Week of 5/2 Lacrosse Rundown

A Rhino stumble allowed Deerfield to retake the top spot in this week’s LaxPower rankings. This past week saw some upsets from the lower Founders League teams as they enter desperation mode to turn their seasons around. As a result, the top remains as close as ever, especially when you now have to factor in the flaming hot Salisbury Crimson Knights. This week’s only critical game will come on Saturday when Founders League rivals #10 Trinity-Pawling and #51 Avon Old Farms face off, but that will change as many teams have important games to look forward to in the coming weeks. Here is your weekly prep lacrosse rundown:

#2(4) Deerfield (8-1)

Deerfield regained their position as the top prep team in New England with impressive offensive displays against Loomis and Andover. This Deerfield offense continues to impress as they have scored 10 goals or more in every contest thus far.

The Pelicans gave the Big Green a run for their money in the first half as they kept the score to a 4-4 tie. Unfortunately for Loomis, Deerfield’s offense came alive again in the second half to the tune of 10 unanswered goals en route to a 14-4 victory. They followed up that effort with a sound win against their rival Andover in what was an 11-4 final.

Deerfield can now enjoy a relatively easy stretch of their schedule as they do not face another top 100 team until May 14th, but that will be a critical closing stretch for them as they face the defending champion AOF Winged Beavers, #8 ranked Salisbury, and #24 ranked rival Exeter. How they fare in that stretch will dictate whether or not Deerfield can capture this year’s title.

#3(3) Brunswick (10-2)

The Bruins were the lone team to stay put this week as they cruised to two non-conference wins against Ridgefield High School and the Hun School 14-9 and 7-6, respectively. Jack DeNaut ’17 and Reilly Walsh ’16 lead the team in scoring through the two games with six points apiece.

The Bruins finally return to New England prep play this week with games against Choate on Wednesday and Westminster on Saturday. While both teams are ranked significantly lower than them, both have proven they can play with anybody as the Wild Boars beat #4 Taft and the Martlets upset Avon in the past week.

#4(2) Taft (8-3)

After a single week in the top spot, Taft fell right back down to number four thanks to a defeat at the hands of the Choate Wild Boars by a score of 10-8. The loss marked the second in a row for the suddenly struggling Rhinos. Fortunately for them, #361 NMH lay next in their path. Taft thankfully took advantage of the weaker Hogger squad in a 18-1 dominating victory. James Stewart ’16, Matt Davies ’16 MacGregor Peterson ’19 all scored four goals, but Stewart also added three assists to lead the team with seven points.

Despite the nice bounce-back, Taft is in desperate need of a statement win. They have now lost to two top five teams which may very well knock them out of the championship talk. They certainly have the opportunity to make up for those losses with upcoming big tilts against #8 Salisbury and #10 TP, who they play in their final game of the year. Even with wins in those games, however, they will need help in the form of Deerfield and Brunswick losses. For now, they will face off against Kent and Berkshire, who just upset TP, on Wednesday and Friday.

#8(21) Salisbury (6-2)

The Crimson Knights are streaking as their win over Founders League rival Hotchkiss marked their fourth straight. First, Salisbury cruised to a 12-5 win over Millbrook which saw John Lombardi score a hat-trick. They followed that up with an even more dominant victory over the Bearcats by a final score of 17-3.

Salisburys’ offense has gone up a notch of late with 12 goals or more in each of their past three games. It will be critical that the Knights keep up this pace as they head into the final month of the season with critical match-ups upcoming against Taft, Brunswick, Deerfield, and Avon. This week, Salisbury welcomes a beatable NMH team on Wednesday before they travel to nearby Kent on Saturday.

#10(5) Trinity-Pawling (7-2)

The Pride took a bit of a stumble this week as their five game win streak came to a sudden halt against Berkshire. Beforehand, on Wednesday, they followed the trend of high tallies against NHH with a solid 16-0 romping of the Hoggers. In their match against Berkshire, the Pride were doomed by slow starts at the beginning of each half. They fell behind 4-1 to start the game before they equalized the score at 4-4 before the half. Unfortunately, the Bears responded to take a slight 5-4 advantage into halftime. Berkshire went on to take an 8-4 lead out of the half as the Pride struggled to keep with them and eventually ran out of gas for an 11-8 defeat, the second of the year for this team.

The loss will definitely sting come the end of the season for the Pride who are fighting for that precious title. For now, they will need to rebound from the loss with two wins this week against Millbrook and Avon on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively.

#51(28) Avon Old Farms (7-1)

The defending champions’ undefeated season came to an end on Wednesday against a suddenly streaking Martlet squad. Westy utilized a perfect fourth quarter to overcome the Winged Beavers in their own house. The third quarter had been all Avon as they erased a 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead with 16 seconds to go. With all the momentum seemingly with the home team, the Martlets regrouped and kept Avon off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Two goals from Myles Hamm ’17 and Mike Guerin ’16, who scored with 3:20 to go, were enough to steal the win from the Winged Beavers.

This one will sting for Avon who certainly hoped to rack up all the wins they could before their brutal stretch of consecutive games against TP, Brunswick, Deerfield, Taft, Salisbury, and Loomis to end the season. That will start this Saturday against the Pride, but first they will face their last manageable opponent in Hotchkiss on the road on Wednesday.

#93(111) Westminster (3-4)

Westminster picked up a huge win against the Winged Beavers on Wednesday. That recap can be found above in the Avon section. Westminster carried that momentum into a strong showing against Millbrook with an 8-4 final score. The Martlets recent success has carried over into the rankings as they have jumped 18 spots in the rankings and overcame Founders League rival Loomis. They will have a great opportunity to extend that streak against that very Loomis team. Afterwards, however, they will face the dangerous Brunswick Bruins on the road.

#95(56) Loomis Chaffee (5-6)

IMG_5652

Photo Credit: Dave Kavanaugh

The Pelican’s slide continued Wednesday as they were bested by Deerfield, the current top prep team in New England. The brief recap of that game can be found under the Deerfield section. Fortunately, Loomis responded in a big way on Saturday with an impressive 8-7 win against Exeter who had been ranked 19th according to LaxPower. The win was not enough, however, to stop the Pelicans from dropping 39 spots in the rankings.

LC will face a much easier week, although both games cannot be taken lightly. First, they will travel to Simsbury, CT to take on the streaking Martlets before a long road trip to Andover, MA on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. The Pelicans will look to build something off their win against Exeter this past week.

#107(115) Choate Rosemary Hall (4-3)

What better way to break a three game losing streak than against the then-best ranked team in New England? That’s exactly what the Wild Boars did in a huge 10-8 victory over Taft.

Huge 10-8 victory for captain @tylerburns9 and @choatelacrosse Crank it for #wildboarnation @gochoate #choatefootball

A photo posted by Choate Football Instagram (@choatefootball) on

Despite the unexpected win, Choate only rose marginally (eight spots) in the LaxPower rankings. They are certainly hoping this will carry over into the next game against an equally talented #3 Bruin team. If the Wild Boars can pull off some magic again, they will certainly skyrocket in the rankings and present themselves as one of the teams to beat in New England prep. The only thing holding this team behind now is that three game losing streak to Westy, Deerfield, and Avon. After that game on Wednesday against Brunswick Choate will welcome Berkshire on Saturday who are no easy task themselves.

#281(240) Hotchkiss (1-6)

The Bearcats’ woes continued this week with losses to Kent and Salisbury by 12-10 and 17-2 scores, respectively. This season looks just about lost for Hotchkiss who will have to win out to finish above .500 on the season. This week features no remedies for this trodden squad with games against potent Avon on Wednesday and then #2 Deerfield on Saturday. Barring any miracles, do not expect much from this team this week.

#295(317) Kent (1-6)

The last winless team disappeared as the Lions finally got into the win column with a solid effort on Wednesday in a 12-10 win over Founders League rival Hotchkiss. The Lions failed to gain any momentum off that, though, as they responded with a loss on the road in Avon. The Lions’ defense has been the main problem this year as they have only held their opponent to under double digits once, and that was in a 9-8 loss to Millbrook. The bad news for Kent is that the worst is yet to come as they face Taft, Salisbury, and Deerfield in their next three games. The good news? The win against Hotchkiss may go a long way in keeping them out of last place in the Founders League. For now, however, they remain firmly in the cellar.

Note: Featured image credited to Dave Kavanaugh