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April 23, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of April 21

There have been an inordinate number of good interconference games in the last couple of weeks, each of which has had an impact, one way or the other, on this survey. This Saturday’s Gains for Brains showcase, featuring a number of Top 10 sides, will also figure into how the season shakes out. We’ll have more on this in a few days.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is a team which got its first win since 2015, Westfield St. Mary’s (Mass.) But the story behind the win is the fact that the team almost never had a chance to play this season. That’s because it was announced about a year ago that the school would be closing after 115 years. But there was a reconsideration of the closing, and now the girls’ lacrosse team has pulled together for a big victory.

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 14-0

How’s this for gutsy? McDonogh agreed to a Thursday rematch of last year’s IAAM Class A title match with Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) at the same place where the legendary 198-game win streak ended, Tierney Field at the U.S. Lacrosse campus in Sparks, Md.

2. Moorestown (N.Y.) 10-0

Quakers have an enormous match tomorrow against defending Tournament of Champions holder Ridgewood (N.J.)

3. Delray American Heritage (Fla.) 19-1

Stallions draw West Palm Beach King’s Academy (Fla.) on Thursday in postseason debut

4. Darien (Conn.) 5-0

Darien hosts Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) Thursday

5. Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 10-3

Cardinals are in the midst of a New England road trip: today against Bayport Blue Point (N.Y.), then Hingham Notre Dame Academy (Mass.) on Saturday

6. Manhasset (N.Y.) 7-1

Pivotal Long Island game this Saturday against Garden City (N.Y.)

7. Ridgewood (N.J.) 11-0

Maroons take on Moorestown (N.J.) in a midseason test of Garden State supremacy

8. Severna Park (Md.) 12-0

Handled Olney Good Counsel (Md) 16-7 last week; next week, the Falcons get Edgewater South River (Md.)

9. Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 7-0

Falcons got by Annapolis Broadneck (Md.) 14-7 last week

10. Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.) 8-0

Meets Mount Sinai (N.Y.) later this week

11. Westfield St. Mary’s (Mass.) 1-5

Samantha Moran with the hat trick for the Saints in a 7-2 win over Springfield Central (Mass.)

Who’s out? Mount Sinai (N.Y.) 8-0 loss to Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.); South Huntington St. Anthony (N.Y.) 12-11 loss to Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)

And bear in mind: Washington Georgetown Visitation (D.C.) 13-3, Milton (Ga.) 16-1, Marriottsville Marriotts Ridge (Md.) 7-2, Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 12-3, Hingham Notre Dame Academy (Mass.) 5-1, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 8-1, Garden City (N.Y.) 6-2, Manhasset (N.Y.) 7-1,  Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 10-0, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 14-1

April 21, 2019 — Lessons from the mid-table

Yesterday’s Final Third presentation showed just how much teams which are either unranked or are in the middle of their conference standings will work at the end of the season in order to gain the attention of NCAA selectors — and, quite possibly, future opposition.

But if there’s one thing to stress, especially in The Possession Clock Era of women’s lacrosse, it’s that no lead is safe nowadays.

The biggest lead overcome in any girls’ or women’s lacrosse game that I remember was in the 2007 NCAA Division I semifinal when Duke held a 13-4 lead with 20 minutes remaining. Virginia won, setting a standard for comebacks which should be the all-time greatest, given the pressure of a national tournament and how good Duke teams were in the 2000s.

Yesterday, the University of New Haven had a 9-4 lead in the opening minute of the second half, but just 14 minutes later, the score was even at 10-10. In the Division I game we had yesterday, Virginia Tech had a 10-7 lead on commonwealth rival Virginia with under 20 minutes to go, but the Hoos scored the last six goals in a 13-10 win. Tellingly, Virginia scored five of the six goals in the comeback in the final 10 minutes, showing an unusual ability to come through under pressure.

Sound familiar?

April 20, 2019 — The Final Third

We’ll be live today around noon Eastern time on Facebook Live (http://www.facebook.com/topofthecircle) with whiparound coverage of four pivotal NCAA women’s lacrosse games just a week before the start of the conference tournament season in some places.

April 19, 2019 — Friday Statwatch through games played through April 17

Good Friday, everyone, and welcome back to Friday Statwatch, the part of our site where we use numbers to compare across years, across eras in girls’ high-school lacrosse.

Below is a combination of girls’ scholastic lacrosse statistics from sources, including MaxPreps.com, NJ Advance Media, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Providence Journal, The Albany Times-Union, Long Island Newsday, The Worcester Telegram, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MassLive.com, the Denver Post, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MSG Varsity, the Ann-Arbor News, and The Washington Post.

I encourage you, gentle reader, to convince your team, your school, league, or state governing body to adopt the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
118 Brittany Sherrod, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)
106 Makena Carter, Los Angeles Hamilton (Calif.)
101 Francesca Frieri, Lockport (Ill.)
97 Stela Chepenik, Jacksonville Episcopal (Fla.)
91 Kasey Bronco Mount Pleasant Oceanside (S.C.)
90 Katelyn Murphy, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.)
90 Hennessey Evans, Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills (Calif.)
90 Zella Bedoian, Lake Balboa Birmingham (Calif.)
89 Cassidy Kerkesner, Fort Myers Cypress Lake (Fla.)
87 Amelia McCauley, Clover (S.C.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
59 Grace Ann Carlson, Charleston Bishop England (S.C.)
59 Sydney Coston, Fort Mill (S.C.)
55 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
53 Balay Woodworth, Dallas North Paulding (Ga.)
52 Kayla Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (N.C.)
50 Ashley Stokes, Santa Ana Foothill (Calif.)
50 Katereagan Costello, Gulf Breeze (Fla.)
47 Kate Murphy, Collierville St. George’s (Tenn.)
45 Maggie Pontiakos, Charlotte Ardrey Kell (N.C.)
44 Katherine Lipford, Vestavia Hills (Ala.)
43 Maddie Barber, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
39 Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.)

COACHING WINS
785 Kathy Jenkins, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.)

So, here is where you come in. If you see something missing or askew, please feel to send us an email at TopOfTheCircle.com. Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s installation, and invite you to come back next week for more.

April 18, 2019 — An enormous symptom

Recently, Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm and the U.S. women’s national basketball team, was chosen by The Syracuse Post-Standard as the single best high-school athlete ever to come out of central New York.

Last weekend, playing in a EuroLeague semifinal with Dynamo Kursk of the Russian first division of pro women’s basketball, she went up for a rebound and landed on the foot of teammate Brittney Griner.

The result is the most devastating and debilitating injury a basketball player can have, a ruptured Achilles tendon.

It is an injury that will keep Stewart out of the 2019 WNBA season, and likely will prevent her from returning to Europe to play, and just might affect her preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mechelle Voepel of espnW neatly captures what I think is an enormous problem when it comes to the WNBA and the players who have to go to Europe in order to make a sustainable salary.

April 17, 2019 — Is the Hockey Pro League in free-fall?

It has been a period of adjustment, for sure, as the FIH and the teams participating in the inaugural Hockey Pro League have been adjusting to the responsibility of playing games in all of the participating nations rather than concentrating the competition in only a handful of locations.

First, you had Pakistan and India pulling out of the 2019 competition for various reasons. But yesterday, there was an announcement that makes you wonder if the FIH had thought through the necessary budget outlays for travel and sundries during the six-month competition period.

That’s because, in 2020 and 2021, the Hockey Pro League will be only eight games in duration, not 16. In other words, a team will play only half of the rest of the teams in the HPL on the road, and the other half at home.

Aside from gridiron football, I don’t know of any other competition on a world stage where a single round-robin throughout all available opponents determines a winner or winners. The true test, I believe, of any team’s worth — whether a club side or a national team — is how well a team defends its own home turf, then turns around and plays on the other team’s ground.

I’m hoping that, at least in time for the 2022 World Cup, that the Pro League will grow into the role into which it was envisioned: giving teams an opportunity to qualify for world-level tournaments similar to how it is done in soccer. To me, it’s the fairest way.

April 16, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of April 14

This week’s Top 10 is a bit of a reflection of a logjam of talent in some of the finest regions of the country. This includes much of the area around Syracuse as well as Long Island, where a clear frontrunner has yet to show themselves. But with more intersectional matches in the next couple of weekends leading to the Gains for Brains Invitational, we’ll see which teams can come through.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is Goleta Dos Pueblos (Calif.), which appears to be on a tear in Southern California, having defeated Simi Valley Royal (Calif.) 8-2 Friday night. It was the first time the Chargers have ever beaten Royal.

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 12-0

Down 7-6 in the second half, the Eagles scored three straight goals to beat Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) Friday evening

2. Mount Sinai (N.Y.) 7-0

Team faces Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) tomorrow

3. Delray American Heritage (Fla.) 17-1

With the Stallions’ regular season concluded, team awaits playoff seedings

4. Moorestown (N.J.) 7-0

Quakers got by Haddonfield (N.Y.) Memorial 9-8 last week

5. Darien (Conn.) 3-0

Wave host Radnor (Pa.) this Thursday

6. Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 8-3

Cardinals have had a rough schedule, losing to McDonogh on Friday as well as Delray American Heritage (Fla.) and Milton (Ga.)

7. Manhasset (N.Y.) 4-1

After today’s game with Long Beach (N.Y.), Manhasset has a nine-day break before meeting up with Garden City (N.Y.)

8. Ridgewood (N.J.) 8-0

Maroons have Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) before a Saturday match with Summit (N.J.)

9. South Huntington St. Anthony (N.Y.) 6-0

Will visit Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) on Thursday

10. Severna Park (Md.) 7-0

Falcons got by Annapolis Broadneck (Md.) 14-7 last week

11. Goleta Dos Pueblos (Calif.) 10-2

Chargers shut out Royal for the entirety of the second half in order to pick up the win

Who’s out? Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 12-10 loss to Garden City (N.Y.), Marriotts Ridge (Md.) 14-9 loss to Severna Park (Md.)

And bear in mind: Washington Georgetown Visitation (D.C.) 8-3, Milton (Ga.) 14-1, Marriottsville Marriotts Ridge (Md.) 5-1, Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 9-2, Spencerport (N.Y.) 7-0, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 8-1, Garden City (N.Y.) 5-2, Manhasset (N.Y.) 4-1, Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 6-0, Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 2-0, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 12-1