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Saturday, September 10, 2011
ESPNHS Top 25 midfielders

By Tom Peace

Will McNamara, Haverford School
Will McNamara from Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.) is the ESPNHS No. 1 midfielder.
ESPN High School continues its countdown to the ESPNHS 100 by breakdown down the Top 25 players at each position.

The Top 25 is our selections for the best players at each position and will be released every Wednesday until Oct. 12. Wrapping up our boys coverage will be our choices for the Top 100 seniors and Top 50 juniors. Our girl's Top 25 begins in October.

ESPNHS Position Breakdown

ESPN High School expands its look at the top high school seniors in the country to a look at the Top 25 by position -- expanding upon last year's Top 20.

Below is our positioinal breakdown along with our selections for the Top 100 seniors and the Top 50 juniors.

Top 25 Midfielders
Key: athlete, school (city, state), college commitment if known


1. Will McNamara, Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.), Virginia
McNamara was a huge piece of the puzzle that was the perfect season for Haverford. The 2011 US All-American has the gifts to be a great lacrosse player at the next level. McNamara tried out for the US Under 19 squad and played for the Philly underclass team at the Under Armour games. The Haverford rising senior was the only junior to be named ESPNHS First Team All-American.

2. Spencer Parks, St. Paul's (Brooklandville, Md.), North Carolina
Parks played a big part in the Crusaders 2010 MIAA title run and was named to the 2011 All-MIAA team. The rising senior has a nice game around the cage and can play both attack and midfield. Parks made Second Team All-Met by the Baltimore Sun and Second team All-MSLCA which is a poll voted on by area high school coaches.

3. Mike Tagliaferri, San Ramon Valley (Danville, Calif.), North Carolina
Tagliaferri is leading the charge for the rise of lacrosse on the West coast. The quick midfielder takes it to the cage every time and even when he has heavy pressure from defenders he still manages to find a way to get off a shot and make the score. The future Tar Heel has received all the accolades from his league and on the West coast the last two years, though the most impressive came this summer when Tagliaferri was named to the US Under 19 team.

4. Steven Pontrello, St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.), North Carolina
Pontrello is one of four rising seniors to be selected to play for the US Under-19 team. The rising senior has a nice left-handed shot on the goal and he moves well up the field on transition. Besides being named to the US team, the two-time All-American also was named player of the year by the Atlantic City Press and was named to the All-State team for the second straight year.

5. Deemer Class, Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.), Duke
Class is one of the leaders on the Loyola-Blakefield team and he plays with great intensity. The rising senior is a 2011 USL All-American, and was selected to tryout for the US Under 19 team. Other honors include First Team Towson Times, First Team All-State (MSLCA). The two-year varsity player tallied up 29 goals 25 assists for the Dons.

6. Matthew Florence, Kent Denver (Englewood, Colo.), Virginia
Florence is another example of how fast the game of lacrosse is building out west. The rising senior was selected to play for the US Under-19 team. And was named 2011 All American, First Team All State, and All-Colorado team.

7. Patric Berkery, Garden City (Garden City, N.Y.), Penn
The three-year varsity starter was named All-County and was selected to play for the Long Island underclass team at the Under Armour games. When Berkery has the ball, he runs over defenders trying to get close to the cage to score a goal.

8. Connor Reed, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), Johns Hopkins
The rising senior collected many accolades for his play this spring. Reed was named to the First Team All-WCAC and Washington Post All-Met. Gonzaga has won the WCAC the past two seasons and this year Reed was named team MVP.

9. Jake Matthai, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.), North Carolina
Matthai helped lead Gilman to their second MIAA title in three years this past spring, is a big kid at 6-foot-4 and runs the filed with grace. He has some really nice dodges and his shots on goal are something to see. Matthai can faceoff, he can play clamp-down defense and he can move the ball up field with precision. The Greyhound was named MSCLA Honorable Mention and was named to the Baltimore Under Armour underclass team.

10. Zach Wood, Metea Valley (Aurora, Ill.), Virginia
Wood is a rising senior and he has already become the top scorer in Illinois history. The Meta Valley middie has been a two-time All-State, an All-American selection, and was given the distinct honor of being captain of the All-Daily Herald Team. Wood is transitioning from attack to midfield and he has the tools to make the switch and be successful at the next level.

The Next Fifteen

11. Brian Sherlock, St. Anthony's (South Huntington, N.Y.), North Carolina
12. Joe Kruy, Phillips Andover (Andover, Mass.), Duke
13. Charlie Schnider, Landon (Bethesda, Md.), Maryland
14. Sam Rohr, Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.), Penn
15. Greg Rhodes, Chaminade, (Mineola, N.Y.), Duke
16. Patrick Worstell, San Ramon Valley (Danville, Calif.), Syracuse
17. Carlson Milikin, Woodberry Forest (Woodberry Forest, Va.), Virginia
18. Oliver Saffery, Wellesley (Wellesley, Mass.), Gettysburg
19. Tommy O'Neill, St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.), Penn State
20. Kelton Black, Calvert Hall (Baltimore, Md.), Johns Hopkins
21. Colin Flounlacker, Kent Island (Stevensville, Md.), Navy
22. Russ Atkinson, Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pa.), Navy
23. Zach Fixen, Palos Verdes (Palos Verdes, Calif.), Maryland
24. Griffin Cassagne, St. Mark's (Dallas, Texas), Phillips Exeter Academy (Prep Yr.)
25. Billy Heidt, Brunswick School (Greenwich, Conn.), Dartmouth