It's that time of year when my heart and soul turn to lacrosse...here are the top 25 rankings of High School boys' lacrosse teams...along with a photo of my own high school team - Middlebury Union High School - from this year (not in the dark ages when I played there...)
1. Haverford School (PA) (20-0) • The Fords continued their memorable season with wins over a few solid teams since our last installment. Haverford downed Malvern Prep, Episcopal Academy, Penn Charter, and Moorestown by a combined score of 50-26. Our #1 team finishes the regular season with a game over Hill School of PA. They'll advance to the Inter-Ac semifinals on Saturday against Lawrenceville.
2. West Islip (NY Sect 11) (15-0) • The Lions continued to dodge major bullets, defeating then-#20 Smithtown West in overtime on a goal by Tom Moore and then later escaping from a 4-2 third quarter deficit against arch-rival East Islip to win 11-7 on Thursday. They'll finish the regular season at disappointing Whitman on Monday and then wait to see who will draw them in the Suffolk A quarterfinals on 5/24. They could quite possibly face EI once again.
3. Calvert Hall (MIAA) (16-1) • The Cardinals have continued their run to the championship since our last installment, winning four straight games. That includes blowouts of McDonogh and St. Mary's as well as an 11-4 drubbing of St. Paul's in the semifinals, thanks in part to Hopkins-bound Ryan Brown's six goals. They will face Gilman on Friday night at Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium for a chance at their first MIAA championship since 2003.
4. Ward Melville (NY Sect 11) (14-1) • Since giving up that overtime goal to Kyle Turri, the Patriots have won seven straight games, including a back-and-forth 14-11 win over Sachem North on May 3rd. They'll travel to East Islip for the Redmen's senior day festivities on Monday and then likely draw the #2 seed in the Suffolk A tournament.
5. Deerfield Academy (MA) (13-0) • The pride of the NE West 1 has continued to dominate the past two weeks. Deerfield has won each of their past five games by eight or more goals, including three by over 12. The Big Green face their stiffest challenge of the year at a 9-2 Salisbury squad (W 11-7) before challenging a surprising Phillips Exeter Academy.
6. Conestoga (PA) (17-1) • The Pioneers haven't had a whole lot of trouble ever since their loss to Haverford, going 5-0 with notable wins over La Salle and Garnet Valley by scores of 10-8 and 10-6, respectively. On Thursday, 'Stoga will have their season finale at home against barely .500 Hatboro-Horsham before they begin the playoffs, where they remain the favorite to grab a second consecutive PIAA title.
7. McDonogh School (MIAA) (15-4) • All good things must come to an end. However, for the MIAA faithful, many did not expect it to come so soon for the Eagles. McDonogh shocked the region and became the top-ranked team in Maryland after beating Calvert Hall on 4/21. The Eagles then proceeded to drop a game to Calvert Hall before being ousted in the quarterfinals of the MIAA playoffs by Boys' Latin.
8. Jamesville-DeWitt (NY Sect 3) (15-0) • The Red Rams are keeping pace with West Islip, as they extended their winning streak to 37 with five easy victories over the past two weeks. Included among them was an impressive 8-2 victory over Homer. J-D should finish off an undefeated regular season on Tuesday against New Hartford and then await their draw as the top seed in the Section 3 Class B tournament.
9. Garden City (NY Sect 8) (12-2) • The Trojans haven't been challenged since ending Manhasset's 45-game winning streak in the Woodstick Classic on April 30 and have won eight straight since their loss to St. Paul's on April 9. Things don't figure to get much more difficult this week with their season finale against Roslyn on Monday, nor when they begin their playoff run as the #1 seed in the B-I division of Nassau Class B on Thursday.
10. Manhasset (NY Sect 8) (13-1) • After rival Garden City snapped their winning streak, Manhasset has won four straight, including a somewhat surprising 3-2 home win over Chaminade in the Jimmy Regan game. The Indians won "Reg's Rock" for the third consecutive season by defeating the Flyers in the game honoring the former Chaminade and Duke star and Army Ranger who was killed in Iraq in 2007. Manhasset finishes the season with Glen Cove on Monday and then will be the top seed in B-2, beginning play on Thursday.
11. Chaminade (LI CHSAA) (14-2) • The Flyers bounced back from a tough loss to Manhasset to earn two solid wins, first over arch-rival St. Anthony's, sweeping the regular season series between the teams for the first time since 2006. Chaminade then defeated Delbarton for the third straight year, 6-5, on Saturday. With the win over St. Anthony's, the Flyers clinched the top seed in the CHSAA-AAA playoffs and thus will avoid third-seeded Holy Trinity in the semifinals. They do, however, play the Titans in the final game of the regular season on Tuesday.
12. Darien (CT) (13-2) • Domination over lesser opponents has been the theme of the past two weeks for the Blue Wave. Darien has outscored their last five opponents by a combined score of 87-16. Connecticut's best team faces two more cupcakes this week in Westhill and Norwalk before hosting a talented Ridgefield squad in their regular season finale.
13. St. Paul's School (MIAA) (13-7) • The Crusaders ended their season on a low note, losing three of their last five games, including a 10-7 loss on Senior Day to Loyola Blakefield and a heartbreaking double overtime loss at home to archrival Boys' Latin. Then, on Tuesday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium, St. Paul's was met by a Calvert Hall team that was firing on all cylinders and ended up falling 11-4 to end the season.
14. West Genesee (NY Sect 3) (14-1) • The Wildcats have outscored their last four opponents 81-9 leading up to their regular season finale on the road against rival Fayetteville-Manlius, which sports an identical 14-1 record. The winner will claim the top seed in the Section 3 Class A tournament. The 'Cats have won six straight since falling to Jamesville-DeWitt on April 23.
15. Summit (NJ) (18-0) • Though they faced a scare, the mighty Hilltoppers' winning streak is alive, rolling through opponents in the past week. They've grabbed recent one-sided wins over Governor Livingston, Columbia, A.L. Johnson, and Cranford. Last Tuesday, they clinched their first one-goal win since May 2009 when Summit traveled to knock off Ridgewood, 7-6. The group tournament will kick off this weekend, where Summit, of course, received a first round bye and top seed.
16. Pittsford (NY Sect 5) (14-0) • Since the last rankings, Pittsford has knocked off quality opponents Brighton and Fairport and remains undefeated and on track to be the top seed in the Section 5 Class A tournament. They'll finish the season with games against Rush-Henrietta and Spencerport on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, and are a good bet to finish the regular season undefeated.
17. Georgetown Prep (MD IAC) (18-3) • The Little Hoyas finished their season in style, winning eight straight games and avenging their two league losses. After defeating Bullis 8-6 in the semifinals, Prep came back from a halftime deficit and forced overtime when Bobby Gribbin converted this shot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zuMt4oJ9rc) to win the IAC championship over hated rival Landon, who defeated Prep 10-5 earlier in the season.
18. St. Anthony's (LI CHSAA) (12-3) • By any measure it has been a disappointing season for the Friars, as they lost to rival Chaminade for the second time early last week, this time at home in South Huntington. The Friars did bounce back to defeat Yorktown on a Sean McDonagh goal with four seconds remaining in regulation at Charlie Murphy Field, 12-11. They'll finish the regular season on Wednesday with a home game against Fairfield Prep and enter the CHSAA playoffs as the #2 seed, where they'll likely face Holy Trinity in the semifinals.
19. Comsewogue (NY Sect 11) (14-0) • The Warriors are Long Island's only other undefeated team besides West Islip, and they haven't been challenged since beating rival Shoreham-Wading River, 12-9, on April 30. That could change in the regular season finale on Tuesday, when they head south to face the upstart Islip Buccaneers, who defeated SWR in their last outing. Regardless of the outcome, Comsewogue has earned the top seed in Suffolk B and will play their first-round game against the #8 seed on Friday.
20. Salisbury School (CT) (9-2) • The Crimson Knights had rattled off three straight wins over NE West Foes before taking a 8-7 loss to South Jersey's St. Augustine Prep, a formidable opponent. They also fell 11-7 to Deerfield on Wednesday, a game we didn't account for in our rankings, losing two straight for the first time since 2008. Salisbury will head to Avon Old Farms on Saturday for a prime matchup.
21. Smithtown West (NY Sect 11) (12-3) • The Bulls were without star attackman Kyle Keenan for most of the last two weeks but still managed to take #2 West Islip to overtime before falling. Connetquot gave them trouble last Thursday, but the Bulls scored four late goals to win 7-6 and retain the #3 spot in Suffolk A. On Keenan's return, he recorded seven points and Smithtown West beat intra-district rival Smithtown East, 17-7 on Saturday. They'll head to Northport for the Tigers' senior day on Monday and then play the winner of the 6/11 game on Tuesday 5/24 in the Suffolk A quarterfinals.
22. Gilman School (MIAA) (11-5) • The Gilman boys racked up three wins since our last batch of rankings, including a 12-11 thriller over Boys' Latin. The Greyhounds also dismantled Spalding and Severn by a combined score of 27-12. Gilman faces Boys' Latin for the third time this season in the MIAA semifinals on Tuesday (W 7-6 OT). Both of the meetings between these teams have been decided by a goal. They'll face Calvert Hall in the championship on Friday night at Towson.
23. Landon School (MD IAC) (19-3) • The Bears continued their impressive 18-game winning streak, defeating SSSA, Urbana, and Episcopal on their road to the championship. In the title game, however, they were ousted 7-6 in overtime to end their season. This year's Landon team was just the second squad in school history to win 19 games in a season.
24. Malvern Prep (PA) (12-5) • The Friars have had a solid past few weeks other then a 11-5 loss to Haverford, defeating Germantown Academy, Chestnut Hill, and Shipley. After an easy win in the quarters, Malvern Prep will face Penn Charter in the semifinals, perhaps setting up another championship game against Haverford School.