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The Long Island Express needs no introduction.

One of the country’s oldest clubs and an NLF founding member, the Express is a well-oiled machine. Every year, Mike Chanenchuk‘s club is among the country’s leaders in commitments to many of the top schools in the country. This year, Express alums like Pat Kavanagh, Chris Kavanagh and Liam Entenmann helped Notre Dame to its second straight national title. Look around the top teams in the nation and you’ll find an Express alum somewhere.

That run of commitments didn’t stop with the class of 2025 – and it’s not over yet – and that’s before we even get to the 2026s. That team is considered by many to be the best team in the grade, a title it will look to cement in July on home turf as it looks to claim its first NLF National Championship.

Photo courtesy of Matt Chandik

2025 Commitment Wave

The Chaminade (N.Y.) four-star trio of Gavin Lynch (Notre Dame), Quinn Ball (Penn) and Connor Kuttin (Johns Hopkins) headline a list of 24 commitments. Another Flyer, Brian Reilly, verballed to Navy, as did faceoff midfielder Luke Cascadden (Garden City, N.Y.) and midfielder Daniel Kolin (Manhasset, N.Y.). Cascadden’s twin brother, SSDM Blake, chose Cornell. Two more Chaminade products, lefty LSM/defenseman Louis D’Agostino and goalie Jack Durnan, opted for Syracuse and Holy Cross, respectively.

Both sides of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry got in on the fun with commitments from the team. Twins Owen and Kevin Magee (Lovejoy, Texas) opted to follow their older brother, Dillon, to Columbus. Midfielder Alex Ruddy (St. Anthony’s) chose the reigning Big Ten champion Wolverines. Four-star defenseman Michael Kelton (St. Anthony’s) made a commitment to Army.

Michael Berkery, a top-flight two-sport athlete for Garden City (N.Y.), chose Villanova. Florida product Turner Tarrasch, an LSM from Community School of Naples, verballed to RichmondStony Brook, where Chanenchuk’s son and PLL All-Star Michael coaches, picked up faceoff midfielder Dylan Smith (St. Anthony’s, N.Y.) and Smithtown East (N.Y.) defenseman Sean Pellegrino. Missouri standout Henry Oliver (MICDS, Mo.) committed to Boston University as a ’25, but the future Terrier is PGing and will play with the ’26s.

Division II and III Verbals

The Express also saw four players commit to Division II schools. St. Michael’s landed attackman Shane Abrahall (St. John The Baptist, N.Y.) and attackman Chris Davis (Kings Park, N.Y.). Goalie Dennis Brady (St. Anthony’s, N.Y.) committed to Lynn and attackman Braden Mutschler (St. Anthony’s, N.Y.) chose Assumption.

Two players chose Division III schools. Attackman/midfielder James Jenet (St. Dominic, N.Y.) picked Muhlenberg and midfielder Joe Schwartz (St. Anthony’s, N.Y.) selected Skidmore.

Long Island Express Top Uncommitted 2025s

Jack Connolly, midfield, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Loomis Chaffee (Conn.) 

Connolly, who will spend a post-graduate year at Loomis Chaffee, has high-end change-of-direction ability and the ability to get downhill. He’s also shown some offensive pop, making him an intriguing option heading into the summer.

Photo courtesy of Dom Massaro

Gio Massaro, attack, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 

A big-bodied righty finisher, Massaro broke into the Friars’ lineup in spurts this year and figures to have a good shot to start as a senior. He’s at his best working inside and catching and finishing in tight.

Photo courtesy of Dom Massaro

Justus Durham, SSDM, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 

A former defenseman, the lefty now works with a short stick and he’s continued to improve at the position. A well-built SSDM with speed for days, Durham’s versatility adds to his potential.

Photo courtesy of Dom Massaro

Chris Obertis, attack, Carey (N.Y.) 

Obertis had a fantastic junior campaign for Carey. he tallied 46 times and dished out 12 assists for a 58-point season for a Carey team that reached the Nassau finals. He netted 11 hat tricks this year and is also incredibly tenacious on the ride.

Long Island Express Top 2026s

Photo courtesy of Matt Chandik

Ethan Bramoff, LSM, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)

Arguably the top player in the entire class, Bramoff is as impactful as it gets as a defender. Dodging him is a very bad idea, as he’s continually shown that he can lock down some of the class’ top midfielders and take the ball away from them as well. He’s exceptional with his checks, elite off the ground and loves to push transition. Bramoff helped St. Anthony’s to another outstanding season, one in which he scored against national powerhouses Culver (Ind.) and Chaminade (N.Y.). Don’t go near him.

Photo courtesy of Mike Watters

James Gillis, attack/midfield, Chaminade (N.Y.) 

A smooth lefty scorer with the impact to take over a game at a moment’s notice, Gillis was a formidable presence for the Flyers as a rare sophomore starter. He scored more than 30 goals and had hat tricks against the likes of three-time defending MIAA champion McDonogh, as well Darien (Conn.), Fairfield Prep (Conn.) and Wilton (Conn.) among others. The NLF at IMG All-Star has a great frame to add more weight, and the sky’s the limit for him once he does that. Gillis is already as dangerous offensive weapon as there is in the class.

Jake Johnston, midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 

Johnston doesn’t have the flash as his two teammates mentioned above, but he’s as valuable as it gets to his teams because of everything he does. He’s a crucial part of the Express’ man-up unit, takes every faceoff wing and can erase an opponent’s top midfielder. Johnston not only started at SSDM for the Friars this spring. He blossomed, making his impact felt all over the field. Johnston has a knack for putting the ball on the ground, too.

“He’s the guy that I give the ball to every time I need someone to make the right play,” Chanenchuk said. “Jake has an innate ability to see what’s going to happen ahead of time.”

Photo courtesy of Matt Chandik

Robbie Johnson, faceoff midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 

As proven a commodity at the faceoff stripe as there is in the class, Johnson has long been a driving force behind the Express’ success with his dominance. He has extremely quick hands and does an excellent job of working with his wings – usually Bramoff and Johnston – to keep defenses off-guard. Johnson was particularly outstanding in the IMLCA Players’ Summit championship game in December and followed it up as the No. 2 faceoff guy for the Friars this spring. He’s got a solid stick and usually makes the right decision on fast breaks.

Photo courtesy of Matt Chandik

John Balsamo, attack, Chaminade (N.Y.) 

A smooth righty X attackman, Balsamo slotted in to the Flyers’ starting lineup as a sophomore despite missing most of the preseason with an injury. Despite that, he put up nearly 30 points for Chaminade. Balsamo’s IQ, poise with the ball and understanding of what defenses are throwing at him stand out as high-level traits. Like Gillis, he’ll need to fill out, but he does a good job of keeping his poise through contact. He started to really hit his stride late in the spring with four goals against Wilton (Conn.), four points against Iona Prep (N.Y.) and two goals and a helper against Delbarton (N.J.).

Photo courtesy of Mike Watters

Dylan Harrigan, midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 

Harrigan found himself running with the second line late as a sophomore, which is a great sign for his future at St. Anthony’s. He could also find himself playing attack next year, a nod to his versatility. When he’s on, he’s as electric a lefty midfield scorer as there is in the class. Harrigan quickly gets downhill on his dodges and his vision continues to improve.