Shore Sports Network Lacrosse Top 10, 4/7/15
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The Shore Sports Network Lacrosse Top 10 heads into the second week of the season mostly intact. The only new team is Wall, which beat Red Bank and Brick Memorial to enter the rankings. Red Bank drops out after starting 1-3. Tuesday’s results are not reflected in the top 10, as just the results from last Tuesday through Monday are taken into account. That made compiling this set of rankings fairly painless. That won’t be the case next week. Coming into the season I figured there would be a lot of parity from the No. 4 spot down, and that has proven to be true so far.
Records and rankings based on games played through Monday April 6.
1. Southern (5-0). Last week: No. 1
The Rams defeated Holmdel 14-1 before taking down Rumson 16-14 in one of the best Shore Conference lacrosse games I’ve ever covered. Senior Chris Smith was incredible in winning 19-of-21 face-offs, picking up 21 ground balls and scoring three goals, including the game-winner with 1:43 left. The Rams then beat Toms River East 16-2 to continue their unbeaten start. Senior Dylan Jinks has 22 goals through the first five games. Southern takes on Jackson Liberty on Wednesday, hosts Lenape in a rematch of the South Jersey Group IV final on Thursday, hosts Toms River South on Saturday and welcomes Jackson Memorial on Monday.
2. Rumson-Fair Haven (0-4). Last week: No. 2
The Bulldogs dropped a 16-14 heartbreaker to Southern after leading by three goals with 5:42 left in the game. It’s jarring to see Rumson without a win after two weeks of games, but remember who the Bulldogs have lost to (Caldwell, Summit, Bridgewater-Raritan and Southern). It’s crazy, but they are going to be cutting it close as to whether they qualify for the Shore Conference Tournament. They host St. John Vianney on Thursday before taking on CBA on Monday. Those are must-win games.
3. Christian Brothers Academy (2-1). Last week: No. 3
The Colts beat Middletown South 17-1 before falling 10-9 in overtime to St. Peter’s Prep. They get into the teeth of their schedule starting on Thursday with a road game at No. 6 Manasquan before taking on No. 7 Freehold Township at home on Saturday. Monday brings a huge nondivisional game at No. 2 Rumson.
4. St. John Vianney (2-2). Last week: No. 4
After a 2-0 start the Lancers dropped two straight, 6-5 to Somerville and 4-2 to Old Bridge. Not bad losses by any stretch, and continuing a trend of close losses. All but one of St. John Vianney’s defeats last season came by three goals or less. Yes, they did lose to Toms River North on Tuesday, but the top 10 is put together through Monday’s games. The result will be reflected in next week’s top 10. They have a tough game in which to rebound in, taking on No. 2 Rumson on the road on Thursday. The Lancers then take on Brick on Monday.
5. Howell (3-0). Last week: No. 6
The Rebels continued their hot start with an 11-4 win over Jackson Liberty, then beat No. 8 Colts Neck 7-4 on Tuesday for their first win over the Cougars since 2011. The offense has been led by Mark Buannic and Jake Sherman, and the return of Nic Rossi has added depth. Zack Ornstein has been sharp on face-offs and goalie Ian Colmorgan and the defense have yielded just three fourth-quarter goals this season. Howell faces East Brunswick on Thursday, Marlboro on Saturday and Allentown on Monday with a good chance to move to 7-0.
6. Manasquan (3-1). Last week: No. 7
The young Warriors continued their impressive start by topping Freehold Township 7-6 in overtime when Chris Klodowski tied the score with 30 seconds left in regulation and Jarrett Birch won it in overtime. The Warriors have a pair of wins over top 10 teams already, and will try to make it three this week in their biggest test yet. They take on Red Bank today at 3:45 and then host No. 3 CBA on Thursday. They also play at St. Rose on Saturday.
7. Freehold Township (3-2). Last week: No. 5
The Patriots bounced back from an overtime loss to Manasquan to beat Jackson Memorial 8-2. Both of the Patriots’ losses this season have come in overtime, so they certainly have the ability to be a top-five team. Their schedule will give them plenty of opportunities, too, starting with Saturday’s game at No. 3 CBA. The Pats also take on Holmdel on Wednesday and Shore on Monday.
8. Colts Neck (0-1). Last week: No. 8
The Cougars have played a pair of top 10 teams to open their season, so even though they are winless I still feel they are a top 10 team, especially with junior Andrew Halmi in goal. They fell to Howell 7-3 on Tuesday and lost 5-4 to Manasquan on March 30. Colts Neck plays at Red Bank Catholic on Wednesday, at Middletown North on Saturday and hosts Red Bank on Monday.
9. Barnegat (2-0). Last week: No. 10
The Bengals beat Lacey 12-5 on April 1 to run their record to 2-0 before falling to Ocean 11-10 on Tuesday. That result is not reflected in this week’s rankings (see above) and since the Bengals don’t play again until a road game at St. Rose on April 18, they will most likely drop from the rankings next week. They’ll have a chance to jump back in when they host Manasquan on April 22.
10. Wall (2-0). Last week: not ranked
The Crimson Knights are the new team in the top 10 after beating Red Bank 10-8 and shutting out Brick Memorial 15-0. It’s an impressive start for a team that was hit hard by graduation, particularly in the scoring department. Mike Steppe and Mike McIntyre have led the way so far with eight and five goals, respectively. Wall visits Marlboro on Wednesday, hosts Jackson Liberty on Friday and welcomes Middletown North on Monday as it looks to move to 5-0.
Red Bank (1-3)
Teams to Watch:
Jackson Memorial (2-1): The Jaguars beat Red Bank 13-11 before falling 8-2 to Freehold Township. Impressive work by sophomore Dylan Furnback (19 saves) in the win over Red Bank. Saturday’s home match with Toms River North is a big one. They also have Robbinsville on Thursday and Southern on Monday.
Ocean (2-0): The Spartans will probably be ranked next week after getting past Barnegat 11-10. They will look to move to 4-0 with a game at Holmdel on Saturday.
Red Bank Catholic (1-1): The Caseys beat Marlboro 17-4 on April 1 to give head coach Dave Erdman his first coaching victory. They host Colts Neck on Wednesday, play at Long Branch on Saturday and host Middletown South on Monday to begin a crucial week.
Toms River North (2-1): The Mariners’ 7-6 overtime win over St. John Vianney will make next week’s top 10 a real treat to put together. It was only a matter of time, I suppose. A big game comes Saturday when the Mariners host Jackson Memorial. The winner has a big case for joining the top 10 next week.