Thanks to the magic of turf fields, there’s actually a little bit of information available to me just under two weeks into the season in order to decipher a Super 7. At the very least, I have a vague idea, but I sense there could be plenty of jockeying for position and a lot of teams beating up on each other in the lower reaches of the Super 7 in the coming days. So here goes. (Note: Records and rankings do not reflect Tuesday’s games.)
1. Haverford School (3-2)
Are you sitting down? Haverford School is likely the best lacrosse team in the county. I know this is such a shock to the system, but we’ll get through it. They’ve performed well, going 4-2 through their early-season national schedule. They’ve weathered the loss of Peter Blynn to season-ending injury. If you’re looking for someone to step up, might I suggest sophomore Forry Smith, who made the difference with five goals in the 16-12 win over IMG Academy. They’ve had 12 different goalscorers already this young season. The Fords have a massive week ahead with Episcopal Academy Friday to open the Inter-Ac slate.
2. Penncrest (4-0)
I’m intrigued with what the Lions have done. The attack orchestrated by Will Manganiello and Drew Hanna has gotten a boost with Dylan Protesto, always reliable at the faceoff “x,” finding the back of the net often lately. How the goaltending situation, which has involved not a two-man but a three-man platoon, shakes out could be a big determining factor.
3. Episcopal Academy (1-5)
OK, the record isn’t great. It’s likely that the Churchmen could play third fiddle in the Inter-Ac behind Haverford School and Malvern Prep. But the Churchmen have played a typically daunting schedule early this season, and I have no doubts that it will pay dividends down the road.
4. Springfield (3-0)
Here’s where we need to start sorting teams, and I think the gaps between the next three are very small. I give a slight edge to the Cougars to start out with. On the basis of individual talent, there aren’t many better than All-Delco Lucas Spence, and he has been prolific offensively in the first three games. The Cougars are another team figuring out their goalkeeping situation, with James Spence and Nick Baratelle splitting time.
5. Radnor (3-1)
The only loss is to St. Joseph’s Prep, a potential state championship contender, and they handily passed their first two Central League tests against Lower Merion and Garnet Valley, both by 12-5 scores. The ability of someone like Jack Fischer to step up and provide four goals against Garnet Valley is an important secondary offensive option behind the usual suspects like Jack Norton and Jack Wilson.
6. Ridley (4-0)
The Green Raiders have allowed just 14 goals in four games, a testament to their stout defense. It seems as though they have a variety of scorers – 10 players have already notched multi-goal games – capable of making that defense stand up.
7. Garnet Valley (2-1)
The setback to Radnor aside, the Jags were able to eke out wins over Strath Haven and Hatboro-Horsham. A big part of their success this season could be determined by how well Matt Moore performs. There’s no doubt of the freshman’s talent, and he’s adapted well so far.