Elite Sports PT Shore Conference Boys Lacrosse Top 10 for April 12
We are through the first week of the season and that means it's time for the first Elite Sports Physical Therapy Shore Conference Boys Lacrosse Top 10.
A handful of teams played three times during the opening week while others saw the field only once, so there is still a long, long way to go before we have a clear picture of the conference hierarchy. Still, the usual suspects are all here and figure to remain in the Top 10 for much of the season. The drama is the usual revolving door in spots seven through 10.
Records are through April 11.
1. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-1)
The reigning Group 2 state champions began the season with an impressive 13-3 win over Haddonfield and followed with a 19-5 victory over St. John Vianney. The Bulldogs made the drive up to Connecticut where they dropped a 7-6 overtime game to New Canaan before returning home and defeating Long Branch, 17-0. Rumson suffered plenty of losses to last year's team through graduation, transfer, and injury, but this is still a formidable, superbly-coached group that remains the team to beat in the Shore Conference. Senior Cole Cashion, last season's Shore Conference Player of the Year, is off to a hot start with nine goals in three games played. This week: Wednesday at Ocean.
2. Christian Brothers Academy (2-1)
The Colts began their season in Florida and split games against Windermere (16-2 win) and IMG Academy (12-8 loss) before returning home and opening their conference schedule with a 15-3 victory over Colts Neck. Senior attackman Brendan Donnelly was injured during last year's preseason and missed a chunk of time, but he's making up for those lost games so far with 11 goals and three assists. Fellow senior attackman Nick Blalock has six goals and team-high nine assists for 15 points. This week: Wednesday vs. No. 8 Middletown South; Friday at Howell.
3. Wall (2-2)
The first week-plus of the season saw Wall start 2-0 with a 16-5 win over Red Bank Catholic and a 17-1 win over Point Boro. The Crimson Knights' challenging nonconference schedule then came into play with Wall dropping a 14-12 game to Bergen Catholic and then suffering a 15-7 loss to Ridgewood. Both BC and Ridgewood are ranked in the state top 20, as is Wall. Senior attackman John Curry is off to a blistering start with 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 points. This week: Wednesday vs. Lacey; Saturday at Jackson Liberty.
4. Manasquan (2-0)
The Warriors won 17-0 over St. Rose to begin the season and then earned a quality road win when they traveled to Medford and earned a 14-5 win over Shawnee in a matchup of state-ranked teams. Manasquan is similar to Rumson in that it lost a ton of key players to graduation but still returns a talented roster featuring proven veterans and promising underclassmen. This week: Wednesday vs. Barnegat; Thursday vs. Seton Hall Prep; Saturday at Ocean City.
5. Shore (2-0)
The Blue Devils were excellent in a 17-7 season-opening victory over Red Bank that wasn't as close as the final score would indicate. Shore dominated the game from start to finish until Red Bank scored three late goals. Shore then won a dramatic 9-8 overtime game vs. Holy Spirit to improve to 2-0. Junior Carson Spallone leads the team with nine goals and senior Ben Levy has four goals and six assists for a team-high 10 points. The face-off combination of sophomores Brendan O'Brien and Tucker Malfa has been excellent in winning 76 percent of face-offs. Junior goalie Noah Karaban has done a remarkable job stepping in for injured All-Shore goalie Walker Hunter. This week: Wednesday at Long Branch; Saturday vs. St. John Vianney.
6. Southen (3-1)
No team in the Shore suffered more significant losses to graduation than Southern, which saw four of its top six scorers, its No. 1 defenseman, and its starting goalie all move on to the college level. Fortunately, the Rams have a standout Division 1 midfielder back in senior Joey DeYoung and a plethora of up-and-coming underclassmen. Southern played four times in the season's first 10 days and went 3-1, including two more Class A South victories to run their division winning streak to 65 games. Southern also defeated Notre Dame (9-7) and dropped a 9-8 loss to Clearview. This week: Friday vs. Brick.
7. Holmdel (3-0)
The Hornets began their season with an impressive 11-3 victory over Howell and backed that up with a 15-1 win over Ocean and a 9-6 victory over Old Bridge. Holmdel returned most of its starters from a season ago and that experience has shown up through the first week. Senior attackman Kyle Kapcsos has four goals and nine assists and set the program's all-time goals record, and junior middie Will Gilfillan recorded his 100th career point. This week: Wednesday at No. 9 Red Bank.
8. Middletown South (1-0)
The Eagles have played just once so far and that was a 17-2 victory over Freehold Township. Junior midfielder Colin Gallagher leads the way and posted five goals and one assist in game No. 1. The Eagles have a huge challenge this week vs. No. 2 CBA. This week: Wednesday at No. 2; Saturday vs. Colts Neck.
9. Red Bank (2-1)
The Bucs delivered an 8-5 win over Old Bridge and a 13-8 victory over Monroe sandwiched around a 17-7 loss to Shore during the opening week. Senior Ryder Villani leads the team with nine goals and junior Andrew Pape has six goals and four assists for a team-high 10 points. This is a team with plenty of offensive talent and a top-notch head coach in Andy Eastwood, so it will be intriguing to see if they can shake off the tough conference start and climb the ranks of the top 10. This week: Wednesday vs. No. 7 Holmdel; Friday at Neptune; Saturday vs. Princeton.
10. Barnegat (3-0)
There were five or six teams in consideration for the 10th and final spot, and we decided to go with the Bengals. Barnegat went 3-0 during the opening week, beating Brick Memorial, Lacey, and Brick Township. Senior attackman Seth Freiwald has a team-high nine goals with two assists for 11 points and senior midfielder Sawicki has seven goals and three assists for 10 points while sophomore middie Luke Tortorici has been the Bengals' top playmaker with 14 assists plus two goals for a team-leading 16 points. This week: Wednesday vs. No. 4 Manasquan; Saturday vs. St. Rose