Brielle Orthopedics/Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10 for April 13
Today marks two weeks since opening day and in that span we've learned a few things about the 2022 landscape of Shore Conference boys lacrosse. But the action, like the weather, is just beginning to heat up. There are some major top-10 matchups coming up soon and before you know it the Shore Conference Tournament will be here. It's not too early to see how some of the results so far will shape the field.
The top dogs did their thing during Week 2 so there aren't any major changes to this week's Brielle Orthopedics/Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10, but we do have a new team entering at No. 10 thanks to some noteworthy victories that have them leapfrogging the previous No. 10 team.
There are five games between ranked teams scheduled over the next seven days plus a few more involving fringe top-10 teams and some intriguing nonconference games. The rankings could look very different this time next week.
With that, let's get to the meat and potatoes.
Brielle Orthopedics Shore Conference Boys Lacrosse Top 10, April 13
1. Rumson-Fair Haven (5-1). Last week: No. 1
It was another week of dominance for the top-ranked Bulldogs, who thrashed No. 5 Shore, 14-3, and No. 7 Howell, 17-6, before dismantling St. Peter's Prep, 18-1, in a game played at Rutgers University. The offense didn't miss a beat despite being without star senior attackman Christian Bockelmann, who suffered a hand injury during Rumson's game vs. Seton Hall Prep on April 2. RFH has some big nonconference tests coming up but it's hard to envision any Shore Conference team seriously challenging them until the Shore Conference Tournament. Next seven days: 4/14 @ No. 8 Red Bank; 4/18 @ Bridgewater-Raritan.
2. Manasquan (4-1). Last week: No. 2
The Warriors rolled to victories over Jackson Liberty (14-3) and Holmdel (15-3) before absorbing their first loss of the season when they traveled south to face Salesianum, the No. 1 team in Delaware and a team that will likely be ranked nationally in the next Inside Lacrosse Top 25. Manasquan drew to within 6-5 with under five minutes to play but the Sallies held on for a 7-5 win. Like Rumson, Manasquan isn't at full strength as they eagerly await the return of standout senior defensemen Dylan LeBlanc from a football injury. The early returns are still very good for the Big Blue. Next seven days: 4/13 vs. Lacey; 4/16 @ Montclair; 4/19 @ St. Rose.
3. Southern (5-0). Last week: No. 3
The Rams' three-game week was bookended by smooth victories over Brick Memorial (11-2) and Clearview (13-1) but it was the middle game where a statement was made. In a matchup of returning state sectional champions, Southern, the South Group 4 champion, clipped South Group 3 champion Ocean City, 5-4, for an impressive road victory. That has been the only test for Southern so far and the Rams passed. More challenges await this week, however, with a division rival and two ranked opponents on the schedule. Next seven days: 4/13 vs. Jackson Memorial; 4/16 vs. No. 4 Wall; 4/19 vs. No. 8 Middletown South.
4. Wall (4-1). Last week: No. 4
The Crimson Knights played only one game last week and it was a barnburner. Sophomore Will Madden's bounce shot found the back of the net in overtime to allow Wall to escape with a 7-6 victory over Columbia. Wall's lone loss this year is to Manasquan (9-6). Some quality games are on tap in the coming week, including two ranked games, one of which will give them a chance to move up in the Top 10. Next seven days: 4/13 vs. St. Rose; 4/14 vs. Jackson Liberty; 4/16 @ No. 3 Southern; 4/18 vs. No. 10 Red Bank Catholic.
5. Shore (2-1). Last week: No. 5
Shore played one game last week and it was a lopsided 14-3 loss to No. 1 Rumson. Can't ding the Blue Devils for that one because Rumson has overpowered every Shore Conference team it has faced this season. CBA is hot on their heels but we'll stick with Shore in the five slot for now thanks to impressive victories over Monroe (14-5) and No. 9 Red Bank (12-1). Next seven days: 4/13 vs. Neptune; 4/18 vs. Lenape.
6. Christian Brothers Academy (4-3). Last week: No. 6
Don't pay attention to CBA's record because it doesn't tell the story. The Colts' three losses are to Bergen Catholic (11-10 in OT), Iona Prep (9-6), and Pope John (8-7 in OT). After a 13-2 win over Middletown North and the overtime loss to Pope John, CBA broke in its new turf field with a thorough 10-5 victory over No. 8 Middletown South. Sophomore Ryan Martin has taken the baton from his brother Dan, now a freshman at Villanova, as the team's top scorer with 20 goals while freshmen defenders Luke Krebs and Quinn Kelly have been impressive. A light week for CBA coming up before a brutal stretch against nationally-ranked teams. Next seven days: 4/13 vs. Colts Neck.
7. Howell (3-2). Last week: No. 7
Howell's two games last week were at complete opposite ends of the spectrum - a 17-6 loss to No. 1 Rumson and a 14-1 victory over Marlboro. Not much can be learned from either of those, but two of the Rebel's next three games should be good ones, especially a division tilt where they will try to keep pace with CBA atop Class A North. Next seven days: 4/13 vs. No. 8 Middletown South; 4/14 vs. Long Branch; 4/16 @ Holmdel.
8. Middletown South (5-1). Last week: No. 8
The Eagles picked up a pair of wins last week before suffering their first loss of the season. Middletown South won 14-6 over Freehold Township and then topped No. 10 Red Bank Catholic, 10-5. They couldn't get anything going offensively against No. 6 CBA and dropped a 10-5 defeat on Monday. They get an immediate chance at another ranked opponent when they visit another division rival today. Next seven days: 4/13 @ No. 7 Howell; 4/19 @ No. 3 Southern.
9. Red Bank (3-1). Last week: No. 9
The Bucs pushed their record to 3-1 with victories over Ocean (12-0), St. Joseph-Metuchen (13-7), and Point Boro (15-2) after playing just once during the first week. Off all the ranked teams RBR probably has the least room for error because they have just three top-10 teams on the schedule for the rest of the regular season and one of them is No. 1 Rumson. Games against Red Bank Catholic and Middletown South later this month will be big. Next seven days: 4/14 vs. No. 1 Rumson; 4/16 vs. Old Bridge.
10. Red Bank Catholic (4-2). Last week: not ranked
The Caseys get the nod this week at No. 10, jumping over Manalapan. Both teams are 4-2 but RBC has the better victories with wins last week over Holmdel (12-10) and St. Rose (18-5). Senior Anthony Muniz is off to a blistering start as the Shore Conference leader in points and is among several Caseys players filling the stat sheet. If you're Manalapan or RBC this will all be settled on the field since the two teams meet this week. That matchup is one of a few big games on the horizon for the Caseys. Next seven days: 4/13 @ St. John Vianney; 4/16 @ Manalapan; 4/18 @ No. 4 Wall.
Dropped out: Manalapan (No. 10 last week)
Keep an eye on:
Manalapan (4-2): As mentioned above, the Braves dropping out of the Top 10 is more about RBC having the better wins at the moment. Both of Manalapan's losses are to top-10 teams, as well, and they will host RBC this week with a chance to jump right back into the rankings.
St. Rose (5-1): The Purple Roses were cooled off in an 18-5 loss to No. 10 Red Bank Catholic and the schedule doesn't get any easier this week with No. 4 Wall and No. 2 Manasquan coming up. Still, the Roses have noteworthy wins over Jackson Memorial and Barnegat keeping them in the hunt.
Holmdel (4-2): The Hornets are in a spot where they are a solid team without any significant wins or any bad losses. Their wins are over Brick, St. John Vianney, Brick Memorial, and Toms River East by a combined margin of 55-6. Those teams have a combined record of 6-14, however. Holmdel's losses are to No. 10 Red Bank Catholic (12-10) and No. 2 Manasquan (15-3). We just need more data and, thankfully, the games that should provide that are coming up over the next two-plus weeks.