Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10, 4/9/19
Two weeks into the lacrosse season only one thing is certain: Manasquan is the No. 1 team in the Shore Conference.
The two-time defending Shore Conference Tournament champion Warriors have been as good as advertised to start the season, including a statement-making 15-4 win over rival Christian Brothers Academy. A tier below Manasquan are CBA and Rumson-Fair Haven, followed by a Shore Regional team that has plenty of talent but not as many chances to prove it now that it is in Class B South.
After that, it’s anybody’s guess. Teams five through 10 and beyond have shown they can beat each other on any given day. Expect plenty of movement in that range throughout the season.
Here is the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10. All records and results are based on games played through April 8.
1. Manasquan (4-0). Last week: No. 1
Through four games this season - all against teams which were ranked in the SSN Top 10 - Manasquan has been absolutely dominant. The Warriors outscored their first four opponents 70-10 in picking up wins over Ocean, Southern, Wall and CBA, the latter an emphatic 15-4 triumph. Senior attackman Canyon Birch continues to rewrite the record book and started the season by setting a new Shore Conference career goals record. He will soon break the Shore Conference career points record and will then put the state records for goals and points in his crosshairs. Manasquan faces No. 8 St. John Vianney, Holmdel and Jackson Memorial over the next seven days.
2. Christian Brothers Academy (3-3). Last week: No. 2
The Colts were 1-2 last week but one of those losses was to No. 1 Manasquan and other was to Chatham, 9-7, in a nonconference game. CBA rebounded with a 13-1 win over Marlboro to even its record at 3-3. The record doesn’t jump out but given the Colts’ only conference loss is to Manasquan and they have lopsided wins over both No. 5 Howell and No. 9 Freehold Township, there’s no reason right now to drop CBA from the No. 2 spot. CBA will play Middletown North, No. 7 Middletown South and Robbinsville this week.
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-4). Last week: No. 3
How can a 1-4 team be ranked third? Well, take a look at who Rumson has played so far. The Bulldogs have ventured outside the Shore for their first five games against stalwarts Chatham, Cherokee, St. Peter’s Prep, Westfield and Seton Hall Prep. Like last year, they have the most difficult schedule in the Shore, and while it won’t produce a gaudy win-loss number, it will have them ready for the postseason. Rumson opens its Shore schedule this week with games against Ocean and No. 6 Wall while continuing its impressive nonconference slate with matchups against Lawrenceville School and Justice High School (Va.).
4. Shore (4-0). Last week: No. 4
The Blue Devils have been dominant thus far in outscoring their first four opponents, 58-15, behind a balanced offensive attack. Shore posted a 15-1 win over Toms River South and a 14-2 triumph over Toms River North. The Blue Devils face Mater Dei Prep and Barnegat this week and should be undefeated heading into a nondivisional showdown with Ocean on April 20.
5. Howell (4-1). Last week: not ranked
The Rebels are the big movers this week thanks to a 4-2 win over last week’s No. 5 team, district rival Freehold Township. They followed with a 10-4 win over Jackson Liberty and a 13-7 victory over Brick Memorial. Howell faces Marlboro and Middletown North in Class A North games this week before a nondivisional game at Toms River North.
6. Wall (4-1). Last week: No. 8
The Crimson Knights ran into the buzzsaw that is Manasquan and lost, 19-1, to start the week but came back with a victory over Brick and then a thrilling 12-10 win over Freehold Township in a key top-10 battle. Wall faces Red Bank and No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven over the next seven days.
7. Middletown South (6-0). Last week: No. 7
The Eagles remained undefeated with wins over Long Branch, Point Boro and St. Rose to stand pat in the No. 7 slot. The schedule ramps up this week with games against No. 9 Freehold Township and No. 2 CBA.
8. St. John Vianney (5-1). Last week: No. 10
The Lancers have opened the season strong with a perfect start within the Shore and their only loss coming to Cranford in a nonconference game. SJV posted a thrilling overtime win over Holmdel on a goal by Mike D’Anzeri, beat Pennington School in a nonconference game and topped rival Red Bank Catholic, 20-12. Junior midfielder Anthony Brett has been great and senior C.J. Hanson has become an offensive force after moving from goalie to attack. The Lancers take their shot at No. 1 Manasquan this week and also have a game against Morristown-Beard.
9. Freehold Township (3-3). Last week: No. 5
The Patriots tumble four spots after a 1-2 week that included losses to Howell and Wall and a win over Jackson Memorial. They have a chance to get back on track right away thanks to a game against No. 7 Middletown South this week. Freehold Township will also face Long Branch in a Class A North game.
10. Southern (3-2). Last week: No. 6
The Rams went 2-0 with wins over Toms River South and Jackson Liberty, but since they have a head-to-head loss to Freehold Township, they stay behind the Patriots and drop to the No. 10 spot in the rankings. Southern will try to keep its momentum going with Class A South games against Brick and Toms River North this week.
On the bubble:
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.