There’s a new face this week in the Super 7, one that I should have recognized a little sooner. There’s also a fair amount of shuffling this week, as much do with injuries and teams sliding as anything else. So here we go. (Also updated is the top scorers list.)
1. Strath Haven (14-1-2) Last Week: No. 1
The Panthers deservedly get a first-round bye in the District One playoffs. If you’re looking at their districts prospects, they are a stunning 5-1-2 against the other teams in the Class AAA draw, the only loss coming to No. 7 Rustin, a team that wouldn’t face until the semifinals at the earliest, in which case states qualification would already be in hand.
2. Agnes Irwin (11-1-1) Last Week: No. 2
The Owls don’t lose any ground after essentially a midseason bye week. If they can just stay the course, an Inter-Ac title could be theirs.
3. Haverford (13-4-0) Last Week: No. 3
The Fords get a home playoff game, a monumental achievement. It’s not the one you want – a 16-17 matchup with West Chester East for the honor of braving the buzzsaw that is No. 1 seed Neshaminy if they advance, but it’s one game at a time for the Fords.
4. Episcopal Academy (10-5-1) Last Week: No. 5
The Churchmen have won three straight, including a 2-1 win over a banged up Notre Dame team (more on that momentarily). For all their struggles in league play, they’ve already reached the 10-win threshold, which is nothing to sneeze at.
5. Garnet Valley (9-4-4) Last Week: NR
I take the same position with the Garnet Valley girls as the Sun Valley boys: They knew what needed to be done late in the season to make a playoff push, and they did just that, winning their last four and going unbeaten through their last eight. This is a team with playoff experience from last year, and while a trip to Pennsbury may be daunting, the Jaguars are about the most equipped in the county for that challenge.
6. Notre Dame (10-4-1) Last Week: No. 3
Injuries have decimated the Irish, who have lost three straight. It’s possible that goalkeeper Katy McCullough could be on the road to returning, but if defender Lexi Odgers and forward Phoebe McClernon are out for any extended periods of time, it could spell disaster.
7. Cardinal O’Hara (8-6-1) Last Week: No. 7
With the Catholic League playoffs looming, I wouldn’t read too deeply into the loss to Delco Christian, however big it was for the Knights. I still find it odd that the Lions have played just three games this month; it seems the Catholic League just front-loads its schedules in every sport.
Dropped out: Springfield (7-5-3; Last Week No. 6)
Also under consideration: Interboro (8-7-2; a spot in districts is significant to the Bucs program); Marple Newtown (10-6-1; The Tigers have won seven straight and haven’t lost since late September; I think they could be peaking at the right time); Delco Christian (11-7-0; The glory of Class A is that the Knights are only two wins from states).