Intriguing results in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast continue to bring clarity to the Top 25, pushing teams like McDonogh (Md.), Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and Syosset (N.Y.) up in the rankings.
After Gonzaga’s loss this weekend, Philly power Haverford School (Pa.) can now lay claim to the No. 1 ranking in North America, sporting a 3-0 record against the MIAA. Rewarded for their Sunday win over the Purple Eagles, McDonogh bumps up to the No. 2 spot with Landon (Md.) right behind them. They’ll face Gonzaga (now No. 4 after holding on against Culver) next Thursday in Georgetown in a game that will sort out bragging rights in the area surrounding the nation’s capital.
For reference, last week’s Top 25 rankings can be seen here. In addition, here’s a list of the big games between now and Sunday, including previews and predictions. As always, scores and updates can be found on Twitter @tyxanders.
1. Haverford (Pa.), 3-0
Despite the fact that their much anticipated matchup with Hill Academy was canceled due to snow, the Fords were a no-brainer for the No. 1 honor, jumping up one spot and owning a season-opening OT win over newly minted No. 2 McDonogh. On Tuesday against Loyola Blakefield (Md.), senior midfielder Drew Supinski (Hopkins) pumped in five goals in a 14-9 victory over the Dons, providing head coach John Nostrant with his 400th win as a head coach. With a myriad of experienced, college-bound dodgers in the lineup and on the bench, the Fords’ offense is scoring at will, averaging 13.6 goals per game thus far. They’ll head to Gilman on Friday before playing local rival Conestoga on Tuesday.
2. McDonogh (Md.), 3-1
The Eagles have established themselves as the MIAA’s favorite in the early season, cementing that status by playing a balanced, unselfish and mistake-free game in a 13-11 upset of former No. 1 Gonzaga on Sunday. A team lacking superstars but possessing plenty of veterans and leadership, McDonogh might even have their best team in almost a decade, especially with a young defense playing beyond their years in front of Loyola-bound senior keeper Jacob Stover. The Eagles continue a difficult portion of their schedule with bouts with Culver, Episcopal Academy and IMG Academy in the next week.
3. Landon (Md.), 5-0
It’s been a slow week during the spring break without many true tests but a three-spot promotion is in store based on their prowess thus far. In six games, their average margin of victory is seven goals, scoring 12+ each outing thanks to a burgeoning and rangy defense as well as an excess of studs on offense. Last week, they topped in-state programs John Carroll and Calverton 15-4 and 13-6 respectively. The Bears have four more games before the month’s up, most notably Gilman on the 30th to begin a tough two-week stretch.
4. Gonzaga (D.C.), 6-1
Considering the rigors of their schedule (without a home game), it would have been near impossible for the preseason No. 1 Purple Eagles to finish the season unbeaten. After escaping Hill Academy in overtime earlier in the week, they dropped a tough one on the road at McDonogh, struggling to overcome a three-minute non-releasable in 2Q. They then rebounded on Tuesday evening, staving off Culver’s furious second half comeback when Timmy Monahan (Maryland) forced OT with two seconds left before imposing attackman Richie Petitbon ended things at the 2:31 mark to win 8-7. Games with Good Counsel (Md.) and Cape Henlopen (Del.) follow in the coming week.
5. Brunswick (Conn.), 1-0
Beginning their season down in Florida for 3d Spring Break, the Bruins finally kicked things off after a preseason full of external expectations, dismantling defending Oregon state champion West Linn, 17-5. They’ll face a formidable opponent in Kent Denver (Colo.) on Wednesday evening before flying back to Fairfield County to begin preparations for Deerfield Academy (Mass.), a matchup previewed here. ‘Wick has lost that game by a goal in three of the last four years (including twice in OT), so a win over the Big Green would be pivotal to gain momentum in league play.
6. Smithtown East (N.Y.), 1-0
The Bulls had little trouble with East Islip (N.Y.) in their opener, opening up their bench early and using 12 combined points from attackmen Dan Rooney (Ohio State) and Brian Willetts (Notre Dame) to beat their Suffolk County opponent, 17-6. Their home showdown on Friday with Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.) is expected to be increasingly difficult – read about that matchup here. A makeup date with winless Locust Valley the next day should be a cakewalk. The Bulls don’t have a ranked opponent on their schedule until an April 11th hosting of Connecticut’s Greenwich.
7. Hill Academy (Ont.), 4-1
As mentioned above, the Pride ended their East Coast jaunt a day early when their game with Haverford was canceled, though there’s still the possibility that it could be made up when Brodie Merrill & Co. return to the area in late April. It was hard to predict how Hill would respond against Calvert Hall the following day after being drained from a narrow OT loss to Gonzaga (D.C.) at Georgetown, but they prevailed in a major way. Leading 9-2 at half, OSU-bound sophomore Justin Inacio’s face-off work triggered an insane offensive output, limiting the Cardinals’ touches and destroying them at home, 17-4. Their next game won’t come until April 12th against Detroit Country Day.
8. Episcopal Academy (Pa.), 2-0
Andy Hayes’ Churchmen shocked the lacrosse world with a huge 8-7 win over Culver (Ind.) on Saturday, giving the Eagles their first loss since 2013. EA employed a zone defense, won 13 of 19 face-offs via standout junior Christian Feliziani (Ohio State) and had monster four-goal outings from both uncommitted junior Eric Haab and No. 4 senior Curtis Zappala (Maryland). On Tuesday, the Churchmen received similar outings in a 16-2 drubbing of St. Joseph’s Prep, another strong win. They’ll have a big game at Loyola University on Saturday night against No. 2 McDonogh.
9. Culver (Ind.), 3-2
Replacing a ton of pieces from last year, the Eagles are still a work in progress, going 1-2 so far on their Mid-Atlantic swing. After a surprising 8-7 loss to Episcopal Academy, they followed that up with a 13-2 decision over Penn Charter (Pa.) and went toe to toe with Gonzaga (D.C.) under the lights of Homewood Field on Tuesday. Trailing 5-1 at half, the Eagles dominated the third quarter thanks to stellar play from Denver commit Ethan Walker, eventually falling in OT, 8-7. Getting at least one win in their next two against St. Mary’s (Md.) and McDonogh (Md.) would be crucial for their conference before heading home.
10. Avon Old Farms (Conn.), 1-0
Heading south for their spring break trip, the Winged Beavers put together a dominant win over Virginia’s Woodberry Forest on Monday, winning 10-3. They’ll have a game at Southern Maryland program Calverton School on Saturday before squaring off with Army Prep at home the following day. Looking at their schedule, it will be a few weeks until Avon’s truly tested, given their backloaded slate in late April but more so early May.
11. Darien (Conn.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: 4/8 vs. Westhill (Conn.), 4/11 at Niskayuna (N.Y.)
12. Chaminade (N.Y.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: 3/25 vs. Massapequa (N.Y.), 3/28 at West Islip (N.Y.)
13. Georgetown Prep (Md.), 4-0
Last Week: Beat Good Counsel (Md.) 8-4, Gilman (Md.) 7-6
This Week: 3/26 at Loudoun Valley (Va.), 3/28 vs. St. Paul’s (Md.)
14. Massapequa (N.Y.), 1-0
Last Week: Idle
This Week: 3/25 at Chaminade (N.Y.), 3/27 vs. Hicksville (N.Y.), 3/31 at MacArthur (N.Y.)
15. Syosset (N.Y.), 3-0
Last Week: Beat South Side (N.Y.) 8-2, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 11-4
This Week: 3/26 vs. Northport (N.Y.), 3/28 vs. Farmingdale (N.Y.), 3/31 at Port Washington (N.Y.)
16. Boys’ Latin (Md.), 5-1
Last Week: Beat Manhasset (N.Y.) 8-6, Bullis (Md.) 14-11
This Week: 3/28 vs. Radnor (N.Y.), 3/31 at Kent Island (Md.)
17. Delbarton (N.J.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: 3/25 vs. Summit (N.J.), 3/28 vs. Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)
18. Garden City (N.Y.), 2-1
Last Week: Beat St. Paul’s (Md.) 12-11, Mepham (N.Y.) 18-2
This Week: 3/28 at Smithtown West (N.Y.), 3/30 at Calhoun (N.Y.)
19. Calvert Hall (Md.), 5-1
Last Week: Lost to Hill Academy (Ont.) 17-4, Beat Loyola Academy (Ill.) 18-0, Calverton (Md.) 16-11
This Week: 3/28 vs. Port Washington (N.Y.)
20. St. Paul’s (Md.), 4-2
Last Week: Lost to Garden City (N.Y.) 12-11, Beat Fallston (Md.) 20-2
This Week: 3/28 vs. Georgetown Prep (Md.), 3/31 vs. Calverton (Md.)
21. Greenwich (Conn.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: April 9 vs. Trumbull (Conn.) April 11 at Smithtown East (N.Y.)
22. St. Anthony’s (N.Y.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: 3/31 vs. Holy Trinity (N.Y.), 4/2 at Episcopal Academy (Pa.)
23. Ward Melville (N.Y.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: 3/25 at Sachem East (N.Y.), 4/1 at Sachem North (N.Y.)
24. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 6-0
Last Week: Beat Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) 19-6
This Week: 3/25 at Saint Francis (Calif.)
25. Salisbury (Conn.), 0-0
How They’ll Start: 3/28 vs. Navy Prep (R.I.), April 4 vs. Berkshire (Mass.)