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NLF Summer Kickoff Coverage

2027 Championship Game Highlights 
2028 Championship Game Highlights
2029 Championship Game Highlights
2030 Championship Game Highlights 

Colin Kenney caught a pass, leaped into the air and tried to rip a near-side overhand shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The ball went off Big 4 HHH‘s Jack Donovan‘s leg and bounced away from the net into the corner. It was the only time that one of Kenney’s seven shots didn’t find the back of the cage in the NLF Summer Kickoff class of 2025 championship game.


Kenney Shoots Six for Seven

Fueled by Kenney’s ridiculous six-goals-on-seven-shots performance, Laxachusetts opened its summer with a championship by withstanding HHH’s comeback attempt in a 9-8 game between two of the best teams in the country.

The Noble & Greenough sniper was at the forefront of it all. Kenney, who’s seen time at both attack and midfield for the two-time defending ISL champions, was unstoppable for Laxachusetts. He used his 6-2, 205-pound frame to bully defenders and create his shot. Good luck stopping him when he gets a head of steam. Laxachusetts identified that mismatch early and used it to great success, including right before halftime when Lindan Verville set a great pick to get Kenney open.

“I just liked my matchup,” Kenney modestly said. “I saw my matchup and wanted to take him. Coach (Sean) Morris saw it and called for the matchup. He’s a great coach. I had all day and it was really great for me. I just get my size and speed going in one direction and it’s usually tough for a lot of people to stay with that. It’s an advantage in most cases for me.”

Laxachusetts looked the part of a team that reached the NLF National Championships semifinals last year. Buoyed by an overabundance of talent from the ISL, it’s as deep a team as there’s been in a while for the Boston boys. They might have the best goalie tandem in the country in five-star Ethan Train (Noble & Greenough) and four-star Chandler McClements. The latter was particularly excellent in the first half of the title game, while the former went coast-to-coast for a highlight-reel goal.

Will that mean a rise to the top in July? It just might. But it definitely meant an exceptional start to the summer for Laxachusetts, especially Colin Kenney.

NLF Summer Kickoff 2025 Standouts

Jack Cappadona, defense, Thayer (Mass.) / Laxachusetts – NLF No. 39 ’25

Another elite defenseman from the Laxachusetts defensive factory, Cappadona was excellent all weekend, including in the title game. He and five-star attackman Michael Ortlieb went after it, and Cappadona is the type of defenseman that can give anybody problems.

“I knew going into the game that he was one of the better kids in the class and that he was really good at feeding,” Cappadona said of Ortlieb. “I wanted to be on his hands and I just kind of played him straight up and just played my game.”

Both players got their share of wins in that battle. Cappadona checks off the mobile, agile, hostile trifecta and loves to get out and get physical with his matchup. He uses a strong lower body to steer attackmen away from the cage, but he also has the footwork to cover for days. Cappadona, who will transfer from Tabor to Thayer for his junior and senior years, has a great frame to grow into as well.

Connor Kuttin, attack, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Long Island Express – NLF No. 8 ’25 

There’s a direct correlation to the Express’ offensive success to how Kuttin plays. You can hold him in check for swaths of time, yet he just needs one touch to get the offense going. His gifted passing ability is still his best feature. Even if he doesn’t get an assist on a play, he does a terrific job of pulling defenses out of position with the first pass to initiate the offense. His lack of size will hinder him a little bit, particularly when bigger defenders get a hold of him, but he makes up for it by thinking faster than everyone else. Kuttin doesn’t need much room to get his shot off, using his soft hands to make plays in tight.

Chandler McClements, goalie, St. Sebastian’s (Mass.) / Laxachusetts 

McClements and five-star goalie partner Ethan Train are polar opposites in terms of frame and playing style. Train’s the smaller, quick lefty with the athleticism to run by guys to start transition… and also score goals, as he showed in the championship game. McClements cuts an imposing 6-3, 238-pound frame and takes up a ton of the net.

He was simply spectacular in the first half of the title game, only ceding two goals and making close to double-digit saves. McClements diagnoses plays well and knows how to position himself well to cut down even more of the net. It was clear that he got into HHH shooters’ heads early as they looked to be trying to place it past him as opposed to letting it fly.

“I was kind of dialed in,” McClements said. “I take up a lot of the cage, so I was just trying to take away the angles and give the shooters less to shoot at. Once you make a few saves and get going, you can kind of get into the shooters’ heads a little bit. That’s when you start to get hot.”

Owen Mears, attack, Malvern Prep (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH – NLF No. 47 ’25 

There’s a good case to be made that nobody had a better weekend than Mears. The big lefty was utterly dominant all day Saturday and continued his strong play in the playoffs until he got hurt on a ride. He caused a turnover on the play, but it was clear that the injury affected him. He’ll miss some significant time this summer as a result.

One of the class’ elite lefty wing shooters, Mears was deadly in transition. Give him time to step and shoot and it’s over. That shows up at the top of the scouting report, and it doesn’t hurt that he has excellent chemistry with Friars and HHH teammate Michael Ortlieb. The five-star righty sets ’em up, the four-star lefty knocks ’em down. The two are the perfect foils for each other, and a lot of Mears’ goals came off of Ortlieb setups.

Mears isn’t a one-trick pony, though. He played midfield for Malvern because the Friars have one of the best ’24 lefties in Brown commit Ennis Udo. Mears is now more proficient as a dodger and finds open space well. He can attack from a number of spots, and he also did a nice job of working with his teammates in the quick give-and-go passing game.

Henry Oliver, defense, MICDS (Mo.) / Long Island Express – NLF No. 58 ’25

Oliver’s got the Division I frame already at about 6-2 and close to 200 pounds. He looks like he’s grown into his body since January’s NLF at IMG, and he looks smoother and more comfortable when running than ever. Oliver put forth a great early impression, putting the ball on the turf and quickly collecting the ground ball. He keeps a strong low base and doesn’t get out of control with the checks. Oliver did a really nice job of getting out on guys and setting up shop on attackmen’s gloves with pokes and lifts.

Michael Ortlieb, attack, Malvern Prep (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH – NLF No. 9 ’25 

As mentioned earlier, Ortlieb and Mears are an elite tandem. Their chemistry is obvious, and Ortlieb has a knack for putting the ball in the right space for Mears to let it fly. Ortlieb is an exceptional passer and seems to rarely pass overhand. He changes levels on his passes the way an elite shooter – Mears, for one – changes release points on his shot. Ortlieb, who tallied 49 goals and 25 assists for Inter-Ac playoff champion Malvern, has amazing vision and a sixth sense for understanding where the open man is going to be.

Ortlieb isn’t an elite athlete, but he uses his IQ and subtle fakes to get open and create for himself and his teammates. He also has very good hands, something he showed when he snagged a high pass at GLE and dunked it lefty in the championship game to give HHH a spark. 2025 recruiting is in its infancy, but there were more than a few college coaches at the event who already consider him the top pure X attackman in the class.

Michael Rossi, midfield, La Salle (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH

The attack tandem of Ortlieb and Mears are the headliners, but Rossi put in some serious work in the midfield. He doesn’t have great size, but he does feature a quick first step and a nose for the cage. Rossi definitely didn’t shy away from contact and worked well to get open off-ball. He had a particularly nifty cut and finish off of a Liam Banks feed that showed his ability to sneak into the teeth of the defense and come unscathed.

Lindan Verville, midfield, Belmont Hill (Mass.) / Laxachusetts 

The great offensive play from the likes of four-stars Colin Kenney and Preston Evans stood out for the champion Laxachusetts team. Despite that, Verville’s work in between the lines made a lot of that offense possible. Solidly built at about 6-foot and close to 200 pounds, Verville excelled in the clearing game. He can run by guys and through them, too. Verville was a first-line offensive midfielder and one of the team’s best defensive midfielders for Belmont Hill this spring, so there’s a lot of versatility there. He seems like a perfect shot-clock era midfielder that can contribute in a number of ways.

Honorable Mention

Liam Banks, attack, Ward Melville (N.Y.) / Big 4 HHH
Owen Crann, midfield, Middlesex (Mass.) / Laxachusetts – NLF No. 36 ’25
Louis D’Agostino, defense, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Long Island Express
Preston Evans, attack, Belmont Hill (Mass.) / Laxachusetts – NLF No. 26 ’25
Stu Gates, attack, St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) / Fog City
Keoni Johnson, goalie, St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) / Fog City
Will Tantillo, midfield, Malvern Prep (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH

NLF Summer Kickoff 2026 Standouts

These standouts were only chosen from the championship game teams. 


John Balsamo, attack, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Long Island Express Channy 

Balsamo is as cool, calm and collected as it gets for an X attackman. He has a very high IQ and rarely makes the wrong play, and he doesn’t get fazed by defenders getting out on him or double teams being sent his way. He’s going to make the right play on his time and the way he wants it done. Balsamo did a very nice job of keeping the ball moving and then attacked when he saw an opportunity. He had a particularly impressive play where he spun out of a double team and could have shot, but dumped it off to fellow Chaminade flyer James Gillis for an easy dunk. He finished with a goal and three helpers in the title game, and his pass-first style helps the balanced Express offense continue to hum along.

“(Playing in this offense) is so easy, really,” Balsamo said. “We’ve been playing for so long together and sharing the ball, that’s our offense. Beating our guy, no matter who it is or what matchup it is, that’s how we roll. We just have to be ready to play every game and not take any game lightly. We have to play every game like it’s a championship game.”

Ethan Bramoff, LSM, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) /Long Island Express Channy 

Oh boy.

Bramoff put on an absolute show all weekend long and capped it off with a highlight-reel two-goal performance in the championship game. He had as dominant a weekend from the LSM spot as I can ever remember seeing. He was THAT good. In the pool-play game against Team 91, Bramoff must have had a half-dozen caused turnovers, including a trio of Madden user-pick type plays where he broke on the ball like a safety and took it the other way.

His stick is elite for any age in high school, let alone a rising sophomore. He’s terrific on ground balls, both on the wing and on the defensive end. You always have to account for him everywhere on the field because he’s a threat on defense, in transition and on offense. Bramoff had a nasty lefty goal and followed it up with a righty snipe. He is very aggressive with his check attempts, but they tend to land. He is AT WORST a top-5 player in the 2026 class right now and has a legitimate argument to be the No. 1 overall player.

“I’ve really gotten better over the past couple of years,” Bramoff said. “I’ve wanted to model my game after (Delaware All-American) Owen Grants of the world and pressure out more and be more active with my stick. At the next level, those are the guys that stand out.”

Charlie Cacciabaudo, attack, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Long Island Express Channy 

If you throw the ball anywhere near Cacciabaudo, it’s getting caught. Period. And it’s probably gonna be in the back of the net, for that matter. Cacciabaudo does an outstanding job of getting open, catching and finishing. You can’t leave him open for a second. He’s not going to dodge or feed much, but that’s not his job. Scoring goals is his job, and goal scorers never go out of style. Cacciabaudo has elite hands and the ability to make plays in traffic, two great traits for an off-ball guy.

“I think our team works so well together,” Cacciabaudo said. “We’re all good friends with each other, so there’s just no bad blood. The chemistry throughout the team is great. It’s great because it’s not just a me show. It makes the whole team happy if everyone is scoring and playing well.”

Jacob Fedich, LSM / defense, Green Level (N.C.) / Team 91 Long Island Storm 

Fedich doesn’t have an enormous frame at about 5-11, 175 pounds, but does he ever play bigger. He was Team 91’s best player in the first game against Express, causing havoc with his physicality and stick work. Fedich flashed on a number of occasions and made it a point to give his matchup an extra shot whenever he could. The North Carolina native made a number of plays on the ball and showed deft stickwork throughout.

Nick Testa, attack/midfield, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) / Team 91 Long Island Storm 

It’s hard not to love watching Testa go to work. Whether it’s at attack or the midfield, he impacts the game in a number of ways and his fiery disposition rubs off on teammates. He had a great take early in the game where he dodged the LSM from up top, beat him down the left alley and dunked a righty shot home. Later, he buried a shot from the wing after he came off a pick. Testa had a monster freshman campaign for St. Andrew’s, leading the Scots to a state title, and he’s not stopping there. His short but strong frame makes him tough to cover, especially when he can step out and get some room to work with.

Honorable Mention

Dylan Faison, midfield, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) / Team 91 Long Island Storm
Robbie Johnson, faceoff midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Long Island Express Channy
Dylan Rappaport, goalie, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Long Island Express Channy