Midwest Select Top 20 Players, Top 10 Schools of the Midwest

Midwest Select Lacrosse brings together top lacrosse players in the region to compete at elite summer tournaments on the East Coast each summer. In our first year, 25 players committed to some of the best schools in the nation. For the 2014 season, we offer our selection of the Midwest's top 20 players and top 10 high school programs.

1. Joel Tinney Culver Academies (IN) '14, Midfield, Johns Hopkins
After an impressive career with the Midwest's #1 high school program, Tinney will join the storied Johns Hopkins lacrosse program. With a cannon of a shot rarely missing the back of the goal Tinney has made a name for himself as an aggressive, dynamic player who is simply an astounding athlete. A two-way midfielder who is tenacious on defense and a constant threat on offense, Tinney strikes fear in the heart of defensemen everywhere. He is by far the best midfielder in the Midwest and perhaps the entire country. He should have no problem contending for field time with the Blue Jays.

2. Matt Neufeldt Culver Academies (IN) '14, LSM, Maryland
Matt Neufeldt has made his name in the game by being an all-around competitor. The lefty LSM is a ground ball machine, better at picking up the ball than any LSM we've seen. Additionally, his speed and ability to start transitions and defend some of the top middies in the Midwest make him a force to be reckoned with. Neufeldt tore his ACL last year but is recovering quickly. It will be interesting to see how he does this season. Given his work ethic and natural ability, his comeback should be one to watch this spring.

3. James Riley St. Thomas Academy (MN) '14, Defense, Duke
What does a coach look for in a defenseman? A big, strong, athletic player who can stay with his opponent and shut him down, and Riley is precisely that kind of defenseman. His size, speed, strength, and athleticism make him one of the top d-men in the region. Riley is always matched up against the top attackmen, and he rarely lets his guy get by. We're looking forward to seeing him play at Duke, where he should definitely see playing time early in his career.

4. Riley Thompson Culver Academies (IN) '14, Attack, Princeton
One of the smartest and most skilled players on the field today, Thompson is proof that good things come in small packages. Standing only 5'6", he is shifty around the net and will have the ball in the goal before you realize he's no longer in front of you. Thompson's skills go beyond the stick; he has great feet and vision, allowing him to see the field and make good split-second decisions and adjustments. He anchors Culver's offense, serving as quarterback of the team. This is only the beginning of what promises to be a successful playing career, as he heads east to play for Coach Bates next fall at Princeton.

5. Pierre Byrne Culver Academies '14, Midfield/Attack, Notre Dame
Everyone knows you have to work hard to be the best, but there is something to be said for natural talent, and Byrne is the perfect combination of both. There is no mistaking that he is fast and a gifted athlete, but Byrne is also incredibly versatile. He's strong with both hands, can always run by his guy, and has great change of direction. Byrne brings a quiet confidence to the game and has been a major contributor to the Culver prep team's success. Next year he'll return to South Bend, his hometown, to play for the Irish, continuing his reign in the Midwest as one of the best players in the game.

6. Matthew Giampetroni Cranbrook High School (MI) '14, Midfield, Duke
Giampetroni will fit right in at Duke this fall if his high school stats are any indication. As a junior, he had 85 goals and 42 assists, bringing his three-year totals to 177 and 112, respectively. And while he has size and speed, Giampetroni has the IQ and vision to back it up. He can shoot on the run with both hands, and his Junior A box league improved his finishing skills in tight. We agree with the #1 team in the country; he has what it takes.

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