Forty underclassmen from around the country took part in the Warrior 40 at Harvard University last week, and ESPN analyst Quint Kessenich singled out several players who have verbally committed to some area programs.
In the first of two reports for Inside Lacrosse, Kessenich, a contributor to The Sun, selected Navy recruit and midfielder Danny Simonetti as the second player who impressed him. Although a little undersized at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, Simonetti, who will graduate next spring, is a two-way player who should fit in with the Midshipmen’s work ethic. “Simonetti is a do-it-all type midfielder who can get ground balls, play defense, carry the pill in transition and possesses flawless stick with both hands,” Kessenich wrote. “He scored 17 goals and added 19 assists for Cold Spring Harbor [in New York] last spring. He will be the ideal complimentary midfielder on a well balanced line.”
Defenseman and Boys’ Latin graduate Mac Pons, who committed to Maryland, was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player even though he just completed his sophomore year. “He reminds me of current Denver Outlaw [and former Johns Hopkins defenseman] Matt Bocklet,” Kessenich wrote. “Both defenders are flawless off the ground, can match feet and lockdown dodgers from behind or up top and run the field in transition, carrying the ball with confidence. Having seen Pons play quite a bit as an underclassman, I’ve noticed a much more physical approach to his holds down at GLE. His off-ball decision making and communication skills have always been advanced.”
Johns Hopkins should be excited about long-stick midfielder Nick Fields, who will be a junior next season, according to Kessenich. “He is raw, aggressive, athletic, fast and improving every time he steps onto the field,” Kessenich wrote. “His ability to flank the ball carrier and pepper his arms and hands with checks makes dodging against him treacherous. His feet are his best skill. Time and [repetition] will refine his stick skills, allowing him to be more of a weapon in transition with the ball in his stick.”
Kessenich concluded the report by highlighting Loyola recruit and defenseman Justin Verratti. Kessenich said the future senior’s physical style of play could benefit him on the collegiate level. "The left-hander has a nasty and vicious hold and once he was able to stop a dodger’s momentum, it got ugly … in a good way for him,” Kessenich wrote. “He has a strong wrap check and was able to outmuscle all of the [attackmen] at the Warrior 40. Verratti sat out the spring 2011 season after transferring schools for academic reasons, and showed no signs of rust. He is an excellent recruit for Charley Toomey and the Loyola program.”