There’s a little bit of clarity in the boys standings this week … you know, until things are tossed upside down next week. Might as well enjoy a little bit of understanding while it lasts, since it’s been so fleeting this season. (Records based on games reported to the Daily Times through Sept. 21.)
1. Haverford School (4-1) Last Week: No. 1
The Fords beat St. Benedict’s of New Jersey, the top-ranked team in the nation according to at least one ranking outlet. Around the loss to Shipley, they have beaten St. Benedict’s, Loyola Blakefield and Archbishop Curley, which reads like a who’s who of exclusive East Coast schools.
2. Radnor (8-3) Last Week: No. 2
A loss to Harriton – in addition to being the kind of high-scoring game (4-3) that doesn’t really suit the Raiders – snapped an eight-game winning streak. While it might not be a harbinger of struggles to come, the Raiders could well rue that defeat when it comes time for postseason seedings.
3. Episcopal Academy (6-3-1) Last Week: No. 3
If you want to measure the distance between the Fords and EA, which has won just two of its last six outings, consider this: The Fords beat Hill School, 4-0; that Hill School squad beat EA, 3-1, last week.
4. Springfield (5-4) Last Week: No. 4
I suppose the Cougars have to be in this spot since they’ve beaten the three teams below them in the standings. The loss to Upper Darby this week is reason for concern, which makes this placement quite tenuous.
5. Penncrest (7-1) Last Week: No. 7
Part of the lack of commitment to Springfield is the fact that Penncrest is breathing down its neck. There’s no doubt that the Lions have started the season very strong. But not among their games yet are Radnor, Conestoga, Strath Haven, Marple Newtown or Upper Darby. I suspect there are some very serious tests in there, and it will require two or three wins from that group to get Penncrest where it wants to be.
6. Strath Haven (5-4-1) Last Week: No. 5
We keep riding the roller coaster with Strath Haven. They trample Ridley, then lose to Marple, then are denied a result against Lower Merion (a team Penncrest pounded) in OT. The Panthers beat Upper Darby, but then can’t get by Conestoga. That means they’ve won just one of their last four, even if they are still getting healthy.
7. Marple Newtown (4-6) Last Week: No. 6
Uh, suddenly the Tigers have lost four straight , including an overtime decision to Springfield, a one-goal game to Conestoga and a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Lower Merion. With that game against the Aces coming on a Saturday, at least they have some time to shake it off.
Honorable Mention: Upper Darby (3-5, the win over Springfield was an unlikely conclusion to a five-game skid); Haverford (5-4, the Fords are just 2-4 in one-goal games, including one-goal defeats to Radnor, Penncrest, Lower Merion and Marple (in OT). That’s a lot of pondering of what ifs); Penn Wood (5-1, the Patriots claimed the opening salvo in their head-to-head with Interboro in a 6-5, overtime thriller. That only means so much if they can’t build on it in the next meeting, as the Patriots found out last season).