Major changes have occurred in the Super 7, and not just because I was remiss in not posting one last week. In any event, the established order in the Central League seems to be shifting by the game, though the hierarchy with regard to the public-private debate is pretty well established at the moment.
Also of note is that the first batch of stat leaders is updated on the blog for scoring leaders and saves leaders. Of note here: The stats are not complete. There are several teams for which I am missing a game or two and have calls out to retrieve them. There are other teams for which I don’t have enough stats to even include their players. I’m working to rectify that and will have an update with stats old and new by the end of the week. If there are irregularities in the stats, drop me an email at email@example.com instead of the comments section.
Without further ado, the Super 7… (records through April 21)
1. Haverford School (10-3) Last Week: No. 1
We’ll just assume until further notice, the Fords are No. 1. It’s remarkable how they manage to replace contributors like pulling a new suit out of the closet. Connor Keating and Peter Blynn go down with injures? No worries. Just have Forry Smith score a bunch of goals, Dox Aitken be everywhere and Grant Ament assist on everything. Tuesday’s meeting with Malvern Prep has major Inter-Ac title implications. Oh, and if you’re looking for PIAA parallels, the Fords thumped St. Joseph’s Prep 15-6 a couple of weeks back and handed Avon Grove – the team that beat Ridley 15-5 earlier in the season – a 10-6 loss.
2. Episcopal Academy (4-7) Last Week: No. 3
That further notice for the Fords could be provided this Friday when the Inter-Ac rivals renew acquaintances at the Churchmen’s place. There’s no doubt that the Churchmen are better than their record through a daunting schedule indicates. For evidence, see them taking Malvern Prep, one of the front-runners in the Inter-Ac, to overtime. Curt Zappala has been the guy for EA this season, and having Chris Friedman and Tyler Haab around for support has helped as well.
3. Penncrest (11-0) Last Week: No. 2
The fact that the Lions are in this spot is a testament to the teams ahead of them. Penncrest has simply been outstanding. They’ve gotten scoring from a variety of people, with Will Manganiello unquestionably leading the parade. There are still tests looming – among them Radnor and Conestoga – but the Lions are flying high toward a Central League title and a very high seed in the district tournament.
4. Radnor (8-1) Last Week: No. 5
The Raiders seem to be on a mission not to be underestimated, and they’re making a convincing case. They can win games a lot of ways. Defensively, they haven’t allowed a team out of single-digits this year, including permitting just one goal in each of their last two games. They get consistent offensive production from four or five guys. But what I think is most telling is this: We saw what Springfield did two days after winning an emotional game over Conestoga. Well, Radnor beat the Pioneers, 8-6, April 8. The response two days later? A 16-1 annihilation of a solid if not spectacular Haverford team. That’s a telling gutcheck.
5. Ridley (8-3) Last Week: No. 6
Matt Borchert and Lou Harrison have combined for 22 goals in the last three games. That duo was limited to just two markers in the 12-9 loss to Penncrest. That’s hardly a coincidence. And it’s been a vital facet in the Green Raiders’ ability to rebound from a three-game losing streak to rattle off three straight wins.
6. Garnet Valley (6-3) Last Week: No. 7
The Jags also make a jump up this week thanks to three straight wins. They’ve got a couple of quality nonleague wins to their name, including a 12-11 win over Holy Ghost Prep last time out fueled by Kyle Roberts’ six-point day. If you’re looking for a key figure this season, it might just be Christian Portale. He’s got three hat tricks this season; the Jags are 3-0 in those games – including the toppling of Springfield April 10 – winning by a combined eight goals.
7. Springfield (6-2) Last Week: No. 4
I’m trying to figure out a Cougars team that is very Jekyll and Hyde this year. It’s hard to believe they go from being so comprehensive in beating Conestoga (a team we now know isn’t what it has been in years past) to laying an egg vs. Penncrest. Then they have a letdown in getting beat by Garnet Valley, but recover to stomp a Downingtown East squad that is one of the better teams in the Ches-Mont. Kind of hard to figure.