Games to Watch: April 24 to April 30
It's a huge week for the scholastic lacrosse landscape, as some incredible matchups are on the way, including championship weekend in the state of Florida.
But elsewhere, New England will see one of the biggest games of the year take place as two Super 25 rivals from Connecticut will finally meet for a much anticipated showdown.
And in the Mid-Atlantic, there's an assortment of exciting games, including two important clashes in D.C. and Baltimore.
Calvert Hall (Md.) at McDonogh (Md.), April 26
Calvert Hall was the No. 1 team in the MIAA A Conference before last week, a 6-5 loss to Boys’ Latin (Md.). McDonogh, along with BL, are undefeated in the conference, but the next few weeks can change things dramatically. The Eagles have won six straight, including a 13-11 win over Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) and a 12-7 win over Severn (Md.). Calvert Hall has one loss to a team in the United States, but that was 6-5 to the Lakers last week. They rebounded with a 13-6 win over Gilman (Md.) and face the Eagles and Severn this week.
Ponte Vedra (Fla.) vs. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), April 29
Florida is down to its final four teams and it’s hard to pick a favorite. This game pits the defending state champs, Lake Highland Prep, against the 22-0 Sharks of Ponte Vedra. The Sharks and Highlanders met in the semifinals in 2014 with Lake Highland coming out on top 14-9. Ponte Vedra appears to be the favorite with 22 straight wins, including an 11-6 win over Lake Highland on Feb. 15. Junior attackman Reid Smith leads the team with 123 points on 66 goals and 57 assists through the regular season. Junior Matthew Keeler is second on the team with 58 goals and 29 assists through the regular season. The Highlanders appeared the struggle early in the season, sporting a 6-8 record on March 19. But the Highlanders have won six straight games, including victories over Jupiter (Fla.), H.B. Plant (Fla.) and Apopka (Fla.). Sophomore Christian Cisneros led the team with 78 points through 17 games.
St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) at Bullis (Md.), April 29
Bullis enters the the game on a 12-game winning streak and in control of the IAC regular season title. The Bulldogs are led by Nicky Petkevich (45 goals), Alex Trippi (40) and Steven Shollenberger (35). They have already defeated nationally ranked teams McDonogh (Md.), Boys’ Latin (Md.) and Landon (Md.) along with Georgetown Prep (Md.). The Saints have four players with at least 20 goals, led by Chase Goree (31), Wade Shervin (24), Matthew Fisher (22) and Ben Martin (22). They have won four straight games heading into an April 26 game at Potomac School (Va.) before facing Bullis. The Saints have one loss against an IAC team, making this a crucial game if they want to get the regular season title.
New Canaan (Conn.) at Darien (Conn.), April 30
The top two teams in Connecticut, both ranked in the USA Today High School Sports Super 25, face off and sport a 15-0 record between them. Darien already has a win over defending New York Class A champ Niskayuna (N.Y.) along with Manhasset (N.Y.). The Rams opened their season with a 9-8 overtime win over Super 25-ranked Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) and have defeated prep power Brunswick School (Conn.), also a member of the Super 25 all season. New Canaan faces undefeated Staples-Westport (Conn.) on April 26 before traveling to Darien on the 30th.