NAL’s 2026 Midfield Standouts from the Northeast
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The annual North American Lacrosse fall event was chock-full of intriguing midfield prospects in the Class of 2026, so now that we’ve already broken down the top attackmen from the Northeast, it’s time to highlight six of the top middies…
The annual North American Lacrosse fall event was chock-full of intriguing midfield prospects in the Class of 2026, so now that we’ve already broken down the top attackmen from the Northeast, it’s time to highlight six of the top middies from Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.
Teddy Budreski, M, Winchester (Mass.) | 3d New England
It’s easy to appreciate what Budreski brings to the table, and it doesn’t take long to feel his impact on the outcome of a game. At one point during his two-goal outing against DC Express, the powerful 6’0, 185-pound middie caused a turnover in his squad’s defensive zone and darted upfield for a coast-to-coast in impressive fashion. Budreski, who earned All-Conference honors as a freshman, played hard at all times and continued to turn hard-nosed defense into offense with his awareness and decision-making.
, M, Chaminade (N.Y.) | LI Express
Possessing a motor that doesn’t stop, Gillis has a nose for the goal and a relentless style of play that his team feeds off of, and it comes as no surprise that he’s already assembled a strong body of work. The lanky 6’1 lefty has a quick first step and experience playing attack, so he’s quite an asset when inverting in addition to being a threat down the alleys and when sweeping across the top. With plenty of athleticism and a high compete level, Gillis plays with so much confidence and keeps the opposition on its toes with fakes to freeze the defense and impressive vision.
, M/A, Darien (Conn.) | Express North
I’ve been really impressed with McBride since he started as a freshman on Darien’s varsity (a feat that doesn’t happen very often), and he’s continued to dazzle ever since he picked up All-FCIAC honorable mention recognition. Physically, he’s got a 5’7, 150-pound frame but has game-breaking speed and explosiveness, running by his opponent with ease or soaking checks like he’s bigger than he is. I love his motor, too, and he can make an impact defensively on top of his ability to draw slides as a dodger and make the appropriate play. McBride had a pretty toe drag on an early tally, and then added two more each in goals and assists.
, M/A, Iona Prep (N.Y.) | Express North
The electric lefty was lights out in a tight Sunday contest, starting things off with a goal and an assist on his first two touches and later tallying three times in a four-minute span in the final quarter. Plunkett set the tone early with a clean finish while posting up on the back pipe and then rode it back and dumped it off to a teammate for an easy goal. In the final stanza, he bombed one into the top left corner from at least 15 yards, then a minute later, refused a pick, got past an over-the-head check from a pole then got to the middle for a bouncer. For Plunkett’s final tally, he took a pass from McBride, put a bit of a ‘chicken wing’ move on his man, and then went low-to-high from the wing. He’s dynamic, confident, and no doubt a risk-taker — there were some low-angle shots and turnovers — but as a coach, you learn to live with that because of how much he impacts a game.
Nick Rayfield, M, Marcellus (N.Y.) | SweetLax Upstate
It’s still so early, but Rayfield looks to be among the headliners of a class in upstate New York that looks as promising as any other group in the last 5-10 recruiting cycles. An incredibly talented and smooth operator out of the midfield, he’s constantly creating separation up top and can bring it from long range with his snappy shot and multiple release points. When the slide comes, he’s advanced enough as a decision-maker to make plays under duress, and because of his body control and athleticism, he’s still able to find ways to get his hands free if he’s pushed off his line during his dodges.
Brody Waxer, M/A, Syosset (N.Y.) | LI Express
At 6’1, 185 pounds, Waxer is physically imposing, incredibly skilled and seemingly versatile, running out of the box for Express and even taking wings of face-offfs when called upon. His future is likely as an offensive weapon above he cage, but he has plenty of experience playing attack and the nifty skill set that comes with it. As a freshman, Waxer erupted for a whopping 44 goals and 19 assists as a freshman for the Braves and made the kind of plays that would be expected from of an underclassman. He operates with poise at all times and has a great set of mitts, burying a leaner coming down the left side and then stepping in for a top left offering against Eclipse.