1. Culver Academy, Culver, Ind. (23-0)
Despite losing a star player from 2014 in current Johns Hopkins freshman Joel Tinney, Culver is again stacked. Culver is a team that attracts top players from across the continent, including Canadians who will again help the Eagles put together a high-powered offense as they take on the nation’s most grueling and ambitious schedule. Dawson McKenzie (Princeton) and Ethan Walker (Denver) put up jaw-dropping numbers last season and will lead the way in 2015.
2. The Haverford School, Haverford, Pa. (20-6)
The team will be led by a midfield featuring three players destined for Johns Hopkins, two headed for Virginia and a number of midfielders committed to other Division I programs. This deep roster is as intimidating as any in the country, including one of the nation’s top juniors in Virginia-bound Dox Aitken.
3. Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C. (16-5)
The reigning WCAC champs are considered the team to beat in the Washington D.C., region. The Purple Eagles shook off some losses in the first half of last season to win their last seven games and take home a title. Some of the key players from last year return as Casey O’Neill’s team embarks on yet another challenging schedule. Attackman Timmy Monahan (Maryland) and defender Michael Borda (Michigan) lead an experienced group of senior returners.
4. McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Md. (15-5)
McDonogh’s only losses in 2014 came to MIAA opponents and Culver Academy on the way to the conference semifinals. Robbie Black (Penn State), Robert Clark (Georgetown) and Connor Young (Navy) lead the way offensively. Senior goalie Jacob Stover (Loyola) backstops a young but incredibly athletic and powerful defense featuring junior Arman Medghalchi (Princeton) and two sophomores in Brandon Shure (Johns Hopkins) and Zeke Narcise (Duke).
5. St. Paul’s School, Brooklandville, Md. (12-7)
St. Paul’s is a team brimming with talent and a squad that suffered losses last year only to some of the nation’s best teams in the land. Carter FlaigCQ (Princeton), Alex McGovernCQ (North Carolina), Mitch Gordon (North Carolina), Jack Pollard (Navy), Joe Pollard (Johns Hopkins) and Dawes Milchling (Vermont) are just some of the offensive pieces ready to contend for an MIAA title again.
6. The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Baltimore (18-0)
Boys’ Latin begins the post-Shack Stanwick era, bidding farewell to the program’s all-time leading scorer after an undefeated run to the MIAA title. In what will be longtime head coach Bob Shriver’s final season, the Lakers will look to a capable and experienced, albeit a lesser known, mix of offensive weapons to continue the program’s success in the Baltimore region. Athletic multi-sport athlete Patrick Spencer (Loyola) is expected to have a huge year as he serves as the centerpiece of a reconstructed offense.
7. Brunswick School, Greenwich, Conn. (15-3)
Last year’s New England West co-champions, Brunswick is the team many in the league are pointing to as a strong favorite this season. Running one of the nation’s top juniors onto the field in Reilly Walsh (Duke) and deep across the rest of the field, Brunswick has a plethora of offensive options and dependable personnel on defense, led by Georgetown-bound netminder Jack Stephenson.
8. Landon School, Bethesda, Md. (18-4)
The Bears return with a strong senior class, players who as juniors helped Landon to a runner-up finish in the Interstate Athletic Conference. Division I-bound talent across the field will position Landon to again be a contender for the IAC title. Longtime coach Rob Bordley’s lineup includes attackman Colton Rupp (Cornell), goalie Hunter Sells (Johns Hopkins). Freshman sensation Joe Epstein (Johns Hopkins) could play a key role at attack.
9. Avon Old Farms School, Avon, Conn. (16-3)
With one of the better groups of postgraduates joining the team for this spring, Avon Old Farms should be a force in the Founders League and in the nightmarish New England West group. Winged Beavers coach Skip Flanagan doesn’t have to ask too much of the new faces, as attackmen Mikey Herring (Virginia) and Matt Hahn (Air Force) and defenders Tyson Bomberry (Syracuse) and Theo Dol (Virginia) are poised for excellent final campaigns.
10. Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern, Pa. (24-0)
The 2014 Inter-Ac champions bid farewell to a number of elite college recruits and, unfortunately, will start the season without one of their top returning attackman due to an injury. But the Friars boast two of the Philadelphia area’s best players in senior face-off guru Charles Kelly (North Carolina) and senior midfielder Drew Schantz (Notre Dame).
11. Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, Md. (19-1)
Charlie Horning takes over the Georgetown Prep head coaching position after Kevin Giblin’s resignation following an incredible 27-year run and 10 IAC titles, including the 2014 crown. Horning inherits a fine collection of talent, including one of the metro area’s very best players in do-it-all midfielder Jack Olson (Johns Hopkins) and talented juniors in monstrous defender John Railey (Loyola) and standout midfielder Terry Lindsay (Duke).
12. Massapequa High School, Massapequa, N.Y. (19-2)
Massapequa made program history in 2014, edging Smithtown East for the Chiefs’ first Long Island championship and then rolling to the New York State Class A championshp. Key contributors from last year’s team make Massapequa a tough opponent again, including junior Ryan Tierney (Hofstra) and senior Nick Yevoli (Yale).
13. Smithtown High School East, St. James, N.Y. (16-4)
After downing West Islip to win the Suffolk County/Section XI Class A crown, Smithtown East fell just short of the Long Island Class A title in falling to eventual state champ Massapequa 13-12. Jason Lambert’s team returns with some of Long Island’s best players, including attackman Brian Willetts (Notre Dame), midfielder John Daniggelis (Yale) and face-off stud Gerard Arceri (Penn State).
14. Darien High School, Darien, Conn. (23-0)
Jeff Brameier’s program won its 10th state championship in 2014. The team returns with the talent to carry on the tradition, including senior face-off midfielder Andrew Pugliese (Boston Univ.), senior midfielder Ian Burgoyne (Navy), junior standout defender Mark Evanchick (Dartmouth) and up-and-coming attackman Jack Kniffin (Brown).
15. Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Conn. (20-3)
The reigning Connecticut Class L champions are expected to field a strong squad again in 2015. Leading the way is Michigan-bound Decker Curran, who is athletic enough to run midfield but skilled enough to be a threat at attack. Coach Scott Bulkley expects a big year out of junior midfielder Will Perry (Providence).
16. Delbarton School, Morristown, N.J. (21-3)
After winning the New Jersey championship, Chuck Ruebling’s program graduated several crucial players who went on to Division I programs. But a talented group returns, including attackman Emmet Cordrey (Princeton), Duke-bound Reed Shaffer at the midfield and highly regarded long-stick midfielder Jack Kielty (Notre Dame). Delbarton’s strong tradition of success and excellent coaching makes the team a threat to contend each year in New Jersey.
17. Chaminade High School, Mineola, N.Y. (13-3)
One of the deepest and most consistent programs in the country, Jack Moran’s Chaminade team enters the season with upward of 30 players committed to play in college — from seniors down to freshmen. The senior class is particularly deep. Look for midfielder Thomas O’Connell (Maryland) and long-stick midfielder Jack Fowler (Duke) to be two of many seniors making important contributions this spring.
18. Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, N.Y. (12-6)
Defender Thomas Reilly (Cornell) and Jake McCulloch (Cornell) help strengthen Ward Melville across the field. With a realignment of Suffolk County’s Class A division, the Patriots won’t face the likes of Smithtown East and Smithtown West in the regular season. But the Patriots will still face stiff competition and should be a hungry, battle-tested group come playoff time.
19. Salisbury School, Salisbury, Conn. (11-5)
Salisbury acquired a group of transfers that any coach would envy, welcoming in attackman Bradley Voigt (Syracuse), midfielder Will Snyder (Maryland) and goalie Dylan Sulzbach (Penn State). But even before those additions, Salisbury projected to have a strong 2015 thanks to veterans like long-stick midfielder Spencer Daniels (Harvard) and midfielder Duncan Hoskinson (Colgate).
20. St. Anthony’s High School, Huntington Station, N.Y. (13-5)
St. Anthony’s and Chaminade should again battle for bragging rights as the best of the private schools in New York. The Friars will look to the underrated Joe Licciardi (Penn) to lead the midfield, while attackman Mike Laviano (Boston Univ.) and midfielder Danny Jones (Johns Hopkins) should be instrumental on offense. Long-stick midfielder Danny DeSanti (Army) leads a brigade of defensive talent.
21. Calvert Hall College High School, Baltimore (13-6)
Though young defensively, Calvert Hall is expected to be a challenge to deal with thanks to a potent offense led by Timmy Kelly (North Carolina), one of the nation’s most intelligent and polished attackmen. The team returns most of its impact players from a 13-6 finish last season. The Cardinals are deep on offense, too, as some talented underclassmen are expected to contribute this spring.
22. Garden City High School, Garden City, N.Y. (15-3)
Garden City has top-flight talent in the middle of the field with face-off wizard James Sullivan (Harvard) and long-stick midfielder Tommy Wright (Penn State) patrolling the midline. The Trojans have a tough schedule, with some of Long Island’s best and St. Paul’s (Md.) and Ridgefield (Conn.) on the calendar.
23. Summit High School, Summit, N.J. (23-2)
Summit’s two losses in 2014 were by a combined three goals, including a 7-5 loss to fellow New Jersey power Delbarton in the Tournament of Champions finale. The Hilltoppers return strong at the face-off X with Providence-bound Chris Zanelli and defensively, boasting the state’s top defender in Andrew Helmer (Syracuse) and goaltender Jay Winchell (Washington College).
24. St. Mary’s High School, Annapolis, Md. (11-6)
Thanks to High Point-bound Alex Woodall, the nation’s most dominant face-off specialist, the Saints should compete simply based on possession time alone. St. Mary’s is expected to again be a tough draw in Ben Rubeor’s third year as head coach.
25. Bronxville High School, Bronxville, N.Y. (18-6)
Bronxville has emerged as the class of New York State’s Section I (lower Hudson Valley) with Tim Horgan at the helm. The steady climb to the top culminated in the Broncos’ first New York State Class C title in 2014. Bronxville features two premieres seniors to lead the way this spring: Johns Hopkins-bound attackman Henry Grass and future Princeton defender Charlie Tarry.