger Iuliano isn’t done growing any time soon.

Iuliano’s a lockdown defender who embraces the challenge of shadowing opponents’ top attackman. For a bigger guy, he has really good footwork and moves well, and he’s got the strength to move guys away from the cage.

Tyler McDermott, midfield, Rye (N.Y.) / Eclipse

Everyone loves a jack-of-all-trades midfielder, particularly one who can score and pick up tough ground balls. McDermott fits that job description to a T. Coming off a freshman campaign where he earned all-section honors with a 26-15-41 stat line, he was seemingly in the middle of every play. McDermott isn’t particularly big, but he plays big. He showed quick feet and toughness throughout the day.

Parker McDonald, LSM/D, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Team 91 LI Shock

McDonald had a play on an early possession where he caused a turnover by swinging his stick from right to left and, in one continuous motion, snagged the ground ball and got transition going to set up a goal. It was a small window into what makes him a special prospect. He’s got an LSM’s stick and a close defenseman’s coverage skills, and it’s no surprise that Team 91 coach Jimmy Mulé uses him in both spots.

“We move him all over the place,” Mulé said. “He takes wings, plays up top, covers down low, covers the other team’s beast guy and he’s as good off the ground as anybody. He reminds me of (Team 91 ’19 and Harvard All-Ivy LSM) Greg Campisi. They’ve very similar.”

James Pagano, attack, Commack (N.Y.) / Team 91 LI Shock

Pagano is the perfect end-of-play type of attackman for a dynamic Shock offense. The righty excels with time and room, something he showed at Farmingdale with multiple goals in every game. Blessed with good hands and a hard, heavy shot, Pagano knows how to get open and he knows how to finish. He pocketed nine goals and six assists as a freshman, and 15 of those points came in Commack’s final seven games.

Seamus Riordan, midfield, Shady Side (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH

The lone Western Pennsylvania player on the best Philly 2025 team, Riordan initiated a ton of the offense throughout the day for a team missing a good chunk of its top offensive options. A 6-1, 180-pounder who also plays basketball, Riordan flashed good vision from up top and also found the back of the net with consistency. He’s got a knack for getting open and is a versatile offensive weapon.

 

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Nolan Sabel, midfield, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) / Leading Edge 

Sabel capped a fantastic first fall with Leading Edge with a monster game in a showdown between two top 10 teams against Laxachusetts. He put on a show with four goals, showcasing a variety of different ways to score. Sabel’s bouncy enough to create separation from defenders, but his shot also has the pop to stretch out defenses. He’s not just a offensive presence, either. Sabel shows commitment and effort in his defensive game and he makes an impact on the wings. He’s gotten significantly better in the past year or so and figures to be one of the best two-way middies in the class.

Brady Scioletti, midfield, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) / Prime Time 

Prime Time might have the best first midfield in the country. That depth flashed at Farmingdale, even without standout middie Miguel Iglesias, and Scioletti was a big reason why. A good-sized lefty with a strong release, he showed a knack for getting downhill and using his body well in traffic. Scioletti found the back of the cage multiple times every game, including a hat trick against Team 91 South.

Carter Sherwood, faceoff midfield, Christ School (N.C.) / Team 91 South

Sherwood was instrumental in leading Team 91 South to an impressive win over Long Island Express. He took all of the faceoffs throughout the day and didn’t seem to ever wear down even though he plays such a hard-nosed, competitive game. Sherwood used excellent hand speed to win a ton of clamps, but when he had to, he was terrific at making the faceoff a 3v3 ground ball.

Tanner Shimko, goalie, Delbarton (N.J.) / Leading Edge 

Another high-end stopper out of Delbarton, Shimko shined bright at the Fall Invitational. He was instrumental in helping Leading Edge build up a big lead early in its win over Laxachusetts. He came away with a number of eyebrow-raising saves, using his big frame and outstanding positioning. For a 6-2 stopper, Shimko drops well and takes away a high percentage of high shots.

Matthew Swartz, midfield, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH

Swartz played some attack for the shorthanded Big 4 HHH team and was able to create some offense there, but he really shined when he moved back to the midfield. He has an excellent first step that helps him create separation on a regular basis. Defenders had a hard time keeping pace with him and he drew early strides. His long strides allow him to get downhill, but he’s also got some legit range on his shot that makes him a tough cover.

Ethan Train, goalie, Noble & Greenough (Mass.) / Laxachusetts 

Nobles has an unbelievable goalie succession plan with Train being the understudy for four-star senior Matt Tully (Cornell). There’s nothing to indicate that Train won’t be a major recruit next September. He doesn’t have great size for the position, but he’s an elite stopper with high-level athleticism. Train was outstanding against Leading Edge and throughout the day to cap off a dominant fall. He made a couple of eye-popping saves, including a gem on the doorstep against the West Coast Starz. He seems to always be in command of the defense and tracks the ball well.

Asher Ziv, midfield, Pingry (N.J.) / Leading Edge 

Ziv’s game continues to improve as he matures physically. He’s put on significant size in the past year or so, and he continues to evolve as a player, too. Ziv initiates a lot of offense for Leading Edge, particularly with his slickness, creativity and ability to draw a slide. He got involved early offensively and kept up the production throughout the day. He had a terrific fall for Leading Edge.

Honorable Mention

Steele Croom, goalie, The Woodlands (Texas) / Team 91 LI Shock
Richard D’Aloia, attack, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) / Leading Edge
Quinn Kelly, defense, Christian Brothers (N.J.) / Leading Edge
Michael Kelton, defense, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Long Island Express
Brendan Leonard, attack, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.) / Team 91 South
Josh Marcus, goalie, Staples (Conn.) / Eclipse
Matthew McKane, goalie, Marin (Calif.) / West Coast Starz
Mark McNamara, defense, Darien (Conn.) / Express North
Gary Merrill, midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Team 91 LI Shock
Xander Ring, defense, Christ School (N.C.) / Team 91 South
Wyatt Spratt, defense, La Salle (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH
John Stenberg, midfield, St. Sebastian’s (Mass.) / Laxachusetts
Ryan Vandegrift, defense, La Salle (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH

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