Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10, 4/17/18
It’s time for the latest edition of the Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10. The top two teams – Manasquan and CBA – remain the same, but there is some considerable change this week with some shuffling in the middle and two new teams entering the fray.
1. Manasquan (6-0). Last week: No. 1
The Warriors remained undefeated with two wins last week to hold onto the top spot in the Shore, chief among them being a thrilling 11-10 victory over Bridgewater-Raritan in a meeting of two teams ranked in the NJ.com Top 20. Manasquan cruised to victory in its other game by beating St. Rose, 17-2. Junior attackman Canyon Birch continued his unconscious play with 16 goals in two games, including 10 in just one half against St. Rose. Monday’s game against No. 2 CBA was postponed, so we’ll have to wait until April 27 for the battle for No. 1 in the Shore. This week: Wednesday at No. 5 Wall; Saturday vs. Barnegat; Monday vs. Donovan Catholic.
2. Christian Brothers Academy (6-0). Last week: No. 2
The Colts hold onto the No. 2 spot in the Shore after an 11-4 nonconference victory over Robbinsville and a 19-3 Class A North win over Neptune ran their record to 6-0. The Colts also jumped one spot to No. 4 in the latest state top 20, the highest ranking ever for a Shore Conference team. Monday’s highly-anticipated clash with No. 1 Manasquan was wiped out thanks to the deluge that turned CBA’s field into the bayou, so we’ll have to wait until April 27. This week: Wednesday vs. Middletown North; Saturday at Freehold Township.
3. Freehold Township (5-0). Last week: No. 6
The Patriots jump three spots this week thanks to a pair of wins, most notably a 6-5 overtime win over Southern, which was ranked No. 3 last week. The Patriots then edged district rival Colts Neck, 9-7. Junior goalie Aidan Purcell was great in the win over Southern with 14 saves and senior attackman Chris Novella totaled six goals and two assists in two games. This week: Wednesday vs. Marlboro; Saturday vs. No. 2 CBA; Monday at St. John Vianney
4. Southern (6-1). Last week: No. 3
It’s been an eventful seven days for the Rams, who last Monday defeated Rumson, 6-5 in overtime to ascend to the No. 3 spot in the Shore. The following day and mere hours after the SSN Top 10 was released the Rams were defeated by Freehold Township, 6-5 in overtime, which is why they fall one spot this week. Southern then trailed Brick Memorial 5-1 in the second half before rallying for a 7-5 win and then knocked off No. 8 Jackson Memorial, 9-4, in a key Class A South game. Attackman Aniello Russo had hat tricks against both Freehold Township and Brick Memorial and scored twice in the win over Jackson. This week: Monday at Red Bank.
5. Wall (6-1). Last week: No. 5
The Crimson Knights won both their games last week, including surviving a scare from Jackson Liberty, to remain at No. 5 in this week’s top 10. Wall topped Brick Memorial, 14-7, before rallying from a four-goal deficit to edge Liberty, 11-10. They’re all set up for the regular-season game they’ve had circled as they take their shot at rival Manasquan next. This week: Wednesday vs. No. 1 Manasquan; Friday at Barnegat; Saturday vs. Donovan Catholic.
6. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-5). Last week: No. 4
The Bulldogs have begun to right their ship with a pair of victories as they try to climb back to .500 following a 1-5 start. Rumson topped Red Bank, 18-6, in The Battle of Ridge Road, and then defeated Ocean, 10-6. Almost any other team under .500 wouldn’t get a sniff at the top 10, but Rumson’s reputation and the fact four of its five losses have come to top 15 teams in the state are the difference. The margin for error is very slim for the Bulldogs going forward, however, as they are in real danger of not qualifying for the Shore Conference Tournament. This week: Wednesday vs. Shore; Thursday at Moorestown; Saturday at Holmdel.
7. Howell (5-2). Last week: No. 7
The Rebels did as expected during the week with three divisional wins, topping Neptune, 10-2, edging Middletown North, 4-3, and defeating Marlboro, 12-2. Howell doesn’t score a ton and they’ve won three games by one goal (Brick Memorial, Jackson Liberty, Middletown North), and that makes this week’s game versus Colts Neck very interesting. It’s a district rivalry game, for one, plus the Cougars nearly stunned Freehold Township last week. This week: Thursday vs. Colts Neck; Saturday at Mater Dei.
8. Jackson Memorial (5-1). Last week: No. 8
The Jaguars won their first two games of last week for their first 5-0 start since 2011 but suffered their first loss of the season via a 9-4 setback to No. 4 Southern. Given the loss was to a higher ranked team the Jaguars stay put at No. 8 this week. The victories came against Jackson Liberty, 7-6, and over Toms River South, 10-4. The Jackson Liberty win was wild with the game-tying and game-winning goals coming in the final 15 seconds. This week: Thursday at St. Rose; Monday at Colts Neck.
9. Ocean (5-2). Last week: not ranked
The Spartans have been a regular in the top 10 for the past few seasons and now make their first appearance after a 2-1 week. Ocean defeated Holmdel, 9-7, and then came through with two goals in the final 15 seconds to stun St. John Vianney, 7-6. The Spartans also fell to No. 6 Rumson, 10-6. Junior attackman Holden Lowe continued his strong season with nine goals and eight assists in three games. This week: Wednesday at Red Bank Catholic; Saturday vs. Long Branch; Monday vs. Barnegat.
10. Shore (6-1). Last week: not ranked
The Blue Devils also jump into the rankings for the first time this season are among the hottest teams in the Shore with a six-game winning streak. Shore topped Toms River East, 11-3, beat Point Boro, 10-2, and defeated Red Bank, 13-4. There’s a triangle involving the three teams in contention for the No. 10 spots in that Shore Regional lost to Middletown South but beat Toms River East, while Toms River East beat Ocean but lost to Shore, and Middletown South lost to Ocean. Got that? The Blue Devils get the nod this week. Junior midfielder Gil Goldsmith tallied nine goals and 12 assists in three games to continue his excellent season. Next week: Wednesday at No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven; Friday vs. Lacey; Monday at St. Rose.
Dropped out: St. John Vianney (No. 9 last week), Toms River East (No. 10 last week).
Teams to watch:
Middletown South (6-2): The Eagles’ only two losses are to Ocean and CBA and they have a win over Shore, so they’re right there for a spot in the top 10. As long as they take of business in games against Neptune, Colts Neck and Point Boro this week they’ll get more big-game opportunities at the end of the month with games against Freehold Township and Toms River East.
Lacey (3-2): The Lions are a little hard to gauge right now. Their two losses are to Manasquan and Allentown and their wins are against teams with a combined 4-15 record. We’ll find out more this week as Lacey heads on the road to face No. 10 Shore and a Jackson Liberty team that has lost to three top 10 teams by a combined three goals.
Jackson Liberty (2-5): The Lions have a lot of road in front of them to earn a spot in the top 10, but they warrant a mention here because of how close they’ve been. Liberty has lost to No. 5 Wall, No. 7 Howell, No. 8 Jackson Memorial all by one goal, and they also have a one-goal loss to Toms River South.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.