Boys Lacrosse: Super 7 No. 2

Episcopal Academy midfielder Ian Strain, seen here as a junior, and the Churchmen are back atop the Super 7. PHOTO COURTESY OF PHILLYLACROSSE.COM

Episcopal Academy midfielder Ian Strain, seen here as a junior, and the Churchmen are back atop the Super 7.

I was going to hold off until we ran the lacrosse outlook in the paper, but I’m not sure what day that will be precisely. Hence, here’s your new lacrosse Super 7.

Email is Twitter is @MattChandik. Records through Monday. Let’s do this…

1. Episcopal Academy (4-3, 0-0) Last week: No. 2.

As you can read here and here, the Churchmen had about as good a week as you can ask for as they dominated Catholic League powerhouses La Salle and St. Joseph’s Prep three days apart. All-Delco Kevin Gayhardt has taken his game to another level this year (more on him later), Ian Strain is a stat-stuffing machine and Curtis Zappala is rounding into his pre-injury form. Goalie Colin Reder has been top-notch since taking over the starting job from Brian Zappala.

Yes, EA did lose to Radnor in the season opener, but the Super 7 is very much about what have you done for me lately. It’s a weekly power ranking. Please keep that in mind. The Churchmen jump into Inter-Ac play tomorrow against Germantown Academy.

2. The Haverford School (5-3, 1-0) Last week: No. 4.

Talk about a turnaround. Three games into the season, the Fords were 0-3. After Tuesday’s impressive 14-6 rout of Penn Charter, they’re looking like the toast of the Inter-Ac. OK, so EA and Malvern Prep aren’t as impressed, but Haverford School has turned things around almost overnight. The Fords took out Radnor Saturday, 9-7, and Penn Charter was one of the area’s hottest teams before running into Haverford School. Jake Landman has been a steady, calming influence in goal, while Gavin McBride and Timmy Brooks are finding the net with regularity. Look out.

3. Penncrest (4-0, 2-0) Last week: No. 5.

The Lions stand alone as the county’s last unbeaten team, though they’ve yet to run into the meat of their schedule. That starts this week with dates with Garnet Valley and Springfield, but Penncrest is pretty darn good. The Lions blanked Harriton, 13-0, behind three goals and four assists from Will Manganiello and four goals from Zach Kruzel. The goalie platoon of Casey Brown and Dylan McCleaft seems to be working just fine for coach Wayne Matsinger. Is that a permanent thing once Penncrest plays the better teams?

4. Garnet Valley (4-2, 2-0) Last week: No. 6.

Trying to figure out the Jaguars will probably eventually be the death of me. They barely edged Strath Haven, then upset the team most thought was the team to beat in the Central League in Radnor. Sure, that makes sense. Anyway, Robert Raucci has had the Midas touch all season with three game-winners in one-goal games, including the golden goal in a 6-5 overtime win over Bishop Shanahan. Balanced scoring seems to be the theme this year and improved goaltending from Mitch Rose hasn’t hurt, either. 

5. Radnor (4-2, 1-1) Last week: No. 1.

Flip a coin between the Red Raiders and Ridley. There’s not much separation, especially after seeing both of them play Saturday. Ultimately, though, Radnor might have a slight – and I do mean ever so slight – edge offensively. Freshman Jack Wilson had a first-quarter hat trick against Haverford School and Peter Donato is a tremendous two-way midfielder. Brendan Manderack “only” had 10 saves against the Fords, but they were some really high-quality saves. Ever so coincidentally, the two teams play each other Thursday.

6. Ridley (4-1, 2-0) Last week: No. 3.

I cannot emphasize how much I love this team’s defense. Nick Eufrasio is a bonafide star at close defense, John Saunders is an unsung hero who does a whole lot and a guy like midfielder Mike Crowley does a good job on D as a short stick. He never comes off the field, so his impact is felt all over the field. That, combined with Tommy McDermott being a rock in net, makes Ridley hard to score on.

But as I saw in a 6-4 loss to Avon Grove, the Green Raiders aren’t a particularly explosive team offensively. Maybe that changes when Dalton George returns to the lineup tomorrow, but he’s another guy who will score his fair share, but probably not anything out of this world. It’s great to have depth, but when Ridley was down two late against the Red Devils, no one seemed to know who was going to take the big shots. Kelton Heverly eventually did late, only to be turned aside by Will Schreiner, who was excellent. If the Green Raiders get more scoring, they’ll be lethal.

7. Springfield (3-2, 2-0) Last week: No. 7.

It’s an enormous week for the Cougars as they take on Conestoga and Penncrest, but Springfield is playing pretty well. I expected the Cougars to beat Strath Haven, but 15-3 was definitely unexpected. Lucas Spence was the forefront of that one with three goals and three helpers, while Vince Marra had a hat trick and an assist. Then Marra set a career-high with six goals and two assists against Harriton, while Spence dished out a career-best five helpers. With Springfield’s full complement of players back, it’s a darkhorse to win the Central League.

Also considered: None.

Stats, including the first batch of county leaders, will be posted late tonight when I finally catch up with everything. There will also be a Player of the Week post and the Week That Was.


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