Over the course of December, ULAX has been counting down the Top 25 (out of 265) men’s field teams of 2019 from ULAX leagues around North America.
The selection and ranking process of these teams was a collaborative effort between the ULAX city managers and ULAX founders Tim Leonard and Neema Kassaii. They considered the following factors: strength of schedule, championships won, playoff appearances/resume, and other relevant factors such as team composition and history. As you can imagine, this wasn’t an easy undertaking given the sheer volume of teams in the immense network of ULAX leagues, especially since most teams from different leagues within the network never played head-to-head. After hours of deliberation and debate, this ULAX committee selected a list that they believe fairly and accurately ranks the best ULAX teams of 2019.
Powell Lacrosse is proud to present the full Top 25 list. Enjoy!
25. Men with Sticks (Toronto, ON)
Representing Canada, Men with Sticks are a team defined purely by offensive pressure and ball possession. Defense is more of an afterthought for this squad (think NBA). They claimed the summer ’19 championship in Toronto behind offensive leaders McNein Hewitt (Lindenwood – 11G, 9A), Matthew McKenna (Laurentian – 9G, 3A) and Marc Piovesan (13 goals, 5 assists). Hewitt, McKenna and Piovesan helped control the offense in tight games and worked together to apply constant offensive pressure, leading the MWS to a 4-1 regular season and 2-0 playoff run. The Canadians have a knack for playing instinctive team ball on the offensive and defensive ends as demonstrated by this MWS squad, which posted 60 goals in just five regular season games.
24. Magic Johnsons (Denver, CO)
The Magic Johnsons claimed the Denver summer ’19 league title in large part due to the grit and hustle of several work horses who played college ball at Colorado State University. These boys were solid on defense and an excellent transition team. Led by CSU laxers Josh O’Connell, Matthew Henson, Alex Creech and Gabe Remshardt on offense, the team showed toughness throughout the course of the hot summer season in Denver. They could score in a hurry, flipping the momentum when they needed it most. Joe Whitmore (CSU) was solid between the pipes, which helped round out a very stingy defense.
23. Brooklyn Dodgers LC (New York, NY)
Formed by captain Rudy Martinez in 2007, the Brooklyn Dodgers LC have been a mainstay in the New York City division, competing year round in both field and box leagues hosted in the Big Apple. Given their history, the team plays with great chemistry and always finding creative ways to get their young newer talent in the mix. The Dodgers secured a spot in this year’s top 25 as a result of claiming the NYC spring ’19 championship on an improbable run that saw them take down a couple other top teams from this year’s Top 25. They followed up their successful spring season with a deep run in the summer league playoffs where they lost in the championship.
Some notable players on this squad include: Ryan Bohlert (Molloy, Spring ’19 League MVP, Summer ’19 Team MVP), Glen Trachtenberg (UVM, Fall ’19 Team MVP), Andrew Aumiller, Kohta Kurashima (Team Japan, MLL Outlaws), Rich “the Hammer” Lou, Kirby Zdrill (Yale), Drew Wichmann (Binghamton), Bryant Portwood (Centre College) and Anthony Lapuma (Briarcliffe).
22. Ville-N’s (Long Island, NY)
The Ville-N’s were mostly an afterthought in a highly stacked Long Island division, which is arguably one of the most competitive ULAX divisions. After the team went 3-2 in the regular season, they began to click at the right time going 2-1 in the playoffs where they notched a single goal victory against the heavily favored West Conn (4-1) team in the semi-finals and lost by just one goal in the championship to the defending champs, Dirty Dawgs. In games that mattered, the Ville’N’s stepped up and showed they could run with anyone, which landed them a spot in this year’s top 25. No surprise given the talent on their team, including Summer ‘19 Team MVP Brandon Riley (St. Joseph’s College), Danny DeSanti (Army), Dan Riley (Smithtown West HS), Stephen Panno (Oneonta), EJ Suris (Plattsburgh State), Jason DeBenedictis (St. John’s), Nick Albanese (Sacred Heart) and Goalie Spencer Nolan (Buffalo).
21. Otterpops (Phoenix, AZ)
The Otterpops are a team known for their potent offense and aggressive/stingy defense, tallying 152 goals in 15 games in 2019 and only allowing 66 goals over that same stretch (for all you math whizzes, that’s an average of 10.13 goals for and 4.4 goals against per game). This team has really established itself as one of the elite teams in the Phoenix division and the ULAX network in general. They’ve been on a dominant run over the past three years posting a 45-2 record since 2017. Captain Ian Grey (UMBC) has meticulously recruited some of Phoenix’s most talented laxers to create this perennial powerhouse: Pat Harbeson (UVA, PLL Redwoods, Spring ’19 Team Co-MVP), Dan Davis (Arizona State, Spring ’19 Team Co-MVP), John Perlite (Arizona State, Fall ’19 Team MVP), Ian Connell, (Arizona State) Nick Hillier (Arizona State), Payson Clark (Arizona State), Zach Scarano (Arizona State) and Dan Kerch (Robert Morris). Although they found themselves in a few close games in 2019, they always found a way to prevail, claiming the spring and fall league titles in Phoenix and the number 21 spot in this year’s Top 25.
20. Dead Rabbits LC (New York, NY)
DRLC Captain Harry Anscher (Boston College) started playing in the ULAX NYC league as a free agent a couple years ago, but quickly became buddies with a few players on his team, which then snowballed into the formation of the DRLC. Today, Anscher and the DRLC regularly organize 1-2 teams for each league in the NYC division and are just as regularly competing for a league title. After a relatively strong showing in the spring ’19 season where they went 5-2, losing in the semis to the eventual champs, the DRLC went on to claim the NYC summer ’19 championship. They followed up a great summer season with a 6-0 start in the fall, eventually losing in the semis to the fall ball runner up. This year’s DRLC squad had plenty of talented laxers on their squad including: Andrew Teichmann (RPI, Summer ’19 League MVP, Fall ’19 Team Co-MVP), Aaron Shavel (RPI, Fall ’19 Team MVP), Frank Morelli (Bucknell, Spring ’19 Team MVP), Jack Allard (Bates), Cameron Lao-Gosney (Lehigh), Roman Lao-Gosney (Lehigh), Dave Franklin (Emory, Team Israel), Matt Altman (Vassar) and Wyatt Devine (Washington & Lee). #MoreFun
19. Moff’s Team (Marlton, NJ)
Moff’s Team jumped on to the ULAX scene in our inaugural summer league in South Jersey this year. They swept the league with a 5-0 record and a championship title, all with a 58/20 scoring differential. We can’t wait to see if this talented group can repeat in 2020. They were anchored by Sean Sonnie (Lycoming) in net with a league high 0.67 save percentage. They were led on offense by team MVP Collin Fogerty (NJIT) as well as Ryan Raftery (RPI), Ryan Field (Elizabethtown), Eric Sherman (NJIT), and Jordan Hayes (Towson).
18. EX-LAXers (Buffalo, NY)
The EX-LAXers are a Buffalo ULAX dynasty. They have been in the league since the inaugural season in 2014 and have played in five of the six league championship games since then, winning three of them. In the most recent summer league, the EX-LAXers went 8-1 (6-0 regular season, 2-1 playoffs), losing a close game to a strong Rickan team in the chip, which is what landed them the #18 spot in this year’s top 25. The team has been anchored by veteran players like Jon Curry (Keuka College) in goal and their attackmen trio from Medaille College: Sean Murray, Kevin Bozzella and Joe Glieco. They continue to add top notch talent each year to keep their roster fresh and competing at a high level with the likes of former/current Canisius players Lex Oakes, CJ Goss, Trevor Folsom, and Jon Phillips as well as Dominic Perna (Mercyhurst) and Kellen Pulera (Marist). Other teams from the Buffalo division know to bring their A game when matched up against this solid squad.
17. Mesh Monsters (New York, NY)
Like a few other teams in this year’s Top 25, the Mesh Monsters claimed their spot as a top team of ’19 as a result of “clicking at the right time.” Namely, after limping into the NYC fall ball playoffs with a 3-2 record as the four seed, the Mesh Monsters went on a run, dominating the five seed in the quarterfinals and upsetting the undefeated one seed in the semi-finals. The Monsters went on to lose by only a couple of goals to a very talented Gotham Goats team in the championship game. Some key players on this year’s Mesh Monsters squad include: Cam Williams (Colgate, Fall ’19 Team MVP), Zach Badalucco (Marist), Jake Weil (Dartmouth), and former Union College players Ted McKenna, Adam Sands, Matt Livingston and Zach Weil.
16. Lake Tapps Titans (Seattle, WA)
The Lake Tapps Titans came onto the scene this past summer and claimed the Seattle summer league title in their very first season in the league. This team is comprised of an array of DI-MCLA laxers and quickly became known for their strong offensive prowess. Led on the offensive end by Quinault Mackey (Utah, Summer ’19 League MVP), who posted 13 goals and 4 assists in the summer, the team has a knack for finding the back of the net. After losing to the Seattle Lacrosse Club twice in the regular season, the Lake Tapps Titans were able to pull together and tear it up for the upset in the ’19 summer league championship. They stunned just about everyone in the league and which lead to their appearance in this year’s Top 25. A few other notable players on this squad include: Michael Lucchesi (University of Tampa), Hassan Mackey (Eastern University) and David Pugh (Ohio Wesleyan).
15. Fighting Cocks (Annapolis, MD)
The Fighting Cocks cruised to an undefeated regular season, posting 72 goals while only allowing 19 goals against. This comes as no surprise given that they are stacked with DI talent on both ends of the field. They fell short of perfection when they dropped their only game of the season in the Annapolis summer league championship to the Annapolis Alumni despite beating them the first time the teams faced off. Among the top players on this roster are Taylor Bohanon (UMBC), Josh Coffman (Maryland), Garrett Degnon (Johns Hopkins), Rich Dion (Delaware), Garrett Leadmon (Duke), Alex Reno (Towson), JQ Stramanak (Cornell) and Aleric Fyock (Penn State). We can’t wait to see if they can pull off an undefeated season in 2020.
14. Seattle Lacrosse Club (Seattle, WA)
With a mixed group of former DI, DII, DIII and MCLA laxers, SLC brought a talented group to the Seattle division in 2019. They went 13-1 throughout the summer and fall leagues with their only loss coming to the Lake Tapps Titans in the summer league championship game. SLC has been a force in the Seattle division, having won 27 of 28 games that they have played in since joining in the summer of 2018. The team boasts a deadly defense led by shut-down defensemen Greg Fierro (Fall ’19 League MVP), Will Carson (Boston University) and Spencer Evans (Denver); and an obtuse offense led by Kevin Powers (Dominican, Team Sweden), Matt Marino (Denver), Forrest Walter (Colgate) and Matt Sauri (Summer ’19 Team MVP).
13. Green Goblins (Columbus, OH)
The Green Goblins are a force to be reckoned with in the Columbus division. Since joining this competitive division in the summer of 2018, the Green Goblins have gone 15-1 with their only loss coming in the summer ’18 championship game. In the summer ‘19 league, they made a living off of their draw and dump offense, which resulted in 63 goals on the season. After going undefeated in the regular season of the summer ’19 league, the Goblins went on to claim the summer league title. Their offensive firepower was complemented by a strong defense, which allowed only 31 goals. The team possesses a high lax IQ across the board with great depth at all positions. Notable players from their 2019 squad include: Patrick Riffee (Ohio State), Juan Contreras (Otterbein), Connor Igoe (Jacksonville), Drew Roper (Penn State), Seth Caudill (Wittenberg), Mark Crawford (Ohio State), Brad Marcotte (Ohio Wesleyan), Matt Staudinger (Wittenberg) and Adam Gunter (St. Vincent).
12. Rickan (Buffalo, NY)
Team Rickan jumped into the Buffalo division in the summer of 2019. The team was formed by the four Rickan brothers (Grant, Brent (Medaille), Blake (Canisius) and Eric (Canisius) who made the call to arms to their former teammates to create this highly competitive team. The familiarity and chemistry this team had with one another coming into the season was undoubtedly the biggest contributor to their success. Between their stellar defense and seemingly endless arsenal on offense, they quickly made their presence known in Buffalo (and now nationwide!) by claiming the Buffalo summer league title in their very first season. Team leaders include Colin Greenway (Mercyhurst) and a core of former/current Canisius players like Mike Carbone (Summer ’19 League MVP), who put up more points (30G, 6A) in one season than many teams, Blake Rickan, John McCain, goalie Brad Nordstrom, and face-off man Steven Wizniuk.
11. No Scrubs (Chicago, IL)
No Scrubs consists of a few workhorses like Jack Grady (Furman), Alex Hultgren (Buffalo), Tom Owen (Buffalo), Austin Frederick (Villanova), Sean Coyne (Depauw) and Charlie Yorke (Depauw) who served as the glue that kept the team together. In Chicago, they referred to it as the Michael Jordan effect where everyone became better because of these select players. In addition to their workhorses, the team was very strong at the face-off x and had two solid goalies Connor Patterson (Depauw) and Ryan Wilson who stood on their heads in cage on a weekly basis. Not to mention, they had strong numbers week in and week out with everyone committing to coming out to represent their squad. The overall chemistry gelled as the season progressed and the whole became better than the sum of its parts. As a result, they were able to defeat the Chicago Lacrosse Club, snapping their two year undefeated streak, in the summer league championship.
10. Annapolis Alumni (Annapolis, MD)
This team was led by a majority of players who grew up playing the creator’s game in and around Annapolis, which is known as one of the premier lacrosse hotbeds in the country. After dropping two games in the regular season, both to the unbeaten #15 Fighting Cocks squad, this team earned its stripes by taking down the Cocks in the summer ’19 championship. Among the local talent on this team are Pat Brennan (UMBC), John Connor (Navy), Zach Missel (Limestone), Scott Mitchell (Stevenson), Joseph Rotolone (Limestone) and Evan Skinner (Essex).
9. San Diego LC (San Diego, CA)
The San Diego Lacrosse Club has posted an undefeated 22-0 record since 2018. [2018 winter (7-0), 2018 fall (8-0), 2019 spring (8-0)]. None of the teams in the San Diego division have been able to take these guys down. They are a smart and well rounded team. Led by team captain Joshua Nelson (Mizzou), this squad’s top players include: Evan Bloom (Dartmouth), Christopher Carr (Air Force), Sam Cunard (Lehigh), Mikey Diggs (St. Vincent, @DiggsTape), Buck McClure (Providence), Chandler Millstone (Colgate), Jacob Weidner (RPI), Jay Carlson (Maryland, PLL Whipsnakes) and are anchored in cage by Parker Smith (RPI). Will someone be able to snap their win streak in 2020? Or will SDLC continue to dominate?
8. Broski (Los Angeles, CA)
Brett Tietjen (@losangelescobras) is a veteran player and coach who oversees team Broski. This group has won the championship six seasons in a row in Los Angeles, posting a 34-2 record since 2018. This is a team comprised of great veteran and young players. Veterans direct traffic on defense with John Brakso (Loyola) and JD Johnson (Michigan) leading an always strong defense in front of goalie Morgan Wietemier (Southern New Hampshire). Meanwhile, younger players, like current college standouts Nick Mohler (Boston U), Tommy Riley and Pat Casani (Marquette), help keep the tempo up. At midfield the team is led by Alex Jessup (Hobart) and Jack Vonarb (Rollins). The attack is led by JP Hatch (Michigan) and Ryder Mora (Maryland and USC).
7. Chicago Lacrosse Club (Chicago, IL)
Chicago Lacrosse Club has had a very deep and talented roster in the Chicago division for a number of years. Every player on this squad can sting you irrespective of whether they are on the first, second or third line; and they regularly dominate the face-off x so they are always in control, possessing the ball early and often. The CLC had gone undefeated (36-0) for four straight seasons before being upset by a strong No Scrubs squad this past summer [Spring ‘18 (7-0), Summer ‘18 (8-0), Fall ‘18 (7-0), Spring ‘19 (7-0), Summer ‘19 (7-1)]. This squad has a wide array of talented players, including: Team Captain PJ Dallman (Wooster), Charlie Mayne (Nazareth), Mike Olentine (Princeton), Charles Hildebrand (Bates), Andrew Wilfgong (Lynchburg), Geoff Stark (MLL Machine), Cole Barrett (Lynchburg), James DeCrispino (Wooster) and the GOAT, Casey Powell.
6. Chowdaheads (Boston, MA)
Chowdaheads were stacked from end to end. Between the pipes goalies Bobby Riso (Michigan) and Jamieson Breig (Tufts) were league leaders in save percentage, and together allowed only 15 goals the entire season. Meanwhile the attack was led by Thomas Berle-Carman (Oberlin, Boston Summer ’19 League MVP) who posted an unbelievable 20 goals and 5 assists. Griffin Cappelletti (Oberlin) added 14 goals, 3 assists of his own and together the two Oberlin players consistently kept finding the back of the net. The transition game was strong with many fast break opportunities that made the Chowdaheads the most dangerous team in the Boston division. They went undefeated and easily captured the ’19 summer championship.
5. Gotham Goats (New York, NY)
The Gotham Goats were founded by the Goat Fathers Charlie Davidson (Williams) and Jim Wiederhold (Marist) in 2007 and have been competing in the competitive NYC division, which has several teams in our Top 25, ever since. After losing in the spring ’19 championship to a talented Brooklyn Dodgers LC, the Goats claimed the ever-elusive NYC fall ball “world” championship this past fall. Having played together for such a long period of time, this team has great team chemistry on both ends of the field. It also doesn’t hurt that they have a seemingly endless pipeline of talent joining the mix each season.
Some notable players on this squad include NYC Fall ’19 League MVP Ryan Molloy (Tufts), Ryan Ambler (Princeton, PLL Archers), John Minieri (Canisius), Danny O’Connell (Villanova), Dillon Walker (Marist), Thomas Gavin (Penn), Matt McMahon (Penn, PLL Archers, Team USA) and a trio of talented goalies in Andrew Butturini (St. Lawrence, NYC Fall ’19 Team MVP), Shane Doss (Notre Dame, MLL Launch), and Nick Marrocco (Georgetown, MLL Cannons).
4. Dirty Dawgs (Long Island, NY)
The Dirty Dawgs have claimed back-to-back league championships in Long Island. The team has posted a 14-1 record since 2018 [2018 summer (8-0), 2019 summer (6-1)] in a highly competitive division. The Dawgs were led on offense by the League MVP Will Snelders (LIU), who posted 15 goals, 4 assists, as well as Matthew Cossidente (Pace) who ended the season with 10 goals and 2 assists. What earned this team’s place in the Top 5 is their resume of quality wins. The Long Island division is widespread with top lacrosse talent and somehow the Dawgs have been able to amass key victories in numerous one-goal games in order to prevail, demonstrating that they are one of the most difficult teams to take down in Long Island and all of ULAX.
3. North County Saute (Fairfield County, CT)
North County Saute entered the Fairfield division playoffs as a one-loss #3 seed. They barely edged out a strong #2 SolarUp! team in the semifinals before defeating the perennial powerhouse Hammeredheads to win the 2019 Fairfield summer championship. In addition to several St. Lawrence University players, this squad is comprised of a wide array of talent, including Harrison Bardwell (Cornell), Owen Callahan (Colgate), Skyler Celotto (Emerson), Mike Ponzio (Limestone), Jae Stuhlman (Ithaca), and Zach Zeyher (UMASS). Winning the championship in the Fairfield division carries a lot of weight and, as a result, earned this team a spot in this year’s Top 5.
2. Magerks (Baltimore, MD)
Magerks competed in the competitive Baltimore division and feature strong collegiate talent. After losing the season opener by a goal to a talented East Coast Dyes (“ECD”) squad, the Magerks went on a dominant run and took it to ECD in the championship game to claim the summer ’19 title. Key players on this squad include Chris Corsiglia (Towson), Reed Delanois (Bucknell), Roland Epps (Limestone), Andrew Florenzo (Maryland), Jordan Germershausen (Loyola), Hunter Moreland (Johns Hopkins- ranked #11 all time at JHU for face-off attempts), and are anchored in goal by Kolby Caplin (Towson). Baltimore is one of lacrosse’s greatest hotbeds and the Magerks represent Charm City well as they land at #2.
1. Team Majin (Philadelphia, PA)
Team Majin is the epitome of a men’s league dynasty. Since 2016, Team Majin has won 4 summer league championships in Philly with a 211 GF / 67 GA scoring differential. This squad hangs their hat on physical play and superb stick skills that are apparent in all facets of the game. Led by captain George Downey (Marywood), this team shows out each summer with a large squad of talented players from top to bottom. Some of the standout players include: Attackmen TJ White (Elmira) and George Downey, Midfielders Evan Downey (Cabrini) and Ben Tuscai (Immaculata), Defenseman Thomas Carfagna (Chestnut Hill), and goalies Jesse Habich (Marywood) and Liam Ferry (Albright). They have won the championship four years in a row and in four years they’ve posted a 29-1 (2016-2019). [2016 (8-0), 2017 (7-1), 2018 (6-0), 2019 (8-0)]
Congratulations to Team Majin on being named the #1 Men’s Field ULAX team of 2019!
In addition to the Top 25 rankings, here are the top 26-40 teams that just missed the cut:
Think your team should have been ranked higher? Was your team not ranked at all?
Let us know why your ULAX team should be in the Top 25 in the comments.
Want to play some of these teams from across the country and prove who the #1 team really is?
Start planning for ULAX’s Liberty Cup tournament held on the last weekend of July in New York City where ULAX teams from around North America are invited to compete for bragging rights.
Visit the link below for more information:
We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for ULAX teams all over North America.