The Lax Guys' National Boys' Lacrosse Rankings: March 2
March 2, 2010Georgetown Prep
The Lax Guys' National High School Rankings for Boys' Lacrosse - March 2
1. Boys' Latin, MD (14-4) • MIAA Quarterfinalists • This team is absolutely loaded with talent. They did not have the best of seasons last year, but they bring back nearly all of their starters. They boast eight Division I senior signees and two of the top-ranked juniors one whose last name is Stanwick. The Lakers also have one of the top FOGOs in the country in R.G. Keenan. Their biggest question mark is on defense, where they struggled the majority of last year, allowing over nine goals a game. The Lakers face their toughest test against St. Paul's on May 7th, but they must represent the MIAA against Saint Andrew's (FL) on March 13th and Salisbury (Founders League) on April 3rd.
2. St. Paul's, MD (13-7) • MIAA Quarterfinalists • The Crusaders return loads of talent on both ends of the field, gunning for the program's 25th conference title and first since 2004. St. Paul's lost few seniors but will have big shoes to fill between the pipes with Harry Krieger now playing at Harvard. Four underclassmen will compete for the starting goalie job. A whopping 15 Division I commits will suit up in the blue and gold on offense, including middies Pat Powderly (Syracuse) and Alex Chay (Georgetown) as well as another future Hoya, Jeff Fountain, a very shifty attackman. All three starters return to flank the defensive unit, which will look to improve on their 2009 campaign. Top non-conference games involve an early one at #9 Haverford School on March 12th and against #8 Garden City a month later at Homewood Field. The game all lacrosse fans have circled on their calendars will be the match-up at archrival Boys' Latin on May 7th.
3. West Islip, NY (22-1) • Section 11 - Class A Champion • The Lions, who ended last season as the number two team in these rankings, lost quite a bit of talent from the team that defeated Orchard Park, 10-5, to win the Class A state championship. Gone are five D1 signees, but West Islip returns a formidable cast of performers, headlined by IL's #1 player in the class of 2010, attackman Nicky Galasso (North Carolina). Offense should not be much of a problem for the Lions, who return senior midfielder Andrew Hodgson (Towson), junior midfielders Connor Braddish and Mike Sagl, and junior attackman Drew Federico. Their defense, on the other hand, will be inexperienced and must rise to the challenge if West Islip is to repeat. They will be challenged by three ranked opponents on their schedule, including a non-league clash with Chaminade on April 3.
4. Deerfield Academy, MA (15-1) • NE Founder's League Co-Champion (no playoffs) • The Big Green lost several key components of last year's squad but have reloaded with the addition of a few key post-grads and will be back to where they have been historically in New England prep lacrosse. Post-grad attackmen Christian Walsh (Duke) and Zac Koufakis (Dartmouth), as well as IL's #4 junior Jimmy Bitter (North Carolina), will put up big points for a Deerfield offense stacked with lots of talent and experience. Senior John Rose (Harvard) will be one of several strong longpoles for Chip Davis' squad. As they do perennially, Deerfield will have a tough slate of games, most importantly back-to-back tilts at #16 Avon Old Farms (May 8) and at home against #6 Salisbury School four days later.5. LaFayette, NY (23-1) • Section 3 - Class C Runner-up • The high-powered Lancers lost IL's #1 player from the class of 2009 in midfielder John Greeley (Johns Hopkins) but return arguably the most dynamic duo in the nation. The Thompson brothers will look to push LaFayette over the hump to a state championship this year. Junior midfielder Lyle Thompson and senior attackman Miles Thompson have both committed to Albany and will make the Lancers difficult to beat in Section 3 this season. After falling to Manhasset, 16-11, in the state finals last spring, LaFayette is the heavy favorite to win it all this season, especially if their defense can show improvement. The Lancers have a fairly light slate of games this season, but they will be tested by sectional games against Skaneateles on April 24 and Jamesville-DeWitt on May 1, both at home.
6. Salisbury School, CT (13-1) • Founders League Co-Champion • The Crimson Knights have certainly reloaded this year after losing 12 Division I commitments from the 2009 senior class. The new look Knights are sending seven players to D1. This team looks to be offensively explosive, led by their FOGO Ian Gordon (Loyola) and Ty Thompson (Albany) but may lack some talent defensively aside from goalie Jamie Faus (Denver). Salisbury graduated talented defensemen, and they must fill the gaps in order to have a successful year. Salisbury will be challenged to prove themselves in the first game of the season against Boys' Latin before heading into conference play. Big conference games are against Deerfield on May 12th and Avon Old Farms on May 15th.
7. Conestoga, PA (24-2) • Pennsylvania Runner-up • The Pioneers, who finished as the runner-up to La Salle last year, lost two big senior leaders but return wonderful players at every position. Senior Casey Ikeda (Maryland) will lead the group of talented longpoles, which also include juniors Benn Karr (Ohio State) and Brain Dailey (Duke). Austin Rogusky (Loyola) can play either attack or midfield and will be one of the best offensive players in Philly. Depth will not be a problem for Coach Brian Samson, who has one of the best senior classes in Conestoga history. Big games for the Pioneers include an early game at Landon School on March 27th as well as one against a tough Haverford School squad a week later. On April 20th, 'Stoga will have a big showdown with league foe Springfield-Delco.
8. Garden City, NY (17-4) • Section 8 - Long Island Class B Runner-up • One of Long Island's most storied programs, the Trojans hope to improve on their disappointing 2009 campaign, which ended in a loss to upstart Sayville in the Long Island championships. Garden City lost considerable talent but returns even more. Two of the nation's top junior defenders, Steven Jahelka and Brian Fischer, both committed to Harvard, will anchor perhaps the top unit on Long Island, while sophomore attackman Devin Dwyer will lead a solid offense. The Trojans travel to face a talented Smithtown West team on April 3, and the following weekend they take on our second-ranked team, St. Paul's, at Homewood Field.
9. Haverford School, PA (16-8) • PA Inter-Ac Champion • After an eight-loss season in 2009, the Fords return a total of 12 Division I commitments, including nine from the junior class, to suit up for coach John Nostrant. Haverford loses All-American goalie Dan Wigrizer, but Notre Dame commit Conor Kelly will start in goal with talented longpoles in front of him, including 6'7 Princeton-bound Alex Beatty. The midfield will be loaded, boosted by stud face-off man Liam O'Connor (Notre Dame) and junior Carl Walrath (Virginia). As such each year, the Fords face a very challenging schedule, including several games against tough New Jersey and Maryland squads. The Fords open the season hosting #2 St. Paul's, another team with a high-powered offense. They also host Conestoga and will have a home-and-home series with league rival Malvern Prep.10. Chaminade, NY (14-5) • CHSAA Runner-up • A promising season ended on a sour note for the Flyers in 2009, as they were beaten handily by St. Anthony's in the CHSAA final, 17-9. Things should be looking up in 2010 for Chaminade, which returns two of the top defensemen on Long Island in John Urbank (Georgetown) and Mike Ehrhardt (Maryland). Attackman Will Himler (Princeton) returns on the offensive side. They also return junior goalie John Connors, who was the first sophomore to start for Chaminade since 1990 last season. These returnees should help to ease the loss of seven graduated seniors now in D1, one of the largest such classes in the nation. The Flyers will play a challenging schedule, including an April 3 road game against West Islip and a May 15 home contest against Catholic rival Delbarton. Also on tap is the annual home-and-home series with archrival St Anthony's.
11. Calvert Hall, MD (14-4) • MIAA Finalists • The Calvert Hall Cardinals find themselves in relatively good position preseason in the MIAA. While many observers believe the championship is a race between St. Paul's and Boys' Latin, the Cardinals return eight players headed to Division I, including Greg Dutton (Ohio State), whom many consider the #1 goalie in the MIAA. The strength of Calvert Hall lies in a midfield led by Tony Rossi (Stevenson) and Philip Castranova (Johns Hopkins). The Cardinals will certainly miss their recent graduates, attackmen Jason McFadden (Georgetown) and Patrick Fanshaw (Loyola), as well as defenseman Chris Lightner (Johns Hopkins). The Cardinals represent the United States against talented Hill Academy (Canada) on March 19th and follow up with a game against Ohio power Western Reserve Academy on March 21st. Perhaps the game the Cardinals are looking forward to most is a rematch of last year's MIAA final against Gilman on April 27th.
12. West Genesee, NY (20-2) • Section 3 - Class A Quarterfinalist • Mike Messere's Wildcats suffered a shocking loss in the state quarterfinals to Ithaca in 2009 and will look to bounce back in 2010. Senior midfielder John Glesener (Army) and senior defenseman Joe Fletcher (Loyola) will lead West Genny in its quest for a 16th state championship and an attempt to reestablish the Wildcats as one of the nation's top programs. They will be tested by a home match-up against Pennsylvania public power Downingtown East on April 3 as well as by games against Section 3 Class B contenders Jamesville-DeWitt (3/30) and Carthage (4/01). And their league schedule is always challenging.
13. Ward Melville, NY (16-4) • Section 11 Finalist • Suffolk county's most historic program will get another chance to dethrone West Islip and win its first county championship since 2000 this spring. The Patriots have upset West Islip three times during the regular season since 2004 but have failed to beat the Lions in the playoffs. They bring back top senior defenseman Matt Kunkel (Duke) as well as senior midfielders Jimmy Ryan (Colgate) and Al Destefano (Army). The attack will be led by junior Will Mazzone (Army), and the offense will seek to improve on lackluster performances in recent years. The Patriots play two ranked opponents, including West Islip (5/05), during their league schedule and also host rival Yorktown on April 10th.
14. Georgetown Prep, MD (20-3) • IAC Champion • After topping nemesis Landon School for the IAC title, the Little Hoyas reload and are once again the top team in their conference despite losing key seniors to graduation. Attackman Pat Glading (Virginia) and midfielder Matty Collins (Notre Dame) will be the offensive lynchpins, while Robert Posniewski (Princeton) will hold down the defensive side. The big question mark will be replacing All-American goalie John Kemp, now at Notre Dame. There is no shortage of depth for Coach Giblin, but he will need several players to step up for the Little Hoyas to be successful once again. Important games include non-conference showdowns on March 17th against Gilman and April 1st at Delbarton. Prep will also host archrival Landon this year on April 23rd, easily their biggest game of the year.15. St. Anthony's, NY (16-2) • CHSAA Champion • The Friars want to defend their CHSAA crown, captured for the first time in four years from rival Chaminade in 2009, and replace eight graduated seniors headed to Division I at the same time. They will be led by one of the best midfielders in the country, senior Tom Schreiber (Princeton), as well as senior A/M Brendan Schroeder (Navy) and five other D1-bound seniors. Despite the losses, the Friars continue to reload and should challenge Chaminade in the first season of the realigned NY Catholic League. As always, St. Anthony's will play a challenging schedule, traveling to Delbarton on April 30 and facing Yorktown at home on May 15, in addition to the home-and-home series with Chaminade.
16. Avon Old Farms, CT (10-5) • NE West (no playoffs) • In 2010, the Winged Beavers aim to improve on last year's subpar season that included three straight losses in the last 10 days of the season. Middie Hakeem Lecky (Syracuse) decided on a postgrad year this past summer and will be this team's leader along with attackman Josh Dionne (Duke). The defense could be somewhat of a problem, as they graduated their starting goalie and two starters at close D. Avon Old Farms will have a tough early non-conference schedule. Tests include a road game at McDonogh on March 23rd, but their biggest games will be hosting Deerfield on May 8th and at Salisbury School a week later.
17. St. Mary's, MD (15-2) • MIAA Semifinalist • The Saints had one of their best seasons in recent memory last spring and hope to improve on that success. The biggest obstacle to overcome is the loss of their entire defense, including Jason Gonos (Harvard) and a trio of middie/attack UMBC recruits in Nick Doub, Scott Hopmann and Neill Lewnes. The Saints return IL's #3 recruit midfielder Mark McNeill (North Carolina), goalie Dom Lamolinara (Maryland), and IL's #12 junior recruit attackman, Logan Connolly (Notre Dame). For the Saints to make noise in the MIAA, coach Matt Hogan will have to find a way to replace the abundance of talent lost on defense. Important games for the Saints include an April 6th home tilt against St. Paul's and a home-and-home series with Boys' Latin.
18. John Jay, NY (10-9) • Section 1 Finalist • The Indians had their worst year in quite a while in 2009 yet showed flashes of their great potential at the end of the season and should improve considerably in 2010. John Jay will be led by junior attackman Mike Daniello (Johns Hopkins), one of IL's top recruits in his class, along with seniors Jameson Pickel (defense/Johns Hopkins), Brandon Merlino (midfield/UMBC), and Will O'Donnell (midfield/Army). The Indians have their rivalry game at Yorktown on April 3 and will be tested in a Class B battle with Somers on April 15 and a non-league showdown against Section 4 power Corning East on April 24. The Indians lost to each of opponent in 2009.
19. Gilman School, MD (15-1) • MIAA Champion • There is a changing of the guard on Roland Ave this year, as one of the most successful classes ever to go through Gilman graduated. The Greyhounds lost five Under Armour All-Americans, so many large gaps must be filled. In addition, Gilman loses its entire starting defense and goalie, but they do return a good bit of talent in junior midfielder Ryan Tucker (Virginia), senior midfielder Duncan Hutchins (North Carolnia), and senior attackman Paul Danko (Denver). The key to Gilman's success lies in the hands of defensive mastermind coach Brooks Matthews. His ability to rebuild defenses has led Gilman to two straight MIAA championship games. If the Greyhounds want to contend again, he must produce a defense that can slow MIAA favorites St. Paul's and Boys' Latin. Gilman's out-of-conference schedule features annual rivalries against Georgetown Prep on March 17th and Landon on April 3rd.20. Landon School, MD (18-4) • IAC Runner-Up • After losing a fairly strong senior class, the Bears are back once again, looking to further prove IAC supremacy. The attack unit, which lost Josh Offit (Duke), will be led by Harrison Archer (Denver) and junior Patrick Keena (Navy). The midfield will be strong, led by Cornell signee Joe Paoletta, a very underrated player. The defense also suffer losses to graduation, but several talented underclassmen step into new roles. Big games for Landon include a March 27th home game against #7 Conestoga and their rivalry game at Georgetown Prep on April 23rd.
21. Summit, NJ (22-1) • New Jersey State Champion • The Hilltoppers started last season with a loss to Delbarton School and never looked back, as they won 22 consecutive games en route to the Tournament of Champions title, which avenged their only loss of the season. Summit graduated a mere two Division I commits last year in midfielder James Kennedy (Holy Cross) and attackman Kyle Mahoney (Saint Joseph's). Summit looks to build on last year's success with a core group of returning starters that include goalie Brian Feeney (Penn), his midfielder brother Danny Feeney (Penn), and attackman Johnny Scioscia (Notre Dame). Key match-ups for the Hilltoppers include a tilt with Delbarton on April 3rd, St. Joseph's Prep (PA) on April 7th, and Ridgewood on May 5th.
22. Canandaigua Academy, NY (22-2) • Section 5 - Class B Champion • The Braves had a historic 2009, as the program's first state title was the subject of an Internet documentary, Season in the Balance. They will strive to defend that title with the help of five D1 senior commits, among them the player with perhaps the best name in the sport, midfielder Tom LaCrosse (Penn State). Joining him as a Nittany Lion in 2011 will be Nick King, one of the top goalies in all of Upstate New York. The Braves will also feature UMBC-bound senior attackman Deven Alves. They will face challenges from Section 6 power Hamburg on May 14, Section 4 favorite Corning East on April 17, and rival Irondequoit on May 18.
23. McDonogh School, MD (11-7) • MIAA - did not make playoffs • After suffering just a few vital losses to graduation, the Eagles are optimistic that they can improve on their 2009 campaign. Attackman Tyler Frederick (Ohio State) will lead the team and work as the offensive quarterback. The midfield will take a hit, having graduated all-around middie Curtis Holmes, but will return a solid group of young players. The defense will once again be the team's strength, led by senior Joe Muerer (Ohio State) and junior Bryson Greene (Georgetown). Big games include two home-and-home series with St. Paul's and Calvert Hall as well as a big rivalry showdown against Gilman on April 20th.
24. Delbarton School, NJ (19-3) • New Jersey State Finalist • The Green Wave had a very successful season last year, dropping only three games with a brutal schedule (and one loss was without nine or so starters). They would like to win the Tournament of Champions, which eluded them last year. Key losses include defenseman Brendan Bicknese (Georgetown), middie Alex White (Harvard), and attackman Ryan Foley (Notre Dame). The strength of Delbarton this year lies in a defense that returns IL's #43 junior Jack Breit along with seniors Ben Seligmann (Georgetown) and Joe Petrucci (Harvard). If Delbarton can find offensive production from less experienced players, they can really make noise nationally, as they boast one of the toughest out-of-conference schedules in the country. Key match-ups take place against Georgetown Prep (IAC) on April 1st, Summit on April 3rd, St. Anthony's (NY) on April 30th, and Chaminade on May 15th.25. Smithtown West, NY (12-8) • Section 11 - Class B Finalist • The Bulls came on strong at the end of the 2009 season, nearly reaching the Long Island championship after beginning the year 1-3. They bring a loaded offense into the 2010 campaign that features junior attackman Kyle Keenan (Duke), sophomore attackman James Pannell, and senior midfielder Brett Madarasz (Manhattan). Smithtown West may be the team to challenge the supremacy of West Islip and Ward Melville in Suffolk Class A. That's a bg challenge, as no other team has finished in the top two of the regular season standings since Northport's second place in 2006. They will face three top-15 teams in 2010, including a non-league home contest against 8th-ranked Garden City on April 3 and league games against West Islip and Ward Melville.
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