Welcome back to the LILJ’s top 100 list of the 2022 class. Last week we took a look at numbers 100-23 and today we will be counting down the last 22 players. This list was put together by the LILJ’s talent evaluators in a sandlot format. This means that whoever our talent evaluators would take first to start a team would go number one and the next person they picked would be number two on the list. You can listen to some of the process here.
We loved the comments from last week’s list and we hope to hear from all of you. This list isn’t a matter of fact, but a matter of opinion so please comment any disagreements you may have with our list, enjoy!
22. Francisco Cortes
Francisco Cortes plays for Shoreham-Wading River High School. At 5’9, Francisco uses his speed and agility to dodge and blow by defenders on offense. When he drives towards the net, he doesn’t look to only score, but he also looks to get his teammates involved. He has achieved multiple awards while playing lacrosse. He was named to the Suffolk County all-star team as well as the New York State Regional all-star team.
Lacrosse comes second to Francisco’s academics. He is a high honors student and when he saw the opportunity to commit to a school, he chose one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Francisco is committed to playing lacrosse at Harvard University after he graduates in 2022.
With the season closing in, Francisco is a player to keep an eye on. He can play offense and defense when his team needs him too. His speed helps him stay in front of players when he is on defense. Congratulations Francisco!
21. Max Weisman
Max Weisman is one of the best poles on the island. For high school, he plays for Miller Place, where Max also plays football. In lacrosse, Max plays a physical style where his experience in football really shows. Standing six feet tall, he can intimidate some offensive players with his size and stature.
Max does a great job using his strength to his advantage when defending dodgers. When it comes to stick checks, players can lose their gloves, sticks, and balance when checked by Max. With the season just a few weeks away, Max will look to help Miller Place win and compete in Section XI.
Max takes his school work very seriously with a GPA of 3.8. His lacrosse skills and academics have drawn a lot of college attention. He made the decision to commit to Lehigh. Keep an eye out for this physical defender this season, congratulations Max!
20. Jameson Smith
After a couple of comments on last week’s list, Jameson Smith comes in at number 20 on our list. One of the best all-around athletes on the island, Jameson has a lot going for his game. With his best days ahead, Smith will play and graduate in 2022 from the Phantoms of Bayport. Jameson can score from distance, on the run, in transition and in close.
His athleticism and strength gives him an opportunity to easily find creases in the defense. When he gets into the teeth of the defense, Jameson can find the right shot to take. Whether it’s a side arm shot or overhand shot, it’s more than likely going to be on cage.
Jameson will continue his lacrosse career after high school. He has committed to Johns Hopkins to play where he will help out with the team’s re-building process. Hopkins has a new leader in Pete Milliman who loves getting stud off the island like Jamo. Yet another intelligent student and lacrosse player making this list. Every one of these players in the top 100 take both school and lacrosse very seriously. Congratulations Jameson!
19. Jason LaMay
At 6’2, LaMay does a great job using his size to his advantage. He is extremely quick and likes to get his teammates involved on offense. He has played varsity for Commack for three years and his prime for a breakout Junior season. Jason’s experiences playing in varsity has helped him improve his game immensely.
Jason is valuable on both offense and defense with his size, speed, and athleticism. He can body an opponent forcing a turnover then grab the ground ball and start the transition. While running down the field, he can see how the defense reacts and either shoot or find the open man for a goal.
As Jason continues his lacrosse journey, he will work hard to maintain his 4.0 GPA. He has achieved high honor roll and now is committed to Fairfield to play collegiately. Some of his interests for a major are engineering and business. Good luck this season and congratulations Jason!
18. Jack Cascadden
According to this list, Jack Cascadden is the best FOGO on Long Island for the class of 2022. Standing at a strong 6’2, Jack overpowers any other FOGO who he competes with.
Jack uses his strength to win the face-offs then he turns it into second gear to create transition from the X.
Jack has committed to Cornell to continue his lacrosse journey. Jack’s physicality and athleticism will help him compete against more dynamic players at the collegiate level. Jack is also a hard worker that will want to improve his game once he gets to Cornell. Congratulations Jack on being named the best FOGO on the island in the ‘22 class!
17. Christian Alacqua
Christian is one of the fastest players on the island. Alacqua goes to school at Chaminade, where plays lacrosse, football, and indoor track. His incredible play throughout his High School years has been noticed by Lacrosse Magazine saying he is one of the best midfielders from the 2022 class.
Christian’s speed is evident in his highlight reels, but he also won a gold medal for the 55m dash at the NYS Catholic League Championship.
Christian also committed to play at Cornell making him and Jack Cascadden future teammates. A top tier athlete in any sport he plays, we at the LILJ are just happy that he chose lacrosse to pursue so we can watch more of him! Congratulations Christian!
16. Matthew Perfetto
Matthew Perfetto is the next player on our list. This attackman from Manhasset uses his two-handedness, power, and handles to score. His stick protection and field awareness allows him to make quick and shifty moves around defenders without losing the ball.
Another player that cares about his academics more than just lacrosse, Perfetto has committed to Cornell. Yes, that is three players in a row committed to Cornell on our Top 22 list. If you are a Long Island lacrosse fan, you may turn into a Cornell fan after seeing that at least three of the best players from Long Island are committed there.
Cornell will be happy to welcome Matthew to their program. With his scoring ability and vision, and Christian Alcqua’s speed, Cornell’s offense will be scary in two years. Congratulations Matthew on the commitment and for cracking the LILJ top 20!
15. Mikey Trepeta
Mikey Trepeta is a slightly different type of defender than the others on this list. Mikey has the stick to force dodgers to take bad shots and make poor passes. He can get on hands, direct dodgers, and take the ball away with his checks. Trepeta is super comfortable in transition because of his stick skills and athleticism. Mikey can score, dish, or dodge on the offensive end with his pole.
Playing for his high school, Mt. Sinai, Mikey has won many accolades. During the 2018 NYS regional championship game, Mikey was named defensive MVP for his performance that ended with a win for his team. He also was named an All-American at the Warrior’s games in 2017.
With his excellence on the field, Mikey has earned himself a commitment to Johns Hopkins to play. His toughness on defense is an attribute that any team would want. Mikey is one of those defenseman that could shut down one player for a whole game so keep an eye out for him, congratulations Mikey!
14. Matthew Caputo
With a lesser known high school program, Matthew Caputo has helped Lutheran high school’s lacrosse program grow out of the shadows. Matthew’s dominant hand is his left which makes him a valuable commodity for any team. His value isn’t just in his south-pawness, it’s in his competitiveness. This kid plays to win.
For the upcoming season, Matthew said he was working on his right hand a lot. He said he took over a hundred shots right handed almost everyday. Once he feels comfortable with his right hand, he thinks he could see some midfield action during the season.
Matthew is the first player in the top 22 to not be committed to play college ball. When asked how the recruitment process is going, he said, “I’m taking it slow and looking at all my options.” He finally added that his commitment will be a “gametime decision,” implying that it will come later on when it matters the most. Congratulations Matthew!
13. Kevin Barrett
Our next two players are the best goalies on the island. Kevin Barrett plays for St. Anthony’s. His excellent play earned him an invitation to play in the 2019 Under Armour all-American game and he was named to the All-American team in that game.
One of Kevin’s greatest strengths as a goalie is saving the ball. Barrett has made some electric saves in his young career. Making the highlight real saves is just part of his identity, Barrett consistently saves shots that should be easy for goalies at the variety level. His ability to stop the ball consistently, and steal some highlight worthy stops for his team is what makes Barrett such an elite talent.
Kevin will be playing college lacrosse at Boston University after committing there. Any team wants an amazing goalie and Boston is getting that with Kevin. Once he starts playing for them, he will have to get used to the speed of college shots and players which I’m sure he will. Congratulations Kevin!
12. Will Snyder
The second goalie is Will Snyder. Will and Kevin play for St. Anthony’s so talk about competition within a team. The two best goalies on the island play for the same team, which is a pretty nice problem to have as a High School coach!
Will has excellent footwork when in the crease. He squares up to shooters to take up more space and has extremely quick reflexes. On rebounds, Will uses his athleticism to scoop groundballs and create transition for his defense. More often than not, Will absorbs shots with clean saves and keeps rebounds inside his crease.
Will has recently committed to Fairfield to play. Once again, any team would have been happy to find a goalie as good as Will during recruitment. An amazing goalie can cover up some flaws in a team, lead team’s to great heights, and Will has that type of ability. Keep an eye out for him this season with his highlight reel saves, congratulations Will!
11. Brady West
One of the most versatile players on this list, Brady West can do it all. He can score, assist, and even defend at a high level. He plays for South Side High School. As a midfielder, Brady is in charge of handling the ball a lot during the game on the offensive end. With Brady’s frame, size and skill, he’s a really tough cover. Brady can use is strength to bull-dodge his way into drawing slides, or use his first step and skill to get by defenders. This versatility will make him dangerous in High School and beyond.
Even when it looks like Brady doesn’t have an angle on a shot, he somehow finds the opening and can score at will. He adds a little flare with his shots incorporating timely behind-the-back shots or just an easy overhand finish. During IMG nationals, Brady was nominated as a standout player for the class of 2022.
Brady will continue his lacrosse journey with Loyola. Loyola is very lucky to have picked up Brady during recruitment because his all-around play will fit right in to whatever type of system a team uses. Good luck in the future and congratulations Brady!
10. Peter Theodoropoulos
Finally we made it to the top 10! And to start at number 10 is Peter Theodoropoulos. Playing for Eastport-South Manor, the attackman/midfielder has garnered a lot of attention for his play. In 2019, he was named to the New York State Regional All-Star team, after competing on a very talented Suffolk County 2022 team.
Another do it all player, Peter helps his team win any way he can. Whether it’s shooting more or passing more, Peter will adjust his game to help the team win. He is deadly when driving to the goal because he has so many moves to get by a defender. Peter might have the best first-step on this list. His explosiveness with the ball in his stick makes drawing a slide when he dodges automatic. His change of direction makes defenders spin, leading us to believe he might be an attackman at the next level.
Peter’s game caught the eye of Offensive Coordinator, John Crawley of Lehigh. He committed this past Fall and will play for the Hawks after graduating from ESM in 2022. As Peter becomes a more prolific shooter, there is not saying how good this kid can be in High School and beyond, congratulations Peter!
9. Robbie Smith
The human Swiss Army Knife, Robbie Smith comes in as number 9 on our list. As a midfielder, face-off specialist, and attackman, Robbie has a unique skillset. Huntington’s head coach, Julian Watts has enjoyed coaching Robbie, saying, “He’s a throwback, old school player. He doesn’t say a lot, but he leads by example.”
Robbie’s unique ability to take face-off’s and score on offense helps his team compete 100% of the time. Players that can take a face-off and score immediately after can change the momentum of a game on a dime and that is what Robbie can do. During the LILJ Winter League, Smith was a first teamer for his do-it-all nature on the field. Smith was at the top of the list in ground balls, points, and face-off wins. This combination shows how dangerous this kid is on the field.
Robbie decided to stay close to home and committed to Stony Brook University to play. Watts explained that Stony Brook will be getting a “Swiss army knife” type of player. Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse is on the rise and securing players like Robbie will get them over some tough barriers in the America East conference. Can’t wait to see more of Robbie in 2021 and for making our LILJ Top 10, congratulations Robbie!
8. Michael Meyer
One of the most dangerous players on the offensive end in Long Island, Michael Meyer comes in at number 8. The attackman from Northport, measuring in a 6’2, Meyer is a scary site to see for any opposing defenses. His long strides help him run right by defenders and give him different angles to shoot from because of his height.
Michael is at his best when commanding the offense from the X and the righty wing spot. Meyer’s ability to stretch a defense is what makes him so dangerous on the offensive end. Meyer literally has 2-point range as a Junior is High School. Not only can he accurately fill up the net from range, he can do it by stepping into his shot, do it shooting on the run off a pick, or do it from less than desirable angles for most. When you have the ability to score like Meyer, the game can really open up and making looks to open teammates will come easy.
Michael has committed to Fairfield which is the third player in the top 22 to commit there. Another scary team to keep an eye out for in a couple of years when the class of 2022 graduates. We cannot wait to see what this kid does after undergoing a Division I workout, speed, and conditioning regiment for an entire Fall season. He is also prepared for the academics of college with a 4.0 GPA at Northport, congratulations Michael!
7. Max McCarthy
At 6’1, Max McCarthy is a defender no team wants to go against. His strength, IQ, and stick work disrupts any offensive scheme. Playing for St. Anthony’s high school, he is always working to improve his game and help his team win. McCarthy is one of the most versatile players on the island because he’s such a good lacrosse player. Besides defending the ball, he can pick-up difficult ground balls, he can escape traffic, push in transition, pick off passes in lanes, and take advantage of transition opportunities on the offensive end.
For any player, they have to look at their game and see what parts of it can be improved. For Max, he thinks he can get even stronger for the season. With gyms closed, Max went to one of his friend’s garages that had some gym equipment to develop his strength. He said he’s been going there as often as he can. So, keep an eye out for an even stronger Max this season, scary.
Another excellent student, Max has committed to playing for legendary coach Gerry Byrne at Harvard University. Once Harvard gave him an offer, he said, “Having the academics that Harvard has made the decision easy.” It’s going to be tough balancing school and lacrosse at Harvard, but Max is up for it, congratulations Max!
McCarthy defending Joey Spallina Jr. at the LILJ '22 Open
#6. Michael Leo
Another St. Anthony’s player, Michael Leo comes in at number 6. As a lefty attackman, Leo can best be described as the quarterback of the offense. Michael is a competitor who takes developing his craft very seriously. Leo is one of the best lacrosse players on this list because he’s a student of the game, puts in the time, and plays as much as he can. Whether it’s working on his right hand, or developing different shot types, Michael will do whatever he can to improve his game.
Leo will head off to Syracuse in 2022, where he will compete with two other studletes in our top 10. Read below to see who! Syracuse lacrosse is an exciting program that wants players who live up to the hype, Michael seems to be one of those guys! Congratulations Michael!
5. Dylan Sageder
Down to the last five and coming in at number 5 is Dylan Sageder. Dylan is a long stick midfielder and is the best at his position on the island. The Mount Sinai head coach, Harold Drumm said, “He has a very high lacrosse IQ and understands defense as a whole.” Dylan knows where every other defender has to be while defending.
Dylan also plays football for Drumm. Drumm says that Dylan takes film room sessions in football very seriously and has used those skills he’s learned for lacrosse. The work Dylan does in studying and preparation puts him in a different level as a player. “He has an uncanny knack for knocking down passes,” Drumm said. With his lacrosse instincts he will sometimes know what an attack will do before he does it.
Drumm says that Syracuse is getting a guy that puts the team first and values winning over everything else. Any team would love to have a team player like Dylan because he doesn’t cause team drama. If anything, he can solve team drama with his leadership abilities and for his on-field play, congratulations Dylan!
4. Charles Balsamo
The number four player on our list is Charles Balsamo Jr. He is one of the best players in the country being ranked number 4 by NLF and ranked number 7 by Lacrosse Magazine. Co-Captain for his high school team Chaminade, he has all the leadership attributes a team could ask for. Balsamo is a very savvy lacrosse player who has a great feel for the game. His skill, IQ, and ability to score makes him so dangerous on the offensive end. It definitely helps that he’s a slick lefty too!
Charles is the type of player who wants the ball in the last seconds of a close game. He wants to game to be won or lost on his shot. That type of mentality will take him far in his future endeavors whether it be lacrosse or not. He’s able to use his strength and body positioning to push defenders back freeing up his hands and angles for him to shoot. At the LILJ Winter League Balsamo was Mr. Clutch and always came up big when his team needed a play.
Not only is Charles an amazing lacrosse player, but he is also an excellent student like every other player on this list. He committed to Duke where he will continue his lacrosse journey and attend school, congratulations Charles!
3. Brendan Staub
Now for the best defenseman on Long Island for the class of 2022, number 3 is Brendan Staub. At 6’1 and nearly weighing 200 pounds, Brendan is built to stop people from initiating. He uses his strength and hands to push players out of a good spots on the field and force bad shots or bad passes. As a smart student, Brendan brings his IQ to the lacrosse field where he can use that to predict what the other team is doing.
Steve Finelli, the Garden City head coach, said that Brendan is very athletic. But, the thing that separates Brendan from other defensive players is that he “merges both his smarts and athleticism” when playing. During the time off, Brendan has also “taken advantage of the time off” to work on his game and his body. By the season, Brendan could weigh 200 pounds of just pure muscle.
Brendan will be playing college lacrosse and attending Cornell in 2022. He is the perfect player for Cornell because he will use his intelligence to understand the collegiate game and become the best version of himself, congratulations Brendan!
2. Joey Terenzi
For the class of 2022, Joey Terenzi comes in at number 2 and the best midfielder on the island.
Terenzi gave Long Island lacrosse a glimpse of how clutch he can really be when he scored the game winning goal against Garden City in the county championship in overtime as a freshman. He plays hard in every minute of the game whether it be the first quarter or overtime. His shooting ability can compare to one other player on the island who we will name shortly. But, if you watch his highlight reel you will see some of the most spectacular goals out of any of these players.
Terenzi is heading to UVA to continue his lacrosse journey. Another player going to a prestigious school that will require him to balance school and lacrosse. One of the most impressive things about every single one of these players is their academic standing because they are all extremely hard working in school too. Can’t wait to watch this season for Joey and the rest, congratulations Joey!
1. Joey Spallina
And the best player of the 2022 class is Joey Spallina! Playing for Mount Sinai in high school, Joey has made a name for himself as the best player in the country for the class of 2022. He was the first freshman to be named Suffolk County Attackman of the year. He has also been named an All-American and continues to improve every time he steps on the field.
Even as the best recruit in his class, Joey still sees parts of his game that can be improved. “One thing I have put a large emphasis on is my footwork and change in direction,” Joey said. Quickness is everything when moving up to the collegiate level. If Joey can blow by defenders even faster after the work he put in, no one may be able to stop him. He has mastered every type of shot whether it be righty or lefty, sidearm or over hand, and even behind-the-back. He knows when to use the shots and also when to pass to his open teammates.
The best player in Long Island will be going Syracuse, joining Dylan Sageder and Michael Leo. Joey chose Syracuse for many different reasons. One reason is the “rich tradition of final fours” Syracuse has created. Joey enjoys the pressure of a team that expects greatness because that will just push him to be greater.
“I also was offered the opportunity to wear the number 22 at Syracuse,” Joey said. “And that was always a childhood dream.” What a player. Good luck and congratulations Joey!
Now for the final wrap up. Can we just take a moment to appreciate all the talent from the class of 2022 alone. The LILJ had over 200 submissions for people that could have made this list and they could only choose 100. This list was extremely fun to write about and I thank everyone who helped out with submitting names to answering my pesky phone calls.
Every player on this list deserved to be on the list not only for their lacrosse achievements but also for their academic achievements. Congratulations to every player that made the top 100. I am excited cover this season and maybe meet some of you face-to-face. Thank you for reading!