2021 PLL College Draft Prospects: Goalie

2021 PLL College Draft Prospects: Goalie

The 2021 PLL College Draft is right around the corner! To prepare, we’re spotlighting the top prospects in each position group and sharing former pro lacrosse players and coaches’ thoughts on the top PLL prospects.

As we head into Monday's PLL draft, the position that might see the fewest players taken will most likely be between the pipes. All eight teams currently have at least two goalies on their roster. Add in the keepers that were starters in the MLL that are still in the player pool, it's not a huge leap to say that the goalie position will be the hardest roster spot to crack heading into PLL training camp. With that being said, there are a number of strong goalie prospects that will be hoping to hear their name called on Monday night.

For the sake of the exercise, we chose to only discuss the guys we expect to try and make the leap to the next level. Notable players left off of this years prospect list include Virginia's Alex Rode and Georgetown's Owen McElory, as both players are eligible to return to school next year.

Lacrosse Playground connected with multi-time MLL champion and former college and pro goalie of the year honoree, Brian Dougherty, to get his take on some of the top goalie prospects available in the upcoming PLL College Draft.

Mike Adler - St. Joseph's/Duke

Photo courtesy of Duke Athletics

Adler has a fantastic career at St. Joe's before before deciding to use his final year of eligibility to play for Coach Danowski and Duke. During his time on Hawk Hill, Adler ranked in the top-5 in program history in career saves, save percentage and goals against average and was the first goalie in program history to receive All-American accolades..

Adler's success followed him to Durham, where he's played a pivotal role in the Blue Devils' (12-1) regular season success. The Florida native has 117 saves on the season, non bigger than his doorstop stuff of Syracuse's Stephen Rehfuss in the waning seconds of play to seal the Duke victory over the Orange on March 25.

Adler's crouching style and calm feet allows him to react on a dime and find success against the offensive-laden ACC. He will look to join his brother Max (Chaos LC) as yet another sibling pairing in the PLL.

Brian Dougherty’s Take: I think Adler is the number one guy on the list. Watching him play at St. Joe's, he led the country in a bunch of categories. And now down there , I think he has one of the biggest bodies of work. You can feel pretty confident that he'll continue to be good . I think he's really good down low and can make some pretty athletic saves.

Drake Porter - Syracuse

Photo courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

Drake Porter and Syracuse were on a roll last year, starting 5-0 before having their season cut short due to COVID. The Ontario native was one of the first notable players to announce they would return to school to use their extra year of eligibility.

This season has not seen the same dominance from the goalie or the Orange, but you can still see in his play why Porter is considered one of the top prospects in this class. His top-hand speed is absolutely dominant and is a main reason why I can see his game transitioning to the next level. This hand-speed was evident when he went against the aforementioned Adler in March, making 13 saves in the loss.

Brian Dougherty’s Take: He's not having the year he would probably like, but his overall body of work speaks for itself. He's still one of the top guys coming out for the draft. The thing I like most about him is his confidence. He's a three-year starter and has played in a lot of big games. He can play.

Phil Goss - Brown

Goss had a fantastic start to the 2020 season, making 11 or more saves in a 6 games he played in last year. His best performance came in what turned out to be Brown's final game, making 16 saves to help the Bears defeat #8 Virginia 14-13. In the Bears' first competition of the season this past week, Goss picked up right where he left off, making 11 saves in Brown's 12-5 win over Boston University.

If it weren't for the Ivy League's decision to put a hold on their teams' seasons due to COVID, Goss would have already broken the Brown record for career saves. After his performance again Boston, the California native is just 14 saves shy of surpassing Jack Kelly's record. If you're being talked about in the same sentence as Kelly, you deserve a look at the next level. I really like his style and hope he gets a shot in training camp.

Brian Dougherty’s Take: He was one of the top guys in college . He was solid when I had the chance to see him in net. We will see how having a whole year off will affect him, but he certainly can play.

James Spence - Lehigh

Photo courtesy of Lehigh Athletics

While Spence could technically return to use a fifth year of eligibility, Patriot League rules would make it as a transfer, so we decided to keep him on the list.

He's started all but one game since arriving to play for Coach Kevin Cassese and the Mountain Hawks, and for good reason. Spence's frame doesn't fill up a ton of space in cage, but what he lacks in size he makes up for that with his athleticism. The Delco native has continued to impress this season and currently ranks top-6 in the nation for goals against average and save percentage.

Brian Dougherty’s Take: I've been coaching him for awhile. He's in the Springfield lineage with Kevin Keenan, Drew Adams, Austin Kaut and now Spence. I like all parts of his game. He's like the little brother, been getting shot on his whole life. Reminds me of Brian Carcaterra a little bit as far as that kind of knowledge of the game. He's a big game player, won two state championships in high school. He's steady and has a good presence.

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