Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10, 4/16/19
The second full week of lacrosse games featured a pair of ranked teams suffering upset losses, and the end result is a new team entering the top three for the first time this season.
Wall scored its best win in program history when it defeated Rumson-Fair Haven, 10-9 in overtime, to vault three spots to No. 3. The Crimson Knights also have a win over Freehold Township and their only loss this season is to top-ranked Manasquan. Then, it was Toms River North clipping Howell, 5-4, to send the Rebels tumbling from their perch at No. 5.
Those two results and many more this season have confirmed that for the majority of the Shore Conference, parity is the overriding theme. Manasquan has proven so far to be head and shoulders above every other team, while Christian Brothers Academy is a solid No. 2.
The top five was fairly easy to put together this week. The same can’t be said about ranking six through 10. There are no new teams in the rankings this week, but those squads on the bubble are making a hard push to join the party. One win or loss could be the tipping point for multiple teams.
1. Manasquan (6-0). Last week: No. 1
The Warriors continued to roll with a 17-3 win over St. John Vianney and a 16-4 win over Holmdel. Senior attackman Canyon Birch became the Shore Conference’s all-time leading scorer when he recorded his 432nd career point in the win over SJV. Manasquan has a big nonconference road game on Wednesday when it heads to Basilone Stadium to take on Bridgewater-Raritan.
2. CBA (5-3). Last week: No. 2
The Colts moved closer to winning another Class A North division title with a 17-1 win over Middletown North and a 13-3 win over previously-undefeated Middletown South. Senior attackman Connor Macrae had a huge week with 16 goals, including the 100th of his career. CBA can clinch at least a tie for the division title with a win over Colts Neck on Wednesday. The Colts will then host Robbinsville (3-3) on Monday.
3. Wall (6-1). Last week: No. 6
Sophomore midfielder Logan Peters scored on Wall’s first possession in overtime after a sensational 18-save performance by senior goalie Sean DeMott to give the Crimson Knights a thrilling 10-9 overtime win over Rumson-Fair Haven. Beating a Shore Conference juggernaut like Rumson is a significant breakthrough win for Wall, and one the Knights were geared up for after a pair of close losses to the Bulldogs last season. Wall also beat Red Bank, 16-6. They will try to keep the momentum going this week with division games against Ocean and Red Bank Catholic.
4. Shore (5-0). Last week: No. 4
The move from B North to B South has the Blue Devils in a situation where they’ve flown under the radar early this season. Their only game last week as an 18-2 win over Mater Dei Prep. Among their victories this season is a 13-4 win over Holmdel and a 14-2 win over Toms River North, the latter looking even more impressive after the Mariners’ win over Howell. Outside of Lacey, Shore likely won’t be challenged within the division. Their biggest tests will come in nondivisional games, including a tilt on Saturday at Ocean.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-6). Last week: No. 3
The Bulldogs were 2-2 this past week and fall two spots after a 10-9 overtime loss to Wall. Rumson is talented and has played a great schedule, which is why it remains in the top five despite a sub-.500 record. Aside from the Wall game, Rumson had a 14-6 win over Ocean, a 15-2 win over Justice (Va.) and a 10-7 loss to Lawrenceville Prep. The Bulldogs will play St. John Vianney today, host Moorestown on Saturday and welcome Neptune on Monday.
6. Middletown South (7-1). Last week: No. 7
Usually a team going 1-1 with a win over a team ranked below them and a loss to a team ranked ahead of them would keep them in the exact same spot, but not this week. The Eagles move up one spot to No. 6 after a 6-5 win over Freehold Township and despite a 13-3 loss to CBA. With Howell dropping from five to eight and no new team coming in, someone had to move up to No. 6. It was between Middletown South and St. John Vianney, and since the Eagles were ranked higher last week and beat another ranked team, they get the nod. Middletown South’s only game over the next seven days is today against Steinert in a nonconference matchup.
7. St. John Vianney (5-3). Last week: No. 8
Yes, on the surface it doesn’t make sense a team that went 0-2 last week moves up one spot. The Lancers’ losses, however, were to No. 1 Manasquan and to Morristown-Beard, so it’s hard to penalize them for those. They move up only because no team ranked behind them has the credentials to be No. 7 at this point. It’s a big week for SJV as they host Rumson today, travel to Freehold Township on Thursday and square off with St. Rose on Monday.
8. Howell (6-2). Last week: No. 5
The Rebels went 2-1 last week with a 9-0 win over Marlboro and a 9-5 win over Middletown North before falling to Toms River North, 5-4. Howell could have easily fallen out of the rankings, but a win over Freehold Township last week keeps them in. Freehold Township has wins over Southern and Jackson Memorial, Jackson beat Toms River North and, well, you get the picture. There’s a lot of triangles that cancel out head-to-head wins. The Rebels will try to bounce back with games against Long Branch and Scotch Plains-Fanwood this week.
9. Freehold Township (3-4). Last week: No. 9
The Patriots played only one game last week and it was a 6-5 loss to Middletown South. No reason to drop the Patriots any lower despite their 3-4 record. All four of Freehold Township’s losses – CBA, Wall, Howell and Middletown South – have come to ranked teams. Wins over Southern and Jackson Memorial helped keep them in the rankings. The Patriots have four games in the next seven days, the biggest coming on Thursday when they host St. John Vianney. They will also play Marlboro, Long Branch and West Windsor-Plainsboro South.
10. Southern (4-2). Last week: No. 10
The Rams have been idle since a 10-2 win over Brick last Tuesday. They return to action with a big Class A South game at Toms River North on Wednesday and have nonconference games with Hightstown and Mainland later in the week. Southern’s two losses this season are to Freehold Township and Manasquan. They lack a signature win but have some important games coming.
On the bubble (listed in alphabetical order):
Holmdel (5-3): The Hornets own wins over Toms River North, Red Bank Catholic and Middletown North by one goal and lost in overtime to St. John Vianney. Opportunities to break into the top 10 won’t come until later in the month, but Holmdel is certainly lurking.
Jackson Memorial (6-1): The Jaguars’ only defeat is to Freehold Township and they have wins over Toms River North and Middletown North to their credit. A nondivisional game against Lacey on Monday is a big one.
Lacey (5-0): The Lions are undefeated and have scored goals in bunches but haven’t played any teams with a winning record yet. Lacey finished in the top 10 last season thanks to some late-season wins and could very well do so against this year. The opportunities just haven’t been there yet but one is coming on Monday against Jackson Memorial.
Ocean (6-2): The Spartans began the season in the top 10 but dropped out because of what teams behind them did rather than bad losses on their part. Ocean’s losses are to Manasquan and Rumson and their best win is against Red Bank Catholic. Major opportunities are on the table this week with games against No. 3 Wall and No. 4 Shore.
Toms River North (4-3): The Mariners knocked off Howell, 5-4, to thrust themselves into the top 10 conversation, but still have some work to do in order to crack the rankings. Toms River North’s other wins are over Brick, Brick Memorial and Toms River South and their losses are to Shore, Holmdel and Jackson Memorial. A win over Southern on Wednesday would probably put them into the top 10 next week.
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.