Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10, 4/10/18
The season is just about two weeks old, but with the winter weather still lingering several games have had to be postponed. Teams are still finding their groove as we enter the middle of the month, and hopefully as they start to heat up so does the weather.
The top teams have done as expected so far and there haven’t been any surprises with those groups outside of Rumson’s slow start against some of the top teams in the state. As usual, however, the bottom half of the top 10 continues to be a challenge with a bunch of teams being able to make a legitimate claim to be ranked. Right now, it’s as simple as Team A beat Team B, and so on, but if history is any indication that logic will only last so long. There’s a good chance the top 10 will look different every week given the initial Shore Sports Network Top 10 couldn’t even survive the first week intact.
Here’s where we stand heading into the second full week of the season. Records and results based on games played through April 9.
1. Manasquan (4-0). Last week: No. 1
The Warriors won both games in dominant fashion over the past week by blasting St. John Vianney, 16-1, and Colts Neck, 17-3. Canyon Birch has a ridiculous 41 points through four games and has played the second half in just one of those games. Ryan Anderson is also off to a great start with 15 goals and 14 assists. Standout junior midfielder James Pendergist made his season debut against Colts Neck to give the Warriors another weapon. This week: The Warriors, who are ranked No. 13 in the state by NJ.co, host No. 18 Bridgewater-Raritan on Wednesday. They will then take on St. Rose on Saturday before a huge nondivisional game against No. 2 CBA on Monday.
2. CBA (4-0). Last week: No. 2
The Colts pulled off a massive nonconference win by rallying for an 8-7 victory over Don Bosco Prep and then cruised past Middletown South, 14-2. Don Bosco had defeated state No. 5 Ridgewood the day before, so CBA’s victory over the Ironmen catapulted the Colts 15 spots to become the No. 5 team in the state. This week: The Colts will try to keep their momentum going with a nonconference road game against an undefeated Robbinsville team on Thursday. They’ll meet Neptune in a Class A North game on Saturday. Looming for Monday, April 16 is their showdown with top-ranked Manasquan.
3. Southern (4-0). Last week: No. 4
The Rams move up one spot after a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory over Rumson-Fair Haven and also posted an 11-4 win over Toms River South. Southern’s defense has not allowed more than five goals in any game this season. This week: Southern has two top 10 opponents on the schedule this week, starting with a road game at No. 6 Freehold Township on Tuesday. The Rams will host Brick Memorial on Saturday and travel to No. 8 Jackson Memorial on Monday.
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-5). Last week: No. 3
Rumson’s 6-5 overtime loss to Southern dropped the Bulldogs to 1-5 on the season, a stunning number for the Shore Conference’s most accomplished program. Rumson’s schedule to start the season has been brutal with losses to the No. 2 Seton Hall Prep, No. 8 Westfield, No. 11 Chatham and No. 14 Watchung Hills. The only Shore Conference teams to defeat Rumson over the last five years are Manasquan and Southern, so I’m still going to give the Bulldogs the benefit of the doubt unless they prove otherwise against the rest of the Shore. This week: The Bulldogs will try to rebound and build some momentum with Class B North games against Red Bank and Ocean.
5. Wall (4-1). Last week: No. 5
The Crimson Knights continued their high-scoring ways with an 18-5 win over Red Bank Catholic, a 17-3 win over St. Rose and a 16-5 victory over Old Bridge. They are averaging 15 goals per game with senior attackman Mike McIntyre leading the way with 25 goals and 12 assists. This week: Wall has three road games against Brick Memorial on Thursday, Jackson Liberty on Saturday and Barnegat on Monday.
6. Freehold Township (3-0). Last week: No. 6
The Patriots rallied for a 6-5 double-overtime win over Allentown and played a great defensive game in a 5-1 victory over Howell. This week: Freehold Township has a major opportunity on Tuesday when they host No. 3 Southern. They also play Colts Neck on Friday and Toms River South on Monday.
7. Howell (2-2). Last week: No. 8
This is the spot where the top 10 gets tricky. The Rebels move up one spot despite a loss to Freehold Township. They were 2-1 during the week with one-goal victories over Brick Memorial and Jackson Liberty. Their other loss is to No. 3 Southern. This week: Howell has an opportunity to get on a roll with games against Neptune on Thursday, Middletown North on Saturday and Marlboro on Monday.
8. Jackson Memorial (3-0). Last week: not ranked
The Jaguars jump into the rankings thanks to a 5-4 victory over No. 10 Toms River South. The Jaguars also defeated Red Bank, 7-6, and Long Branch, 14-1. This week: Jackson will try to hold onto its spot in the rankings with games against Jackson Liberty on Wednesday, Toms River South on Saturday and No. 3 Southern on Monday.
9. St. John Vianney (1-2). Last week: No. 9
The Lancers hold at No. 9 basically because they’ve done nothing to warrant moving in either direction from their initial ranking. Their two losses are to No. 1 Manasquan and No. 2 CBA, so any other team would be in the same spot. SJV got into the win column with an 11-5 win over St. Rose. The Lancers schedule is robust enough that we’ll find out where they stand soon enough. For now, the returning SCT semifinalists are a top 10 team. This week: The Lancers host West Windsor-Plainsboro North on Tuesday and Red Bank Catholic on Saturday.
10. Toms River East (2-1). Last week: No. 10
The Raiders felt to Jackson Memorial, 5-4, but remain in the top 10 because they have the edge on the teams behind them. Toms River East beat Ocean, who beat Middletown South, who beat Shore. Eventually, the top 10 will become about body of work, but this early in the season it’s still a numbers game. The Raiders bounced back from the loss with an 18-8 win over Donovan Catholic. This week: The Raiders travel to Shore Regional on Wednesday for an intriguing nondivisional game that will have top 10 implications.
Dropped out: Holmdel (No. 7 last week)
Teams to Watch
Ocean (3-1): The Spartans rebounded from a loss to Toms River East with wins over Middletown South and Jackson Liberty.
Middletown South (4-2): The Eagles went 2-2 during the week with wins over Long Branch and Marlboro and losses to Ocean and CBA.
Shore (3-1): The Blue Devils defeated Toms River South and beat Red Bank Catholic in overtime to run their winning streak to three games after dropping their season-opener to Middletown 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.