Players to Watch: Underclassmen

The final installment of our players to watch in 2017 series takes a look at the sophomore class. We came up with the 14 names below based on the same criteria we used for the juniors and seniors — league honors from last year, impressive statistics or performances from last year, and/or recommendation by their coaches.

Now, there obviously are other sophomores — and freshmen — who will make an impact this season. And there probably are other sophomores who made an impact last season. If you know of one, let us know in the comments below.

As for freshmen, we know of a bunch who will be playing varsity and, if things go right, making an impact. But there’s a big difference between eighth grade or U-15 and varsity in the Bay, Marmonte or Mission leagues, just for example. Rather than shine the spotlight on kids who haven’t played a single varsity game, we’ll wait and see how they do.

Here are some sophomores to watch in the coming season:

Attacks

  • Andrew Berg, Sierra Canyon: Missed most of the 2016 season with a broken jaw suffered in the first game; scored five goals vs. Brentwood in his return and two vs. Thousand Oaks in an overtime playoff loss.
  • Tyler Bradbury, Oak Park: (Pictured above, second from right.) Scored 43 points (second on the team) on 26 goals and 17 assists in 16 games.
  • Asher Early, Harvard Westlake: A primary scoring option for the Wolverines, Early made the Under Armour Underclass West team in the summer.
  • Josh Maruyama, Mira Costa: Coach Aaron Karsh said of Maruyama, “Silent but deadly and has really developed over the offseason.”
  • Lukas Roscoe, El Segundo: Scored 40 points as a freshman. A lefty who works well with senior Corey Lund.
  • Nick Reilly, Westlake: (Pictured above, far left.) The stats don’t say much — 6 goals, 13 assists as a freshman — but remember that Westlake’s starting attack line of Nick’ brother, Brett Reilly, Duke Cohen and Spencer Tyoran combined for 155 goals and 70 assists. The younger Reilly wasn’t asked to score, but he was on the field in crucial moments for a playoff semifinalst.
  • Jackson Wells, Newbury Park: Played only two games with the Panthers’ varsity last year, but he led the undefeated JV squad in points.

Logan Soelberg, Crespi
LSM/D Will Kupiec of Loyola and middie Logan Soelberg of Crespi are among a large group of sophomores to watch in 2017.

Middies

  • Sultan Daniels, Harvard Westlake: (Pictured above, far right.) Named second-team all-Mission as a short-stick defensive midfielder.
  • Speed Fry and Kaiser Fry, Palos Verdes: Twin brothers who transferred to PV from Loyola, both were selected to the Under Armour Underclass West team last summer.
  • Max Manyak, Oak Park: (Pictured above, second from left.) Another Under Armour Underclass West team member, Manyak scored 20 goals and had 4 assists in 14 games last spring. He committed to the University of Notre Dame in the offseason.
  • Logan Soelberg, Crespi: Scored seven goals in the Celts’ first seven games last year before breaking his collarbone. Finished with nine goals and an assist in 10 games. Announced his commitment to Maryland this week.

Defenders

  • Will Kupiec, Loyola: Coach Seth Cohen said LSM/D Kupiec played more minutes than any other freshman on the Cubs’ squad last year. He will be asked to do even more with the graduation of Tommy Riley and Max Neblina.
  • Neil Randall, Palos Verdes: Another in a long line of versatile long-pole defenders for the Sea Kings, Coach Jimmy Borell said Randall will get significant playing time this year.

Who did we miss? Hit us up in the comments below or on Twitter (@maxlaxla) and let us know.