Nike/US Lacrosse South Boys' Region Report
by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com
Player of the Week
Matt Digney, Boca Raton (Fla.)
The senior goalkeeper played a key role in the Bobcats' upset win over perennial power St. Andrew's (Fla.) on March 4, recording 19 saves on 24 shots on goal for a 79 percent save rate. Digney commands a defense that hasn't allowed more than seven goals in any game, including a season-opening overtime win over Ponte Vedra (Fla.). He also helped Boca to a 16-5 win over Ransom Everglades on Friday.
Also notable: Reid Thedford (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), Thomas Fitts (Episcopal Dallas, Texas), Jack Patton (Westminster, Ga.)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) vs. Boys' Latin (Md.), Saturday, 5:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's School, Boca Raton (Fla.)
The defending Florida state champions take on the nation's top-ranked team, as Boys' Latin opens its season against Lake Highland Prep for a second year in a row. The Lakers won this game 13-9 last year but it was one of the closest games they played all year. Lake Highland Prep won 17 of their last 19 games after falling to Boys' Latin last year, including a 9-7 win over St. Andrew's (Fla.) in the state championship and just one loss to a Florida opponent. The Highlanders once again look to give the Lakers a good game, but regardless of the outcome, the competition against the nation's best should help bring out Lake Highland Prep's strengths and weaknesses as it looks to defend its state title.
South Region Top 10
1. Episcopal Dallas (Texas), 5-0: The Eagles jump up one notch to take the top spot, as they remain unbeaten with the help of an 18-2 win over Allen (Texas). Richie Loftus had six assists and two goals, and Thomas Fitts had a team-best four goals.
2. Jupiter (Fla.), 5-0: The schedule isn't getting any easier for the Warriors since their win over 2013 state champion Lake Highland Prep, but they haven't let up. Jupiter added wins over Wellington and previously unbeaten Barron Collier last week and takes over as the top team in Florida.
3. Centennial (Ga.), 4-0: The defending Georgia 6A champion Knights added an 18-7 win over Alpharetta (Ga.) – their first time giving up more than a goal in a game. Centennial has outscored opponents 87-10 but will see some better competition at the end of the month.
4. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 5-1: The Highlanders bounced back from a close loss to Jupiter with two wins over in-state opponents and a notable 7-4 win over previously unbeaten Lovett (Ga.). Reid Thedford finished with three goals and an assist, and Adam Sawicki had 12 saves in goal.
5. Dallas Jesuit (Texas), 7-1: The Rangers went 1-1 at the Brine King of Spring Classic in North Carolina over the weekend, earning a notable 5-4 win over St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.) before falling 8-6 to Memphis University School (Tenn.).
6. Boca Raton (Fla.), 6-0: The Bobcats jump into the rankings with a 6-5 upset win over perennial power and previously unbeaten St. Andrew's. Midfielder Nick McCabe led the scoring with three goals, including what ended up the deciding goal with 3:48 left.
7. Harrison (Ga.), 6-0: The Hoyas account for the only losses for Westminster (Ga.) and Walton (Ga.). The 10-7 win over Westminster is especially impressive considering the Wildcats' strong showing at the Brine King of Spring Classic, where they beat McCallie (Tenn.) and Charlotte Catholic (N.C.).
8. St. Andrew's (Fla.), 6-1: The Scots rebounded from a stunning loss to Boca Raton with a 13-2 quality win over Pope John Paul II (Fla.). St. Andrew's can regain some stock with a big performance against Jupiter on Thursday.
9. Charlotte Latin (N.C.), 3-0: The defending private-school champions are off to a strong start, including a 13-12 win over 2013 Tennessee state champion Memphis University School, which beat Dallas Jesuit on Sunday.
10. Westminster (Ga.), 6-1: The Wildcats started gaining attention with a 15-1 over a traditionally strong Lassiter (Ga.) team last month, but they backed that up with their 2-0 record at the King of Spring Classic. They will continue to be challenged with a tough schedule.
Boca Raton (Fla.) came close to knocking off St. Andrew's in the district championships last year – leading by two goals midway through the fourth quarter. This time, the Bobcats finished the job to hand the Scots their first ever district loss. It also was their first loss against a Palm Beach County opponent. Nick McCabe outraced his defender and scored left-handed with 3:48 left to give the Bobcats a 6-4 lead and despite a late goal by St. Andrew's, they held on to win, 6-5. Boca Raton, which had trailed 2-1 at the half, plays Jupiter in another big game on March 13. The Warriors will be coming off a game against the Scots on Tuesday.
Westminster School (Ga.) knocked McCallie (Tenn.) out of the rankings, handing the Blue Tornado a 6-3 loss Friday at the Brine King of Spring Face-Off Classic. The Wildcats were without their top three scorers due to injury but got a strong performance from freshman Jack Patton, who finished with two goals and one assist. Cole Haverty and Logan Devereaux each had one goal and one assist. It was the only loss for McCallie (4-1) this season, but the Tornado bounced back with a 6-5 win over Highland Park (Texas) on Saturday. McCallie coach Troy Kemp still holds high hopes for his team, which likely could contend for a Tennessee state title.
Highland Park (Texas) were 0-2 after the first two days at the King of Spring Classic, also dropping an 8-3 loss to nationally-ranked Calvert Hall (Md.) in addition to the McCallie game. Although those were the first two losses for the Scots, the competition should prove beneficial as they still face some of the best teams in Texas down the road, including Episcopal Dallas on March 21.
The Woodlands (Texas) also played in the King of Spring Classic but finished 1-2 to drop out of the mix for a Top 10 ranking, at least for now. After beating Memphis University School (Tenn.) 10-8 in the Highlanders' tournament opener, Woodlands fell 15-14 in overtime to Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), which also could be a team to watch this season, and lost 11-5 to St. Anne's-Belfield (Va.).
Episcopal Dallas (Texas) is training in Florida this week with 3dlacrosse. The Eagles play IMG National (Fla.), an academy team which brings together some of the top players from around the country, on Wednesday.
Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) senior Max Parker remains one of the nation's top face-off specialists. He has won 81 of 105 face-offs this season for a 77 percent win rate. Thedford leads the team with 20 goals and three assists this season.
2014 South Region Report Archive
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