Nike/US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Region Report
by Mike Loveday | LaxMagazine.com
Tommy O'Connor, Malvern Prep (Pa.)
Shack Stanwick, Boys' Latin (Md.)
Mikey Wynne, St. Paul's (Md.)
Games to Watch
Malvern Prep (Pa.) vs. Bullis (Md.) at Johns Hopkins – March 21, 5 p.m.
Malvern Prep got great news when Virginia commit Matt Barrett returned in goal from an ACL injury sustained during football season. Barrett returned to action in less than six months and helped the Friars down Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) in its first game of the year. Malvern now gets another conference runner-up in Bullis, which finished second to Landon (Md.) in the IAC last season. Bullis' goalie should help keep the game close. Brandon Burke recorded 15 saves in a win over Flint Hill (Va.). The Bulldogs have not allowed more than eight goals in a game this season.
La Salle (Pa.) at Garden City (N.Y.) – March 30, 2 p.m.
It's early, but this game could be one that will help decide the national championship picture towards the end of the year. The firepower alone in this game would be worthy of a Fourth of July picnic. La Salle's Matt Rambo heads into his senior season with his hopes set on leading the Explorers to a state championship. Justin Guterding will be a key component in Garden City's run to back-to-back New York Class B titles.
1. Boys' Latin (Md.), 4-0
The Lakers started the season with wins over the Top 2 teams in Florida, outscoring Lake Highland Prep and St. Andrew's by a combined 27-13 score. They followed up those wins with a 11-3 victory over Penn Charter (Pa.). Latin beat Gonzaga (D.C.) 13-4 on Tuesday and this week faces Canadian powerhouse The Hill Academy and Indiana power Culver Academy Prep.
2. La Salle College (Pa.), 0-0
The Explorers boast two of the Top 10 players in the country in Matt Rambo and Sean Coleman. However, Coleman injured his ankle during the last game of the football season and could miss part of the season. Matt Rambo is considered the No. 1 senior in the country and with eight seniors, including Jeff Cimbalista (Yale) the Explorers should have more than enough firepower to weather Coleman's absence early. La Salle starts its season March 23 against DeMatha.
3. St. Paul's (Md.), 4-0
The Crusaders jump into the rankings this week based on its wins over The Hill Academy and Haverford School. St. Paul's is the only team to defeat The Hill this season, which includes three nationally ranked teams. Mikey Wynne tallied seven points on six goals and one assist, Carter Flaig had five points (two and three) and BJ Matheiss had four points (two and two) in the win.
4. Gonzaga (D.C.), 3-2
The Purple Eagles slide up one spot based on a common opponent with former No. 2 Calvert Hall. Both teams played The Hill Academy and lost, but Gonzaga's 7-6 loss gives them the narrow edge ... this week. They fell to Boys' Latin 13-4 on Tuesday. The debate will settle itself when Gonzaga meets Calvert Hall on the field March 22.
5. Calvert Hall (Md.), 0-1
The Cardinals did not start their season the way they would have liked, but playing The Hill Academy in their first game of the year was a tough hill to climb. Calvert Hall lost 10-7 and the schedule does not let up in Game 2 -- a meeting with Gonzaga (D.C.).
6. Landon (Md.), 3-1
Landon was one of The Hill Academy's victims last week, dropping a 13-8 game. Jack Falk scored three goals in the loss. The Bears downed Good Counsel 10-5 earlier in the week.
7. Gilman (Md.), 2-0
Gilman has played two games -- an 11-9 win over Dallas Jesuit (Texas) in the Brine King of Spring tournament held in Durham, N.C. and a 17-13 win over Haverford School (Pa.). The tough schedule continues for the remainder of the season, starting with a game this week against Georgetown Prep (Md.).
8. McDonogh (Md.), 4-0
The Eagles kicked off the season by defeating nationally ranked St. Andrew's 7-5 at the Brine King of Spring tournament. Coach Andy Hilgartner's team followed that signature win up with a 13-3 win over Durham Academy (N.C.) and a 17-5 win over Plano West.
9. Delbarton (N.J.), 0-0
Ten players in the senior class and five in the junior class will move on to play in college. Anchored by defender Will Reynolds (Princeton). Plays St. Anthony's (N.Y.), Chaminade (N.Y.) and Fairfield Prep (Conn.) this year.
10. Malvern Prep (Pa.), 1-0
Malvern moves into the Top 10 after defeating former No. 5 Loyola-Blakefield 11-6. The Friars were already in the national Top 25 so their advancement into the Mid-Atlantic rankings is not shocking. Goalie Matt Barrett returned from an ACL injury in less than six months to help lead them to their season-opening victory.
News and Notes
The Saints Start Marching
St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.) finished 15-6 last season and won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I championship.
This season the Saints have their eyes set on repeating in Virginia, but also a loftier goal - winning the IAC.
"Our goals are simple this year. We want to defend our state championship and we want to win the IAC," coach Andy Taibl said. "That's something that's never been done here. But that's something you can't say you want to do -- you have to go out and do it."
To accomplish that goal SSSA will rely on a stout defense that allowed double-digits in goals just twice last year and returns seniors James Boden (LSM), Jimmy Wyrick (D) and goalie Sam Beazell.
The Saints got off to a good start with an 8-5 victory over former national No. 11 Episcopal Academy (Pa.) followed by a 10-4 win over Potomac School (Va.).
"We learned a great deal [from the Episcopal win]. We were very timid at the start and with their talent they jumped all over us. We were down 5-1 after the first quarter," Taibl said. "I think our boys showed a good resilience to that adversity. The guys learned quickly that they have to show up to play."
That education will be needed if the Saints are to challenge defending IAC champion Landon (Md.) in addition to Georgetown Prep (Md.) and last year's runner-up, Bullis (Md.).
"We've got to improve our physical and mental toughness [to win the IAC]," Taibl said. "I think we've played a lot of those school's close in the past -- we've had some one and two goals. We've got to put forth a little more consistent performance. It comes down to the mental side of things."
CRJ to film lacrosse documentary: In pursuit of the first win
The Cristo Ray Jesuit (Md.) lacrosse team is entering its second season of play in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) with a big goal: to achieve its first-ever win in MIAA competition. CRJ's players are unique in the MIAA — all Baltimore City students, almost all new to lacrosse and all working five days per month in a corporate internship to help pay for their college prep education.
A film crew will follow the team this season and attempt to capture the program's first victory in a documentary dedicated to the memory of Mickey Webster, a legendary captain and All-American lacrosse player at Johns Hopkins, and an enthusiastic CRJ supporter.
"Achieving that first victory would mean so much to our squad and would be a great tribute to Mickey," coach Matt Hanna, who also captained the Johns Hopkins lacrosse team, said.
CRJ is seeking gifts to fund this short film. All funds must be committed by March 29, 2013, although payments toward those commitments can be made over the next year. Donations can be made online here. Select "lacrosse video" as the gift designation.
Langley looking for four
Langley (Va.) has won four-straight state championships and has gone 82-8 in that span.
To get back to the top the Saxons will have to fill the gaps of some great players they lost to graduation. The team graduated 130 goals and its starting goalie from last year's 22-2 squad.
The defense should be strong with the entire squad returning to coach Earl Brewer's team.
"We're going to play fast lacrosse. We're going to play pressure defense and we have some really good middies," Brewer said. "We may try to posses the ball a little bit more and be a little more patient than we've been [in the past]."
The Saxons are off to a 1-1 start after dropping a game to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference foe Paul VI (Va.).
Langley's non-conference schedule is strong for a Virginia public school. They still have Benjamin School (Fla.) and Georgetown Prep (Md.) remaining.
Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Wednesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Boys' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Boys' Top 25.