Lax.com Rising HS Games of the Week: April 24, 2017
The newest edition of the Lax.com Rising High School Games of the Week has a championship feel with several matchups that are meetings of state powers, rematches from last year or, in Florida’s case, an actual playoff preview.
Several premiere showdowns will take place in the Tri-State region, including a clash between two of Suffolk County’s top programs, as well as a New Jersey-Connecticut private school cross over matchup.
Meanwhile, look for other important rivalry games in both the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
Visit Lax.com for a look at each of the games featured throughout the year, as well as the best video highlights around. Follow Lax.com on Twitter (@laxdotcom) and Instagram (@laxdotcom) for great content all throughout the year.
Hun School (N.J.) at Brunswick School (Conn.), April 26
This is the second consecutive year these teams have met and Hun School looks to even the score after falling 7-6 last season. Brunswick is on a roll this year, winning six straight after dropping its first game of the year. The Bruins already have wins over Deerfield (Mass.) and Lawrenceville (N.J.). Hun School has won its previous three games. Brunswick and Hun School share Lawrenceville as a common opponent: Brunswick defeated Lawrenceville 10-9, and the Raiders lost 17-10 on April 8. Senior Bryce Tolmie leads the team with 16 goals this season.
Smithtown East (N.Y.) at Ward Melville (N.Y.), April 27
The Bulls and Patriots renew their rivalry once again and Ward Melville hopes to continue its one-game win streak over Smithtown East. The Section 11 Class A programs have a combined 15 wins between them this spring. Smithtown East has won six straight games after losing two of its first three games. The Bulls have not allowed more than nine goals since losing 17-16 in overtime to John Jay on April 3. Ward Melville is 2-2 in their last four games, but they face Smithtown West (N.Y.) and Bay Shore (N.Y.) before meeting the Bulls. Matt Grillo leads the team with 19 goals and 24 points. Johns Hopkins-bound Connor DeSimone leads the Bulls in points (55), goals (29) and assists (26) this season.
Bullis (Md.) at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.), April 28
The rematch of the 2016 IAC Finals looks a little different this season. Bullis appears to be in serious competition for the IAC championship game once again this season and Alex Trippi (North Carolina) continues to impress with 40 goals and 40 assists. The Saints have a new head coach as Tim Dodds has taken over on the sideline this season. SSSA has five losses, but four of those are by just one goal. This is a crucial conference meeting for the Saints as they already dropped a conference game to St. Albans on April 13 and each team only plays conference opponents once each during the regular season. The Saints are young, led by junior Connor McCulloch’s 25 goals, followed by sophomore Jackson Reynolds’ 17.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) vs. Benjamin School (Fla.), April 28
One half of the Florida state semifinals, the defending state champion Raiders looks to advance to its third-straight state championship game with a win over Benjamin. These teams met in the state semifinal last year and St. Thomas escaped with an 11-10 win in triple overtime. St. Thomas Aquinas has won 37 consecutive games over Florida opponents. The Benjamin School returns to the final four looking to avenge the loss to the Raiders last season. The Buccaneers won their last six games since falling to Bishop Moore in overtime.
Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) vs. Lake Mary (Fla.), April 28
Lake Highland Prep has yet to miss an FHSAA Final Four and 2017 keeps that streak alive. But the Highlander's hope to make their first state championship game since 2015 when they defeated St. Thomas Aquinas to win the state title. Like last year, Lake Highland Prep seems to heat up once the playoffs arrive. They have won six straight this year, after winning six straight last season. Lake Mary pulled off a huge upset over Ponte Vedra to reach the quarterfinals, where the Rams defeated Bolles in another close game.
Darien (Conn.) at New Canaan (Conn.), April 29
Darien has a three-game winning streak over New Canaan heading into this game, which is a meeting of the defending Class L champions – Darien – and last year’s Class M champs – New Canaan. The Blue Wave is riding a 37-game win streak overall, which includes wins over Manhasset (N.Y.), Yorktown (N.Y.) and Niskayuna (N.Y.) this season. The Rams have yet to win two-straight games, but their losses have all been to out of state teams (except prep school Brunswick School). Kevin Lindley already has 27 goals for Darien this season, which includes a nine-goal game against Niskayuna on April 7.