Matchups, Previews & Predictions: Week 2

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Malvern Prep’s Charles Kelly, via Philly.com.

I didn’t fare as well as I’d hoped in the first week of predictions, going 3 for 6 on the week with just Gonzaga, Paul VI and Haverford grabbed wins in the games I picked. Oh well. I’ll now be switching it up, editing this piece midweek to reflect Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s games. Come the weekend, one of the nation’s more tradition-rich areas will get games underway, as a bevy of Long Island’s best teams have their openers.

Before checking out a list of the next few days’ biggest showdowns, get caught up on last week’s content:

Notes on Landon-St. Mary’s (via Will Kiley)
Gonzaga gets revenge, Calvert Hall picks up an OT win
RR National Top 25 Rankings, 5/11
Notes on St. Paul’s-Paul VI 

Regional rankings and coverage begins this week. For any notes, video, links, etc. from all over the country, contact me at tyxanders@gmail.com and follow on Twitter.

Monday, March 16
San Ramon Valley (Calif.) 14, Monte Vista-Danville (Calif.) 4
Benjamin School (Fla.) 4, St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.) 12

Spotlight: St. Paul’s (Md.) at Highland Park (Tex.) 6 
I’m marking this one as an ‘upset watch’ kind of game, though as is usually the case in hotbed vs. non-hotbed games, depth will be a considerable factor where St. Paul’s will likely prosper. Highland Park, however, has seen some considerable off-season love with a number of high profile commits – the two teams combine for five future North Carolina Tar Heels. Look for SP sharpshooting lefty midfielder Alex McGovern to match up with future UNC teammate Case Carpenter, a standout LSM. If St. Paul’s can get their close defense to finally gel, I see the Crusies winning 12-9. *The Crusaders won 16-11

Tuesday, March 17
Boys’ Latin (Md.) at Lovett (Ga.)
Paul VI (Va.) at Landon (Md.)
Locust Valley (N.Y.) at Lynbrook (N.Y.)
Carey (N.Y.) at Massapequa (N.Y.)
South Side (N.Y.) at Port Washington (N.Y.)

Spotlight: Malvern Prep (Pa.) at St. Mary’s (Md.)
In a St. Patrick’s Day matchup, two of RR’s Top 25 teams will square off in Annapolis for what’s sure to be a game dictated by a possession battle and how a pair of stud uncommitted keepers can handle the opponent’s offensive weapons. Alex Woodall (High Point) and Charles Kelly (UNC) are two of the country’s top draw takers and make for a phenomenal game in what might be (if I’m not mistaken) their first ever meeting, whether it be the spring or fall/summer with their respective club teams. In cage, Malvern Prep’s Sam Stroud is coming off an outstanding performance against Calvert Hall, while SM senior Timmy Troutner apparently made a number of huge saves against Hill Academy on Saturday. My take is that John McEvoy’s Friars take this in a relatively low-scoring game.

Bonus Spotlight: Garden City (N.Y.) at Syosset (N.Y.)
John Calabria and Steve Finnell have had this matchup as their teams’ openers for the better part of the decade with the Trojans winning the last five. Beginning the season as the nation’s No. 23 squad, Garden City will have their hands full with Syosset, an experienced and highly capable squad that will again challenge defending state champ Massapequa for the Nassau ‘A’ title. I’d imagine that Calabria’s crew will want to take long possessions to wear down the Trojans’ defense and test their new keeper. As always, Syosset’s diminutive but electrifying attackman Alex Concannon (Hopkins) will need to be playing his best game in tandem with renowned junior attackman Mac O’Keefe (Penn State), though the Braves also have a trio of versatile, talented midfielders in Nick Hatzipetrakos (Providence), Michael Hatzopoulos (St. John’s) and junior Lucas Cotler (Yale). The Trojans’ senior vets – face-off middie James Sullivan (Harvard), LSM Tommy Wright (Penn State) and defenseman Matt Borges (Ohio State) – will be pivotal if they want to avoid an upset, though their loaded sophomore class will probably need to step into significant roles right off the bat.

Wednesday, March 18
Manhasset (N.Y.) at Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)

Spotlight: Gonzaga (D.C.) vs. Hill Academy (Ont.)
After a 12-10 battle last year, these two powerhouses will converge on the campus of Georgetown University, the alma mater of Hill head coach Brodie Merrill. The boys from Canada have two wins to their credit, a thrilling one-goal win over Navy Prep and a 12-10 win over St. Mary’s on Saturday. One individual matchup I’m looking at is at the face-off X, where two hard-nosed athletes will go head to head in Gonzaga’s Nick McEvoy ’16 (Penn State) and Hill Academy Justin Inacio ’17 (Ohio State). Also looking forward to seeing how Casey O’Neill’s group is able to defend Hopkins-bound scorer Jake Fox, who notched eight goals against St. Mary’s and assisted on the game-winner on Sunday. I’m calling OT for Wednesday’s game.

Thursday, March 19
Bishop’s (Calif.) at J. Serra Catholic (Calif.)
Hill Academy (Ont.) at Calvert Hall (Md.)
Syosset (N.Y.) at South Side (N.Y.)
Port Washington (N.Y.) at Locust Valley (N.Y.)

Friday, March 20
Poway (Calif.) at La Costa Canyon (Calif.)
Gonzaga (D.C.) at McDonogh (Md.)
La Salle (Pa.) at DeMatha (Md.)
St. Mary’s (Md.) at Kent Island (Md.)
Archbishop Spalding vs. Sachem North (N.Y.) at Hopkins
Carey (N.Y.) at Lynbrook (N.Y.)

Saturday, March 21
Mountain Vista (Colo.) at Regis Jesuit (Colo.)
Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) at St. Andrew’s (Fla.)
Boys’ Latin (Md.) vs. Manhasset (N.Y.) at St. Paul’s
Garden City (N.Y.) at St. Paul’s (Md.)
Culver (Ind.) at Episcopal Academy (Pa.)
Locust Valley (N.Y.) at Smithtown East (N.Y.)
Bronxville (N.Y.) at Smithtown West (N.Y.)
Chaminade (N.Y.) at Ward Melville (N.Y.)
Hill Academy (Ont.) at Haverford (Pa.)
Gilman (Md.) at Malvern Prep (Pa.)
Avon Grove (Pa.) at Ridley (Pa.)
Dallas Jesuit (Tex.) at Coppell (Tex.)

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