Matchups, Previews & Predictions: Week 3

1297557124243_ORIGINALWhile most of the country has already kicked off, areas like New Jersey, New York and New England have been prepping to begin the year, despite being affected by inches and inches of snow. This week, they’ll finally get underway with several highly anticipated matchups on the docket up and down the East Coast.

Parity already struck over the weekend, as No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 5 Culver went down, though they’ll face each other on Tuesday to sort out the rankings a little. Ranked programs Calvert Hall and St. Paul’s also suffered losses, and with many big games taking place on Tuesday, even more results will bring shakeup to last week’s Top 25. Elsewhere in the country, teams in Colorado, California and Texas continue to play pivotal games to bring clarity to the opening week of Top 10 Regional Rankings.

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Check back tomorrow for updated rankings and continued coverage all week long. Here are some matchups to watch between now and Sunday:

Tuesday, March 24
Boys’ Latin (Md.) at Bullis (Md.)
Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) at Syosset (N.Y.)
Georgetown Prep (Md.) at Gilman (Md.)
Loyola Blakefield (Md.) at Haverford (Pa.)
Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) at J. Serra Catholic (Calif.)
St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.) at Episcopal Academy (Pa.)

Spotlight: Gonzaga (D.C.) vs. Culver (Ind.) at Johns Hopkins, 6:30
Don’t think that weekend losses by these two proud programs takes away from the allure of this game. Gonzaga dropped a tough one to McDonogh on Sunday, while Episcopal Academy (Pa.) knocked off the preseason No. 5 Culver (Ind.) Eagles 8-7 up in Philly, though Jon Posner’s crew followed that up by demolishing Penn Charter (Pa.), 13-2. Combining for nearly 35 Division I commits, these two will battle it out under the lights of Homewood Field with high-flying attack units, athletic midfields and experienced backlines, making for what should be an awesome game. If the Purple Eagles can limit Ethan Walker and Dawson McKenzie’s scoring opportunities, get improved goalie play from George Christopher (a great goalie who had an off game against McDonogh) and thrive between the lines, I think Gonzaga wins by 2-3 goals.

Wednesday, March 25
Culver (Ind.) at St. Mary’s (Md.)
Brunswick (Conn.) vs. Kent Denver (Colo.)
Summit (N.J.) at Delbarton (N.J.)
Don Bosco (N.J.) at Hun School (N.J.)
Malvern Prep (Pa.) at St. Augustine (N.J.)
Smithtown West (N.Y.) at Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.)

Spotlight: Massapequa (N.Y.) at Chaminade (N.Y.), 4:15
Having attended this game last year (a 7-4 win for the Flyers), I’ve been looking forward to this public/private matchup for a while, MSG Varsity’s first lax live stream of 2015. Each program has to defend a championship and replace a phenomenal recruiting class, though players like Chaminade’s Thomas O’Connell (Maryland) and Jack Tigh (Yale) and Massapequa’s Ryan Tierney (Hofstra) and Nick Yevoli (Yale) should be up to the task. Transition offense and hard-nosed defense will be prevalent, however with first-year starting goalies, I’d expect this to be relatively high-scoring and decided by a goal.

Thursday, March 26
Bishop Timon St. Jude (N.Y.) at Landon (Md.)
Culver (Ind.) at McDonogh (Md.)
Arapahoe (Colo.) at Coronado (Calif.)
Pittsford (N.Y.) at Canandaigua (N.Y.)
Northport (N.Y.) at Syosset (N.Y.)
Springfield-Delco (Pa.) at Conestoga (Pa.)
Downingtown East (Pa.) at Episcopal Academy (Pa.)
MICDS (Mo.) at Penn Charter (Pa.)

Friday, March 27
Haverford (Pa.) at Gilman (Md.)
Good Counsel (Md.) vs. Gonzaga (D.C.)
DeMatha (Md.) at Paul VI (Va.)
IMG Academy (Fla.) at St. Augustine Prep (N.J.)
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) vs. Lake Forest (Ill.)
La Salle (Pa.) at Malvern Prep (Pa.)

Spotlight: Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.) at Smithtown East (N.Y.)
Coming off of their first Suffolk County title in 2014 and beginning this year as the No. 4 team in the nation, the Bulls have the potential to run the table, especially given the county’s reformatted divisions. They have an embarrassment of riches on the offensive end (highlighted in the season preview), namely Notre Dame-bound scorer Brian Willetts and one of the better face-off men around in junior Gerard Arceri, who is dominant that no one would be totally surprised if it becomes a blowout on Friday. Despite that factor, the visiting Colts are expected to turn heads this spring with players like Stony Brook signee Ryan Ozsvath and sophomore Duke verbal Cam Mule, who accounted for nine points in HHH East’s opener.

Saturday, March 29
McDonogh (Md.) vs. Episcopal Academy (Pa.)
St. Paul’s (Md.) vs. Georgetown Prep (Md.)
Port Washington (N.Y.) vs. Calvert Hall (Md.)
Radnor (Pa.) vs. Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) at La Costa Canyon (Calif.)
New Trier (Ill.) at Brother Rice (Mich.)
Navy Prep (R.I.) at Salisbury School (Conn.)
Choate (Conn.) at Lawrenceville (N.J.)
Lambert (Ga.) at Centennial (Ga.)
Don Bosco (N.J.) at Delbarton (N.J.)
Yorktown (N.Y.) at John Jay (N.Y.)
Ithaca (N.Y.) at Irondequoit (N.Y.)
Garden City (N.Y.) at Smithtown West (N.Y.)
Chaminade (N.Y.) at West Islip (N.Y.)
MICDS (Mo.) at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
The Woodlands (Tex.) at Highland Park (Tex.)

Spotlight: Deerfield (Mass.) at Brunswick (Conn.)
Hype has been sent in the Bruins’ direction all preseason long (including a No. 3 ranking) and deservedly so considering how they return, including RR’s No. 2 junior in hard-shooting middie Reilly Walsh (Duke) and a stout senior led defense. David Bruce has done great things at Brunswick, especially in the last few years, and I’m sure the program would love to top Deerfield after their comeback fell short in a double OT loss last year. Perennially a preseason top 10 team lately, the Big Green enter the year without much fanfare compared to past years, but have plenty of talent – which include middies like juniors Nigel Andrews (Harvard) and goalie Phil Goss (Brown) – to prosper in the NE West once again after sharing the title with Brunswick last year. A true measuring stick game, I’m picking the Bruins in a dogfight.

Sunday, March 29
St. Mary’s (Md.) at St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.)
Upper Arlington (Oh.) at Archbishop Spalding (Md.)
Hotchkiss (Conn.) at Lawrenceville (N.J.)
Army Prep (N.Y.) at Avon Old Farms (Conn.)
Worthington KIlbourne (Oh.) at Penn Yan (N.Y.)

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