Depending on where you live, the weather has yet to show that spring is here, at least consistently. Despite that, a bevy of fantastic lacrosse games have already taken place as March comes to close.
Made a bit easier by intersectional games, plenty of decisions had to be made for this week’s Recruiting Rundown Top 25 Power Rankings, with a few more on tap between Friday and Sunday. For a complete list, give Week 3’s Matchups, Previews & Predictions piece a read.
Games I’ll be attending this weekend are Haverford-Gilman (recap at this link), St. Paul’s-Georgetown Prep and Episcopal Academy-McDonogh, so follow along via Twitter @tyxanders for updates on those games and from around the country.
Here are a quick links of interest from around the interweb:
-Newton, Mass. native Tyler Bogart has made the switch from Brewster Academy (N.H.) back home to Catholic Memorial (Mass.) and has plans to head to UMass in the fall. WickedLocal has the skinny on his journey and college intentions. Of note, Bogart’s first cousin is Olympic gold medalist gymnast Aly Raisman. The article delves into their connection and the scorer being impressed by Raisman’s drive.
-Syracuse Daily Orange writer Paul Schwedelson posted a great piece on the freshman recruiting phenomenon in college lacrosse earlier this week. Interviewing SU’s John Desko and Lelan Rogers for the article, it talks about how ‘Cuse has really started to increase their number of ’18 verbals, talking to commits Griffin Gelinas and Matt Magnan.
Highlights and results from California, Colorado
It’s probably a good thing that there happened to be a pause for the Regional Rankings this week. With a few teams taking trips across state lines for showdowns with other strong programs, results have helped sort things out a little bit.
Unranked last week, the Coronado Islanders – coached by Adrenaline Lacrosse CEO Alex Cade – topped previously unbeaten and the West’s No. 4 Arapahoe (Colo.) in a 12-10 decision. This comes after a notable 13-10 win over fellow San Diego program Torrey Pines, ranked No. 5 at the time. Boosting the Islanders is junior attackman Anthony DeMaio (Air Force), who transferred in from J. Serra Catholic and is flanked by his brother Nick, a highly touted freshman midfielder with plenty of college options.
Up in Orange County, Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) has a record of 8-0 but will have an important SoCal battle with La Costa Canyon on Saturday. Most recently, the Knights won 15-3 over Scripps Ranch, a team that was able to knock off Coronado two weeks ago. CIF champs a year ago, Foothill has a phenomenal 1-2 punch in Nate Marano (Denver) and Kevin Kodzis (Holy Cross). Here’s a quick two-minute highlight from their first 3 or 4 games – for reference, Kodzis is #34 and Marano is #31:
Ranked No. 24 nationally and No. 1 in the region, St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) has been largely dominant thanks to high D1 talent all over the roster and superb coaching by Chris Packard and his staff. They’ll head East in just over a week to face top five teams Landon and Gonzaga in the D.C. region. Looking forward to catching them against Gonzaga on April 9th at Catholic University.
Back on April 13th, they headed south to Pasadena for a neutral site affair with Torrey Pines, emerging victorious, 9-4. Take a look at the starters and Lax.com’s extensive highlights from that game.
Attack: #1 Tommy Fleming ’16 (Fairfield), #2 Ben Knaus ’15 (Trinity), #3 Patrick Brosnan ’17 (Bryant)
Top middies: #4 Peter Alimam ’15 (Fairfield), #5 Finn Barry ’15 (Furman), #7 Matt Klein ’15 (captain), #35 Bryn Evans ’17 (Harvard), longstick middie Nick Stinn ’15 (Notre Dame)
Defense: #28 Stephen Macleod ’16 (Georgetown), #26 Hall Peters ’17 (UVA), #13 Grant Giuliano ’15 (Hobart), goalie Mac Gates ’18 (uncommitted)
A few other noteworthy results involving western teams this week:
3/21 – Regis Jesuit (Colo.) 10, Mountain Vista (Colo.) 9
3/23 – Kent Denver (Colo.) 9, Noble & Greenough (Mass.) 3
3/24 – Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) 12, J. Serra Catholic (Calif.) 11 – highlights via MaxLaxSD
3/25 – Brunswick (Conn.) 11, Kent Denver (Colo.) 7
McDonogh continues to roll, Culver gets their third loss
Ranked No. 2 this week and coming off of Sunday’s win over Gonzaga (write-up and film available here), the McDonogh Eagles are playing with a ton of confidence. On Thursday, they picked up another top 10 win by defeating No. 9 Culver 13-5, leading 9-1 after three quarters to hand the Indiana-based program their third loss.
Moving and sharing the ball impeccably, playing tough defense and receiving another strong campaign by senior netminder Jacob Stover (Loyola), the Eagles kept that formula going and had their D clamp down on Ethan Walker (Denver) and a host of other renowned scorers. Junior Princeton verbal Arman Medghalchi, who has emerged as the MIAA’s best defender, reportedly gave the Canadian lefty fits. Walker was still able to get a hat trick, though that was when Culver was two men up as well as a pair of goals against McDonogh’s backups in the fourth quarter. Goal-by-goal highlights of that game can be seen below.
Earlier in the week, Culver engaged in a second-half battle with Gonzaga at Homewood, resulting in a 8-7 overtime win for the Purple Eagles. Trailing 5-1 at half, the offense broke out (helped by a tough 10-man ride) to make it 6-6 with five minutes left. Gonzaga’s Timmy Monahan forced the extra period with two seconds left before massive Alabama football recruit Richie Petitbon ended things just over 90 seconds into OT.
With the infamous Booker Corrigan on play-by-play and yours truly providing color in the second half, the game can be seen in its entirety on Kudda.com.
Massapequa shows no sign of slowing down against Chaminade
Following the Chiefs’ first ever New York State title in 2014, there were a few question marks regarding their ability to thrive and repeat following the graduation of key cogs like Ian Kirby, Craig Berge, Nick Capuana and Matt Valdini.
On Wednesday afternoon, those question marks were seemingly erased, as ‘Pequa topped defending CHSAA champ Chaminade (N.Y.) 13-11 in a game that was far more one-sided than the score may indicate to outsiders. It was 4-0 seven minutes in and 9-4 at half before the Flyers – also initially struggling after the exit of several stars – started to assemble a difficult comeback effort made awfully difficult by senior Phil Brady’s dominance at the face-off X.
Riding the Quinnipiac-bound Brady’s ability to cleanly win face-offs forward and create easy offense, the Chiefs scored at will due to stellar ball movement, precise shooting and big outings from returning starters like No. 42 junior Ryan Tierney, who notched four goals, two assists and has plans to play for his father at Hofstra. Imposing dodger Paul Dilena (Marist) and athletic playmaker Carter Hawthorne (Wesleyan) also posted six-point days, as the Chiefs inverted to attack shortstick matchups, showing phenomenal cohesion and fast-paced offense to give the program their first ever win over Chaminade, ranked 11th in the country to begin the year.
Whenever the Flyers’ offense had an answer, so did Massapequa. Helped largely by the distinct advantage in time of possession, sophomore keeper Nick Benigno was seldom tested, especially in the first half. Also working to replace a starting goalkeeper, senior Kevin Carbone (Binghamton) struggled to see the ball well in the first half, though junior Jack Zullo fared better in the second half as Chaminade improved as a whole. The Notre Dame commit made six saves (allowing four goals) and did a good job in the clearing game. His team Team 91 club teammate Brendon Luu (Colgate) also started to gain a bit of momentum at the X after nearly being blanked in the opening 24 minutes.
In the long run, Chaminade should be alright once they improve their consistency on both sides of the ball. Senior midfielder Thomas O’Connell (Maryland), a talented three-sport athlete who put up 22 points on the first line year, is still being held out after a knee injury suffered during the Flyers’ championship hoops season. Senior Jack Tigh, a versatile Yale commit, registered five points, while attackmen Brendan Quinn (Fairfield) and Jack Brennan (Colgate) each had two goals and one assist.
After watching the game live on MSGVarsity.com (catch the full broadcast here), it appears as though Massapequa is better than expected and will have an intriguing battle with No. 15 Syosset for the Nassau County ‘A’ crown. The two teams will square off on April 25th.
New Jersey gets underway with a TOC rematch
Another team with plenty to prove after graduation departures, Chuck Reubling’s 17th ranked Delbarton Green Wave clinched a confidence-boosting 5-4 decision over Summit in a rematch of last year’s NJ Tournament of Champions final.
That wasn’t the only intriguing storyline. Senior do-it-all midfielder Conor Kirst (who had an excellent summer playing with Leading Edge) was facing his father Kyle, the Hilltoppers’ defensive coordinator. Kirst, who will PG at Deerfield Academy (Mass.), posted a hat trick to go with six groundballs and strong face-off play. MSGV’s Mike Kinney has more on the subject at this link, as well as an excellent look at the top players in the state.
Elsewhere in New Jersey, Hun School destroyed perennial power Don Bosco Prep, 16-5. Coached by third-year head coach M.V. Whitlow (a longtime assistant at Lawrenceville and in the club world), the Raiders possess more Division I talent than ever before along with a daunting schedule. Postgrad attackmen Chris Donovan (Georgetown) and Brendan Rooney (Yale) lead the way along with several other players committed to schools like Princeton, UVA, Penn State, Hopkins and Villanova.