With another exciting ISL and Private School season underway, we take a closer look at our first Top 10 teams in our 2019 ISL/Private Top 10 Poll and Review.
Our 2019 MIAA Poll is in Week 2 now, with our first Overall Top 30 on the way this week.
This season we expanded our coverage to Massachusetts-based EIL schools and Independent, non-postgraduate private schools in Eastern Massachusetts.
Stay tuned for our weekly updates to the Top 10 ISL/Private rankings coming out regularly on Monday evenings throughout the season.
2019 ISL/Private School Season Preview & Season Opening Top 10
No. 1 St. Sebastian’s Arrows (4-0)
Coach: Adam White (3rd season Career record: 36-6)
Last year’s record: 17-3 overall (13-2, t-3 in ISL)
Team Strengths: Defense and Senior attackmen.
Team Captains: Will Frisoli, Peter Blake, Brian Piatelli
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Mac Fotiades (G), Will Frisoli D/LSM, Peter Blake (D), Jimmy Freehill (D), Brian Piatelli (A) and Mike Swirbalus (A)
Team Outlook: After graduating their top midfield line, FOGO, and D-Middie, the Arrows will rely on a youth movement between the lines. There is strength at defense with three starters and a goalie returning, and at attack with the team’s two leading scorers back for their senior seasons at attack. The big question will be if the team can win enough possessions and get the ball from the defensive side of the field to the offensive side of the field. After opening up with a swing through the Philadephia region over Spring break, the team will play New Hampton then focus on the ISL schedule.
Early Season Thoughts: Seb’s is off to a 4-0 start after picking up two big wins against Pennsylvania Prep Powers, Malvern Prep and Conestoga. They returned to defeat New Hampton and Nobles, 7-4, in a defensive battle to open their ISL season on Friday. Seb’s is loaded defensively and Michael Swirbalus and Brian Piatelli are off to big scoring seasons. Jack Rideout has also stepped in and done a nice job at the faceoff X for Seb’s.
No. 2 Belmont Hill School Hillies (2-0)
Coach: Tim Sullivan (10th season Career record: 114-29)
Last year’s record: 13-3 overall (13-2 in ISL, 2nd Place)
Team Strengths: Senior Leadership, 7 returning starters
Team Captains: Joe Goguen (Villanova) and Brodie Rayment (Amherst).
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Attack: Joe Goguen, Sr. Cam Rubin, Jr. Midfielders: Brodie Rayment, Sr. Cam Reirden, Jr. Defense: Blake Brookes, Jr. Grant Litchfield, So. LSM: Trey Brown, So.
Team Outlook: Belmont Hill graduated an outstanding senior class that won three ISL Championships and lost only six ISL games in four years. According to Coach Sullivan, “Our team goal is to give our best effort, compete and improve every day. The ISL across is as deep, talented and competitive as it has been in my decade in the league. The level of talent by the players is outstanding. For each team, all 15 games will be a challenge and whoever wins the league at the end of the season will have earned it.”
Early Season Thoughts: Belmont Hill starts a new goalie, replacing graduated All-American Danny Hincks (Dartmouth) and junior Quinn Richards looks up to the tall task. With balance and skill all over the field, BH is off to a 2-0 start with one goal wins over Avon Old Farms and Thayer.
No. 3 The Governor’s Academy Governors (2-1)
Head Coach: Steve Moreland (2nd season at Govs)
Last year’s record: 15-2 overall (14-1, ISL Co-Champs)
Team Strengths: Senior leadership – 11 seniors on the squad.
Team Captains: Tim Roberts, Luke Moriarty, and Jack Wood
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Jack Wood, Joey Bradley, Alex Duncan, CJ Baroni, Zadoc White, Sam Winneg, Nick Ingemi, Shane O’Leary, Peyton O’Leary, Nathan Laliberte, Tim Roberts, Luke Moriarty, Pat Flaherty, Cam Kennedy, Kyle Gaffey, Todd Kennedy
Newcomers to Varsity: Brian Barlotta, Sean Ryan, Ty Belville, Max Arnold, Ian Olenik, Blake Weldon, James Gelb, Charlie Rainer, Drake Wheelden.
Team Outlook: Gov’s returns their starting defense and goalie and should be solid on the defensive side of the ball. Four of our top five goal scorers graduated last season, led by attackman Zach Ludd (Ohio State) and middie Brendan Jordan (Colgate), so they will need guys to step up and replace that offensive production. Nate Laliberte’s return at the faceoff X is a game-changer and should provide Gov’s with their fair share of possessions.
Early Season Thoughts: Gov’s has got off to a 2-1 start with wins over Phillips Exeter and St. George’s and a loss to Avon Old Farms. The reigning ISL Co-Champs dive into their ISL schedule this week, highlighted by a big Friday night (7:45 p.m.) contest against Belmont Hill at Regis College.
No. 4 Rivers Red Wings (4-1)
Head Coach: Justin Walker (17th Season 180-91 record)
Last year’s record: (10-5 in ISL t-5th)
Team Strengths: Team Defense, Depth and Experienced Midfield.
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Outlook: Chris Bucking (M), Tommy Miller (M), Johnny Kanataros (LSM), Aidan Van Duzer (M), Charlie Peck (D), Ryan Rahanby (D), Pat Mahoney (G), and Christian Bosse (M).
Team Outlook: Rivers returns talented midfield and defensive groups, along with an experienced goalie in Pat Mahoney. The Red Wings have depth, experience, and skilled players and they will be looking to earn their first ISL title in 10 seasons. The attack group could be young, but Rivers will mix in experience with some youth to build a successful unit throughout the season.
Early Season Thoughts: Rivers is off to a 3-1 start, and their defense and goalie play have been up to the task early, holding their opponents to single-digit outputs in their three wins. Young attackmen Nick Bell (freshman) and Joey Kraft (sophomore) have pitched in well, along with the standout offensive play of Chris Bucking who leads the ISL in scoring early in the season.
No. 5 Noble and Greenough Bulldogs (0-4)
Head Coach: Matt Rowley
Last year’s record and finish in ISL: 16-4 Overall (14-1, ISL Co-Champions)
Team Strengths: Senior Leadership
Team Captains: Will Zink & Andrew Johnson
Returning Standouts, Starters or Lettermen: Wil Zink (A), Andrew Johnson (D), Nick Taylor (M), Dan Donahue (G), Ollie Bernstein (M) & John Dixon (FO).
Pre-season Outlook: After an ISL Championship season, Nobles graduated 11 seniors, including two immediate impact NCAA D1 middies in Nick Loring (Harvard) and Jett Dziama (Boston University). The 2019 season offers a ton of opportunity for younger players as Nobles goes through the process of building a team identity while leveraging the culture that last year’s senior left behind.
Early Season Thoughts: Nobles is winless to start 2019, but we do not anticipate that being the case for too long. A rigorous schedule to start the season could prove to be beneficial for the Bulldogs again this season. Sophomore attackman David Jacobs, freshman attackman Chad Palumbo, and junior middie Cole Van Meter have all had strong starts to the season, along with junior defenseman Pierce Kenney.
No. 6 Pingree School Hylanders (3-1)
Head Coach: Kevin Tersolo (90-31 career record)
Last year’s record: 16-3 overall (EIL 9-0 – 1st place)
Team Strengths: Balanced offensively and defensively
Team Captains: Grant Latimer, Mike Pissanelli and Charlie Nowell
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Charlie Nowell Sr, Grant Latimer Sr, Mike Pissanelli Sr, Tucker Spencer Sr, John Crehan Jr, Brendan Driscoll Jr, David Taylor Jr, Chris Deblasio Jr, Kyle McCarthy Soph, Jake Candelino Jr, and Hogan Rose
Newcomers: Colton Fahey Jr, Hazen Pike Soph, Jack Feeks Fr, Jack Savioe Fr, Tyler Howe Fr, Hudson Durant Fr.
Pre-Season Outlook: This season Pingree has a very well-balanced team. The Hylanders have a tough schedule, playing Middlesex, Brewster Academy, Bridgton Academy, Philips Exeter, New Hampton, Proctor Academy, Moses Brown, and Thayer Academy, among others. Tersolo believes he has a talented group of players that are up for the challenge.
Early Season Thoughts: Pingree is off to a great start to the season, with wins over Middlesex, Thayer, and St. Paul’s. Latimer and Pissanelli have been fantastic to start the season and the Hylanders have received standout performances from Spencer, Nowell, and numerous others, in their victories.
No. 7 Middlesex School Zebras (1-2)
Head coach: Doug Worthen – 10 – 7 (2nd year, 10 years as an Assistant).
Last Year’s record: 10-7 overall (10-5 ISL t-5th)
Team strengths: Young (12 seniors lost to graduation) hardworking, and talented group that plays well together.
Team captain: Zack Goorno ’19 (midfield, committed to play lacrosse at Bowdoin)
Returning starters and key contributors from 2018: Zach Goorno ’19, Alex Rivet ’19, Cole Nye ’20, Harry Friedman ’20, Liam Tasker ’20, Mike Allieri ’20, George Fulton ’21, Will McCarthy ’21
Promising returning players who did not start in 2018 and newcomers to varsity: Henry Andres ’19, Casey Gillis ’19, Ben Friedman ’20, Charlie Mehm ’21, and Max Bensley ’21.
Team Outlook: Looking ahead to 2019, Middlesex is a young team, but also a talented group. The Zebras have many skilled players all over the field and they expect to compete with all of their opponents in 2019.
Early Season Thoughts: Middlesex dropped a close, one-goal game to Pingree to open the season, but bounced back nicely with a win over St. Mark’s last week. A strong performance in a scrimmage against MIAA D2 power Concord-Carlisle should help boost the Zebras into week two, where they face Tabor in a big ISL matchup, on Wednesday.
No. 8 Brooks School Bishops (2-0)
Head Coach: Dean Charpentier
Last year’s record: 6-12 overall (5-10 ISL t-10th)
Team Strengths: Defense and Experience
Team Captains: Mike Hughes, Nick Fuglione, Owen Borek
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Mike Hughes (LSM), Owen Borek (D), Nick Fuglione, (M) Ben Gill (A), and Charlie Paras (G).
Team Outlook: Brooks is led by 2-time captain, All-ISL player, and BostonLax All-All-American Mike Hughes ’19 LSM (Providence College commitment), along with fellow tri-Captains; Nick Fulgione (midfielder and Franklin & Marshall commitment), and Owen Borek ’19 (defenseman and Providence College commitment). They return Paras in net and have proven middies and attackmen returning to balance the roster.
Early Season Thoughts: Brooks opened 2019 with two strong wins over St. Paul’s and Tabor. Brooks attackman Judge Murphy has been a welcomed addition, after transferring from Thayer, prior to this season. Murphy gives Brooks a scoring and playmaking attackman, along with senior Connor Silva and company up front.
No. 9 Tabor Academy Seawolves (2-1)
Coach: RJ Swift (2nd Season) Career record: 9-9
Last year’s record and finish in ISL: (9-9, t-7th Place)
Team Strengths: Offensive Depth
Team Captains: Owen Rudicus and Xander de Roetth
Team Outlook: An infusion of young talent coupled with strong returners have us very excited about the upcoming season. With the return of all ISL Defensemen Xander de Roetth (St. Lawrence Commit) on the defensive end, it allows Tabor to have strong leadership on the back end. Up front, Tabor returns ISL honorable mention players Brian Wiles (Canisius Commit) and Jake Peluso coupled with the return of Will Hoyt and Owen Rudicus. The strong goalie play of senior George Whitney (Ohio Wesleyan) last season gives the Seawolves an experienced netminder.
Early Season Thoughts: Freshman Aidan O’Neil has been as advertised, as the young attackman has been impressive for the Seawolves to start the season. Tabor began the season with wins over Proctor and Dexter and recently dropped a 10-7 game to Brooks. With every game being important in the ISL moving forward, expect Tabor to be in the mix at the top throughout the season.
No. 10 Thayer Academy Tigers (0-2)
Coach: Ben Rubeor (1st Season)
Last year’s record: 7-11 (Thayer). Coach Rubeor at Loyola Blakefield, 14-6 (ranked #10 in Nation)
Team Strengths: Thayer has a small, but strong group of senior leaders and a number of young players, who earned experience on the varsity last year. The team returns 7 of 10 starters at key positions.
Team Captains: Aidan Gallagher ’19 & Jay Nolen ’19
Returning Starters/Key Contributors in 2018: Thayer returns two All-ISL Players (2nd Team) on the defensive end in Aidan Gallagher (G) and Jay Nolen (D). They will be relied upon to lead a group of experienced, but young players in the midfield and attack.
Team Outlook: Thayer is a lacrosse program who won the ISL Championship in 2014. The Tigers have a group of hungry players and a new head coach that will look to improve daily and reach their potential. The mixture of young players with some key veterans could make for a successful recipe, along with the guidance of Rubeor, who is also an assistant coach with the Boston Cannons, and staff.
Early Season Thoughts: Despite starting the season 0-2 there is a lot of positive feelings around the Thayer program and among the league’s coaches. Thayer lost their second game of the season, by a score of 8-7, to league power Belmont Hill and have received balanced contributions from their young players and veterans to start the season. A gauntlet stretch of games will be tough to navigate through for Thayer in the short term, but by the end of the season, we expect the Tigers to be one of the top rising programs in the ISL.
Next 3 Up: Groton School, Dexter School, and Roxbury Latin.