Only reflects games played through Wednesday, so sorry, Springfield. You’ll have to wait before being bumped up. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter is @MattChandik. Let’s do this…
1. Episcopal Academy (10-3, 5-0) Last week: No. 1.
Pretty easy pick after the Churchmen downed rival Haverford School in overtime, 9-8, thanks to super sophomore Curtis Zappala‘s overtime winner, which you can watch here. All-Delco Kevin Gayhardt pitched yet another shutout against elite competition, holding Fords attackman Gavin McBride pointless and Colin Reder had a huge interception in OT to deny Haverford’s lone possession. Prior to beating the Fords, EA also notched a key win over Penn Charter and controls its Inter-Ac fate. Big test tomorrow against Lawrenceville at Katie Samson.
2. The Haverford School (8-5, 3-2) Last week: No. 2.
Momentarily thought about knocking the Fords down a peg after back-to-back losses to Malvern Prep and EA, but those might be the two best teams in the state. Peter Blynn was fantastic against the Churchmen with a goal, two assists and strong play up and down the field and Reilly Hupfeldt and Timmy Brooks buried hat tricks. Haverford School bounced back with a nice win over Penn Charter. While it didn’t count in this week’s rankings, it’s still a nice way to rebound.
3. Radnor (10-2, 6-1) Last week: No. 3.
Red Raiders are snapping at the Fords’ heels after an impressive stretch. They whacked Haverford High, 14-2, fended off Abington by a goal and then bludgeoned Harriton. Jake Shapiro was a beast at the faceoff X yet again, Brendan Manderack stopped 10 shots in the win over the Ghosts and Tom Hemcher has been a remarkably consistent scoring threat. The next three games are critical for Radnor as it hosts Downingtown West at Katie Samson, then Springfield and Penncrest. The Red Raiders control their Central League destiny, though, thanks to a head-to-head win over Conestoga and Springfield’s defeat of…
4. Ridley (10-2, 6-1) Last week: No. 4.
The Green Raiders did a tremendous job of shutting down Garnet Valley in a 7-3 win thanks to a big defensive effort and late goals from Matt Borchert. That came on the heels of blowouts over Harriton and Upper Merion, a game in which Kelton Heverly took the offensive lead. There’s a huge game looming Tuesday as Ridley takes on three-time defending PIAA champion Conestoga. A win would help Radnor immensely – only if the Red Raiders can beat Springfield – and you can bet that the Green Raiders aren’t exactly huge fans of the Pioneers, either and would love to knock them off.
5. Garnet Valley (7-4, 5-2) Last week: No. 6.
Good news, bad news for the Jaguars. Good news is that they move up a spot thanks to a win over Springfield. Bad news is that they couldn’t break Ridley’s defensive armor, only managing three goals against the Green Raiders, including two from Brock D’Annunzio. GV was able to get back on track in a 13-2 beatdown of Marple Newtown, thanks in no small part to Robert Raucci‘s three-goal, four-assist night that featured his 100th career goal. Beating Conestoga next Thursday would help the Jaguars out immensely.
6. Springfield (7-4, 5-2) Last week: No. 5.
The roller-coaster ride continues. Springfield fell to Garnet Valley in time for these rankings, but toppled Ridley not in time for these rankings. Before that, the Cougars got a big game from Dan Dickinson to easily rout Plainedge (N.Y.) and then put together a sparkling defensive effort to blank Upper Darby. Lucas Spence had his way with the vaunted Ridley defense to the tune of a five-point night. Make or break night for the Cougars Tuesday against Radnor.
7. Penncrest (7-3, 4-3) Last week: No. 7.
Dylan Protesto had a big week for the Lions with a combined nine points in wins over Kennett and Haverford and Sean Mingey lit up the Fords for a hat trick. The problem for Penncrest, though, is that it hasn’t been able to beat any of the league’s elite teams and finds itself outside of the huge cluster at the top of the standings because of it. Taking out Radnor Thursday night, though, would be a big step forward.
Dropped out: None. Also considered: Cardinal O’Hara.
– MATT CHANDIK