All right, so people keep badgering me for when a Super 7 is coming out, so let’s go with today. We usually try to save the first one for previews/outlooks/overviews whatever we tend to call them these days, but with everyone having a game or two – minimum – under their belts, this isn’t a bad time, and this one makes history!
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter is @MattChandik. Here we go…
1. Radnor (1-0, 0-0)
This is my third (!) year covering boys lacrosse and for the first time in that span, there’s a public school holding the No. 1 ranking in the Super 7. So The Haverford School just happened to be pretty darn good the past few years. Sue me. Then Episcopal Academy was No. 1 after winning the Inter-Ac Invitational. The Churchmen were going to be my No. 1, but the Red Raiders’ 7-6 win Friday in what was their season opener bumped them up a spot. (Phillylacrosse.com game story) Brendan Manderack showed why he’s considered by many to be the best goalie in the county with 18 (!!!) saves against EA and his brother, Alex, popped three goals, including the game-winner. All-EPSLA pick Peter Donato also sniped a pair of goals. It’s early, but it wouldn’t be surprising to me in the slightest to see the Red Raiders playing for a state title this year.
2. Episcopal Academy (1-3, 0-0)
Like I said earlier, EA was the preseason choice for No. 1, but that’s why they play the games. The 1-3 record isn’t what coach Andy Hayes expected at this point, but those three teams that beat the Churchmen aren’t exactly scrubs. Tyler Chambers has been a man on a mission in the early going and Peter Gayhardt, younger brother of All-Delco defender Kevin, hasn’t wasted any time getting involved offensively. There’s been a concerning trend where EA scores a bunch early only to be shut down late, so that warrants watching. A lethal stretch against Downingtown East, La Salle and St. Joseph’s Prep will make sure the Churchmen are ready for Inter-Ac play.
3. Ridley (1-0, 0-0)
As they do pretty much every year, the Green Raiders took care of Interboro in the opener. The 10-1 win over the Bucs featured a hat trick from Brian Sinex and three points from Nick Hill, while Tommy McDermott was his usual sharp self as he stoned seven of the eight shots sent his way. I think the Central League has more than one contender this year and Ridley is definitely a part of that mix. The Green Raiders lost All-American and two-time All-Delco LSM Matt Ward, but there’s a wealth of talent back for coach Kevin Ellers.
4. The Haverford School (1-3, 0-0)
I know that those three losses came to powerhouse MIAA teams, but man, you just don’t expect to see John Nostrant-coached teams to give up 40 goals in three games. That’s not even so much on goalie Jake Landman, either. The Fords are really, really young. I watched their opener against St. Paul’s on Kudda.com (and was overly excited about hearing the voice of Booker Corrigan, which could make a wolverine purr) and it was crazy to see how much THS had to rely on its youth. The Fords bounced back with a win over McDonogh (Md.) (Phillylacrosse.com story) that should help get things started. Drew Supinski had two goals in that game and Landman stopped 12 shots.
5. Penncrest (1-0, 0-0)
Good start for the Lions as they pummeled Unionville, 15-5, in their opener. Will Manganiello picked up where he left off a year ago, torching the Indians for four goals and an assist, while Rob Logan dished out four helpers to go with a pair of goals. This is a team that I really think can do some damage, especially with coach Wayne Matsinger at the helm. He’ll have his group playing better later on, but this is a good start. Dylan Protesto was an animal at the faceoff X against Unionville as he took away 22 of the 24 faceoffs.
6. Garnet Valley (1-1, 0-0)
I think I would have originally had the Jaguars ahead of Penncrest, but losing to Central Pa. teams doesn’t help your cause at all. GV opened up the season with a thrilling 4-3 win over Hatboro-Horsham with Robert Raucci scoring the winner. Mike Lanham (5-for-5) and Zach Penfil were 8-for-11 on faceoffs, which is about what you should expect on a game-by-game basis from them. Mitch Rose came up big with 11 saves, too. But a 7-4 loss to Manheim Central kind of brought down the Jaguars’ buzz a bit. A game with New York power Ward Melville will GV up for the opening week of Central League play against Strath Haven and Radnor.
7. Springfield (1-0, 0-0)
You get the feeling that there’s going to be a lot of flip-flopping out of this spot, but I’ll go with the Cougars to start things off. Sophomore Lucas Spence was the point man in a 6-4 win over a rapidly-improving Cardinal O’Hara team as he dished out four assists to spur a balanced offense. FOGO Mark Gurenlian claimed 12 of 14 faceoffs and added a goal, while Nick Baratelle stoned eight shots. I think the Cougars – at least in the early going – are a step below Radnor, Conestoga, Ridley, Penncrest and Garnet Valley in the league pecking order, but there are a lot of pieces back for Tom Lemieux to work with.
Also considered: Cardinal O’Hara, Interboro.
You’ll notice that every team’s name is highlighted. Clicking on the link will take you to the team page. I’ve been in Hershey for the past two days for state basketball, so I haven’t gotten around to updating everyone’s stats yet. I should have everyone ready to go by Monday or early Tuesday. Keep an eye out for more previews, too.
– MATT CHANDIK