TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for Lacrosse

Apr. 25, 2017 — Top 10 for the week of Apr. 23

Well, there goes the neighborhood. Again.

A raft of interstate results and showdowns have once again shaken up the Top 10, and it’s getting to the point where the competition is so sophisticated and the difference between winning and losing is such a fine knife-edge that you may have a situation similar to a decade ago in college field hockey, where the No. 1 team could have as many as four losses by the end of the season.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is Naples Barron Collier (Fla.), a team which finally, after six years of trying, got past Vero Beach (Fla.) in the third round of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Tournament. Barron Collier fell behind 5-0 early, stormed back to take a lead at the interval, then took the air out of the ball once ahead 8-7, then scored a short-handed goal with under three minutes remaining.

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

Eagles have an enormous contest on Thursday against Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.), but an equally troublesome opponent could be the promoted IAAM “B” champions from Glenelg (Md.) Country School

2. Ridgewood (N.J.) 10-0

Traveled to Long Island and beat a good Wantagh (N.Y.) side 13-6

3. Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) 9-0

Panthers had a statement win over Newfield Middle Country (N.Y.) and star midfielder Nikki Ortega

4. Glenelg (Md.) 10-0

Gladiators had a statement win over Marriottsville Marriotts Ridge (Md.) last Friday

5. East Setauket Ward Melville (N.Y.) 9-0

Undefeated Patriots draw once-beaten Northport (N.Y.) tomorrow

6. Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 14-1

Blazers handed Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) their first loss of the season; can they do the same against mighty McDonogh?

7. Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) 6-1

Wildcats travel to Sayville this Thursday

8. Mount Sinai (N.Y.) 6-2

On a tear since an Opening Day loss to Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.)

9. Moorestown (N.J.) 8-1

Showed pluckiness and a lack of fear against Garden City (N.Y.) in a Gains for Brains victory

10. Franklin (Mass.) 8-0

Big win last Friday against an athletic Andover (Mass.) outfit

11. Naples Barron Collier (Fla.) 15-1

Jaclyn Berry led the Cougars with four goals in their defeat of Vero Beach

Who’s out: Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 11-8 loss to Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.); Garden City (N.Y.) 11-8 loss to Moorestown (N.J.); Syracuse Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.) 9-4 loss to Mount Sinai; Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) 9-4 loss to Darien (Conn.)

And bear in mind: San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) 15-0, Darien (Conn.) 6-2, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) 17-1, Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.) 8-1, Manhasset (N.Y.) 5-3, Garden City (N.Y.) 11-1, Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) 9-0, Apex (N.C.) 12-0, Massilon Jackson (Ohio) 10-0, Wilson West Lawn (Pa.) 12-1, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) 10-1, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 11-5

Apr. 23, 2017 — Nipping at New York’s heels

If you sat for 10 hours and glimpsed action at the lacrosse field and the football field of Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) yesterday for the Gains for Brains Showcase, you not only were impacted by the changeable weather, but you were in for more than a stunner when it came to the results.

More like six stunners. In the six interstate matchups on the day, the New York teams won none of them. That’s right; none.

Of course, none of these matches were seeded, but were planned well in advance. The quality of players and teams, however, were supposed to be reasonably at an even level.

Still, there were some notable performances on the day. Ridgewood (N.J.), a defending state champion which lost in overtime of last spring’s Tournament of Champions final, beat Wantagh 13-7. The streaky Maroons scored the first five goals of the game, as well as the last four.

The Panthers of Bridgewater-Raritan, having worked so hard over a quarter-century to achieve parity with the nation’s elite, had a fine game against Newfield Middle Country (N.Y.) and its star center, Nikki Ortega. The UNC-bound midfielder had a hat trick by the interval, but B-R went on a run in the second half to win 17-9.

Moorestown (N.J.), after losing in this tournament a year ago, played outstanding lacrosse in beating Garden City (N.Y.), especially in the opening of the second half. With the score 6-5 at the interval, the Quakers scored five straight to open the second half, and ran out 11-8 victors.

Summit, the Tournament of Champions winner, took on host Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) in the nightcap and, like Moorestown and Bridgewater-Raritan before them, won the draws and tacked on goals after the halftime break as the Hilltoppers won 12-6.

Darien (Conn.), a team toughened by early interstate competition, played above its won-loss record in beating Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) 12-4. Though Emma Jaques will be remembered for her six-goal effort for the Blue Wave, there was an important facet to this game that could resonate throughout the rest of the CIAC girls’ lacrosse season. The Darien close defense of Abigail Hancock, Logan Book, Annie Wright, and Laurie Travaglini kept the Phantoms off the board for long stretches of the game.

Another interstate game of note was New Canaan (Conn.) beating previously undefeated Northport (N.Y.) 9-8. Campbell Armstrong had a hat trick for the Rams, who play Darien on Saturday.

Apr. 22, 2017 — Your Gains for Brains preview

Today’s Gains for Brains Invitational features nine matches at Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.).

With all due deference to the eight teams playing at the school’s upper field, the delicious action of the day will be occurring on the school’s football pitch. The five games starting on the even-numbered hours are all interstate matchups which feature nationally-rated teams and great traditions.

Take, for instance, the opener between Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) and Darien (Conn.). The Phantoms have done very well in Suffolk Class “C” the last decade or so, despite having great sides awaiting them in this tournament or the Nassau-Suffolk playoff to even get to the state semifinal round. Darien, coached by the long-time skipper Lisa Lindley, lost to fellow G4B participant Garden City (N.Y.) by six just a week ago.

Speaking of Garden City, the Trojans will take on long-time New Jersey powerhouse Moorestown (N.J.). The Quakers come into this weekend in the unusual position of not being the Tournament of Champions holder, and having two losses on their schedule.

I think, however, the best game will feature Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) against Newfield Middle Country (N.Y.). B-R beat Moorestown in the last fortnight, and Middle Country (a co-op team featuring students from Newfield and Centereach) will have the services of Carolina-bound senior Jamie Ortega, one of the leading scorers in the history of the National Federation.

I think the noon match between Wantagh (N.Y.) and Ridgewood (N.J.) deserves a bigger buildup. Undefeated Ridgewood is a New Jersey state champion, having lost the Tournament of Champions final last spring by a goal to Summit (N.J.). Wantagh already has three defeats on its schedule, including a loss just two days ago to a very tough and determined Syracuse Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.).

Enjoy the games, everyone.

Gains for Brains Schedule
10 a.m. – Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) vs. Darien (Conn.)
11 a.m. – Farmingdale (N.Y.) vs Yorktown Heights Yorktown (N.Y.)
12 p.m. – Wantagh (N.Y.) vs Ridgewood (N.J.)
1 p.m. – Greenport-Southold-Mattituck (N.Y.) vs Bardonia Albertus Magnus (N.Y.)
2 p.m. – Garden City (N.Y.) vs Moorestown (N.J.)
3 p.m. – Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.) vs Suffern (N.Y.)
4 p.m. – Newfield Middle Country (N.Y.) vs Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.)
5 p.m. – Northport (N.Y.) vs New Canaan (Conn.)
6 p.m. – Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) vs Summit (N.J.)

Apr. 20, 2017 — New year, new-ish UWLX

United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX), a semiprofessional women’s lacrosse league entering its second season, will have the same four teams, many of the same players, and one very important alteration.

There will be a lot more men in the league in various positions. Starting from league commissioner Gary Gait to Long Island head coach Regy Thorpe, to Boston GM Andrew Fink, there will be a lot more male input in the league than last year, when the mantra was very much “by women, for women.”

The league showed a bit more aggressiveness in the last few weeks, holding its draft last week, selecting players who still retained NCAA eligibility.

Long Island, the league’s defending champion, had the most to fill with goalie and league MVP Devon Wills choosing her duties with the U.S. national team over playing with her club side. The Sound added goalie Caylee Waters from North Carolina, as well as defender Nadine Hadnagy from Maryland, and UNC draw specialist Sammi Jo Tracy. In other words, the Sound got a whole lot louder.

The Baltimore Ride, which came on strong last year late but fell short of the title match, has remade a good portion of its roster. The team added Maryland graduates Brittany Poist, Zoe Stukenberg, and Caroline Wannen, as well as local favorite Sammi Burgess, who rejoins her high school teammate Taylor Cummings. The impact newcomer, however, may be Penn State’s Steph Lazo.

The Boston Storm, who came within 13 minutes of beating Long Island in the final, add Ohio State’s Jennifer Schmitt and Kaila Gottlick, but has made a major impact in adding postgraduate players who currently coach other players. Joining the team is St. Anselm head coach Caitlin Villareal, Brown assistant coach Bre Hudgens, and Mount Ida head coach Nicole Poli. Poli becomes the only NCAA Division III player on any UWLX roster.

For its part, the Philadelphia Force is having its own makeover because players like Michelle Tumolo are preparing for the World Cup. Boston College goalie Zoe Ochoa will give Bridget Bianco a tussle for the starting goalie position. Bryn Boucher comes in from the University of Maryland. And Olivia Hompe, a promising attacker from Princeton, was also drafted by the Force.

The league fixtures are a little different this time around, with the league starting play in Attleboro, Mass., the day between the national semifinals and finals. Attleboro is just 15 minutes down I-95 from Gillette Stadium.

As was the case last year, UWLX fixtures are scheduled to coincide with major youth tournaments. The final, for example, is to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 2, but it is in the midst of the Lake Placid Summit Classic.

Which means it should be a lot cooler for players and spectators alike.

Apr. 16, 2017 — An evolution in skill

Yesterday at Fetzer Field on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Sammy Jo Tracy scored one of the most amazing lacrosse goals you will ever see, regardless of gender.

Here it is:

Apr. 14, 2017 — Friday Statwatch for games played through April 12

Welcome back to Friday Statwatch, which is our weekly feature looking at national statistics and what they mean.

The numbers, as you can see below, are uneven and do tend to favor the teams that started playing in February. But as some teams’ seasons have already concluded, there will be other teams coming into this list over the coming weeks.

The collected numbers below reflect games played through Wednesday. We’re hoping that each of you can 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.

Below is a compilation of statistics from, amongst others, 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:

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
88 Peyton Hornung, Fort Myers Canterbury (Fla.)
83 Chelsea Smith, Merritt Island Edgewood (Fla.)
78 Ryann Doyle, Seymour (Tenn.)
73 Avert Curington, Gulf Breeze (Fla.)
68 Bailey Gehler, San Diego Our Lady Of Peace (Calif.)
64 Kiersen Foust, Greensboro Southeast Guilford (N.C.)
63 Jordan Shugrue, Laurel St. Vincent Pallotti (Md.)
63 Caleigh Kenna, Fort Myers Canterbury (Fla.)
62 Hennessey Evans, Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills (Calif.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
68 KateReagan Costello, Gulf Breeze (Fla.)
41 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
40 Madison Dunk, Durham (N.C.) Academy
40 Kieran Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (Mooresville, N.C.)
39 Madeline Hooks, Santa Ana Mater Dei (Calif.)
39 Kayla Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (N.C.)
36 Jordan Lappin, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.)

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, CAREER
400 Bridget Ruskey, Cape May Courthouse Middle Township (N.J.)
316 Danielle Van Calcar, Ramapo (N.J.)
288 Paige Petty, Bernards (N.J.)
246 Peyton Hornung, Fort Myers Canterbury (Fla.)
227 Jenna Herlihy, Cape May Courthouse Middle Township (N.J.)
224 Gabrielle Fornia, Medford Lenape (N.J.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, CAREER
237 Allison Hunter, Cape May Courthouse Middle Township (N.J.)

INDIVIDUAL POINTS (COMBINED GOALS AND ASSISTS), CAREER
509 Bridget Ruskey, Cape May Courthouse Middle Township (N.J.)
465 Danielle Van Calcar, Ramapo (N.J.)
420 Allison Hunter, Cape May Courthouse Middle Township (N.J.)
403 Gabrielle Fornia, Medford Lenape (N.J.)
347 Paige Petty, Bernards (N.J.)
341 Jenna Herlihy, Cape May Courthouse Middle Township (N.J.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
167 Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.)

COACHING WINS
731 Kathy Jenkins, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.)
518 Deanna Knobloch, Moorestown (N.J.)

These numbers aren’t going to be perfect every week. If you see something you’d like us to address, by all means, 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.

I believe that Statwatch is a living, breathing soul that can be added to at any time. Thanks for dropping by, and we’ll see you next time.

Apr. 12, 2017 — Maryland 18, Princeton 12

POSTGAME That’s all for now; thanks for reading this evening

POSTGAME Give a call to close defender Julia Braig, who has, all season, been effective in the midfield transitioning on clears. She had a number of situations this evening and did well when called upon

POSTGAME That being said, Whittle and Stukenberg were their usual lethal selves, and Kali Hartshorn was all over the midfield and attack. Hartshorn was game-high with five draws controlled along with her five goals

POSTGAME Maryland is not going to be beaten by talent alone; a team looking to beat them will have to alter the Terps’ tactics and strategy

POSTGAME If there is one thing that other NCAA teams will be studying from this game, it’s the fact that the teams played to a 12-12 draw over the final 50 minutes

FULL TIME At the final horn, Maryland takes an 18-12 win

59:25 PRI YELLOW George is off for the challenge

59:02 PRI GOAL Hallett with a goal to bring the Tigers within six

58:49 UMD GOAL Jen Giles takes advantage of an acre of space in the fan and powers the Terps to an 18-11 lead

52:51 PRI GOAL Amanda Leavell with a nifty steal and coast-to-coast run; Terps lead 17-11

48:08 PRI FP and GOAL A good look by Hompe finds Pansini on the doorstep; Terps still lead by seven

47:31 PRI GOAL Anna Doherty spins and scores from long range; Tigers still trail by eight

44:07 UMD GOAL Jen Giles with a fallaway from the middle of the fan; Maryland up 17-8

42:53 TIMEOUT MARYLAND

42:39 PRI FP and GOAL Anna Doherty from the left hash, but the Tigers trail by eight

40:17 UMD GOAL Stukenberg is at the tail end of an eight-pass sequence that leaves the Tigers helpless; Terps lead 16-7

39:05 UMD GOAL A sprawling Stukenberg scores to give Maryland a 15-7 lead 

38:18 PRI GOAL Elizabeth George zings a forehand from the top of the arc; Tigers trail 14-7

37:17 UMD GOAL Some skip passes lead to a run by Hartshorn; she finishes to give Maryland a 14-6 lead

34:22 UMD FP and GOAL Whittle fires a shot that Ellie DeGarmo gets her stick on but cannot keep out; Maryland leads 13-7

31:48 PRI YELLOW Hompe off for a slash

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Kali Hartshorn once again dominated the draws and scored some amazing goals for Maryland; it’s as if she is playing a different game from everybody else

HALFTIME The Tigers chose to run a shutoff for part of the half, though the target was as curious as the concept

HALFTIME The lead is deserved for the Terps because they seem to be able to score in bunches

HALFTIME The horn sounds with Maryland leading 12-6

29:00 PRI GOAL Hallett scores again but the Tigers down six

28:29 PRI GOAL Olivia Hompe swerved and the ball gets through; Terps still up seven

26:56 UMD FP and GOAL Stukenberg from the right hash; Maryland leads 12-4

24:41 PRI GOAL Laura Pansini gets a pass from Chamenchuk and finishes; Tigers down 11-4

23:31 TIMEOUT PRINCETON

23:31 UMD GOAL Whittle scores from a thicket of Princeton defenders as Maryland goes up 11-3

23:10 UMD GOAL Hartshorn takes a subtle overhand pass from Giles and scores while being fouled; Maryland takes a 10-3 lead and will get the ball

22:33 PRI GOAL Tess D’Orsi finds the back of the net! Tigers within six

19:37 UMD YELLOW Whittle with a rash challenge

18:20 UMD GOAL Caroline Steele takes a pass from Hartshorn and buries it! Maryland up 9-2

15:08 PRI YELLOW Ellie McNulty is off for the hard foul

14:37 UMD GOAL Megan Whittle puts the ball where the Thin Mints are; Maryland leads 8-2

14:00 PRI YELLOW Halley is off for a slash

13:30 UMD GOAL Jen Giles weaves through three players and sticks it high! Maryland up 7-2

12:57 PRI GOAL Kathryn Halley scores and brings the score to 6-2

11:15 PRI GOAL Colby Chanenchuk finally solves the Maryland defense, but the deficit remains five 

10:15 Why is Princeton trying to shut off Caroline Wannen? The hot scorer is Hartshorn at the moment

9:52 UMD FP A passing play to Zoe Stukenberg at the top center is shot wide

7:24 Let’s remind you: this is against the No. 7 team in the latest poll

7:24 UMD FP and GOAL Jen Giles hits from the right hash; Terps lead 6-0

6:51 UMD GOAL Hartshorn gets the corner from nine yards; this is like child’s play to her. Terps lead 5-0

6:27 TIMEOUT PRINCETON

6:27 UMD GOAL While being checked by two players, Hartshorn muscles it into the cage; they all count no matter how they go in. Terps up 4-0 and are assuming complete control of the game

5:17 UMD FP and GOAL Megan Whittle pegs the post from the left hash and scores! 3-0 Maryland

3:34 UMD GOAL Zoe Stukenberg finds a wide-open Kali Hartshorn down the heart of the fan and the Terps lead 2-0

0:29 UMD GOAL Megan Whittle gets free on the crease and puts Maryland on top 1-0; a dream start!

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Princeton is in the all-black uniforms with orange numbers and white trim; Maryland is in the yellow, trimmed in the Crossland and Calvert emblems reminiscent of the state flag

PREGAME The teams are warming up under clear skies, temperatures in the mid-70s

PREGAME Maryland is a favorite to win this contest, but if Sailer can find a way to match or neutralize the Terps’ strengths, anything can happen

PREGAME Princeton head coach Chris Sailer is one of the great minds of the game, and parts of her offense in the early 1990s are in everyone’s playbook

PREGAME But Maryland has not lost to Princeton in a decade and a half, and it’s something the Tigers want to change

PREGAME One of the things that has not changed with Maryland over the years is its friendly rivalry with the Tigers. They have traditionally met each other late in the season — sometimes in the week between the conference tournament and the start of the NCAAs

PREGAME Maryland is 13-0 this season; Princeton is 9-1

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to The Lacrosse and Field Hockey Complex (yep, we’re calling it that) for this interconference game between Princeton and Maryland