Let’s call it a shuffling of the Super 7 this week. There’s no change at the top, even if the gap to the first team and the field is a bit tighter, and there’s a slight reorganization of the deck. Here goes. (Records through April 29.)
1. Haverford School (13-3) Last Week: No. 1
The Fords were comprehensive in dispatching EA last week, then followed it up just hours later with a really strong showing in a 17-11 win over Lawrenceville School. The next challenge is to see if they can earn a share of the Inter-Ac title by getting back at Malvern Prep, which beat them in overtime when they met last week. That game was Connor Keating’s first back after three weeks out with an injury, and you wonder what the benefits of having him reacclimatize to the team will be.
2. Penncrest (15-0) Last Week: No. 3
There’s no doubt that the Lions are on a roll with a potent attack led by Will Manganiello, Drew Hanna and Alex Bonnett, among others. There’s only one thing separating them from the top spot in the rankings, and it’s this fact: Haverford School has had 29 players score a goal this season. That kind of depth is, in my mind, unmatchable.
3. Radnor (11-1) Last Week: No. 4
The Raiders might dodge a little bit of a bullet with their game against Springfield Tuesday getting rained out, allowing them to focus their attention solely on Thursday’s title tilt with Penncrest. It’ll be an interesting clash of styles: Radnor hasn’t given up more than nine goals in a game this season, and Penncrest has only scored fewer than 10 in two games. Something will have to give there.
4. Episcopal Academy (5-10) Last Week: No. 2
The record doesn’t look great, and a string of three straight losses means I have to drop them in the standings, especially with FOGO Matt Ernst likely out for the season and attacker Tyler Haab also on the shelf for an extended period. But to illustrate how narrow the margins are between EA being in this predicament and having a stellar season, consider these stats: They are 0-4 in overtime and 0-6 in one-goal games. If they could’ve found a way to reverse just a handful of those decisions, we’re talking about a much different narrative.
5. Ridley (10-3) Last Week: No. 5
The Green Raiders have won five straight games, with Lou Harrison scoring 16 times in that stretch. Their win over Conestoga Tuesday means that next week’s collision with Garnet Valley is likely for third place in the Central (though the Jags still have to take on Conestoga as well). That test will have major seeding implications for districts.
6. Garnet Valley (9-3) Last Week: No. 6
The Jags are on a six-game winning streak as well, and it’s entirely possible that both they and the Green Raiders could find themselves leap-frogging EA in the weeks that come. There’s an old adage about freshmen not really being freshmen by the time the season ends, and no one is exemplifying that more than GV’s Matt Moore. After being shutout in the points category for the first time all season April 3 against Bishop Shanahan, the Virginia commit has nine goals and 18 assists in six games. Maturing quickly.
7. Springfield (8-3) Last Week: No. 7
A 9-6 setback to Ridley solidified this position for the Cougars, who still have to contend with Radnor in the stretch run. If you’re looking for a key player of late, look no further than Mike Gerzabek. He’s got multiple goals in each of the last four games, and Springfield is 3-1 in those contests. Getting Gerzabek to be another option for offense alongside Luke Charamella and Lucas Spence greatly increases the danger posed by the Cougars.