Lax.com Rising HS Games of the Week: March 20, 2017
Every week the season gets more exciting as an increasing number of compelling power-program matchups dot the Lax.com Rising High School Games of the Week. The newest edition it ramps up with defending champions meeting head-to-head in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
Also this week, a meeting of independent powers from Canada and Florida renews a budding rivalry in, of all places, Western New York. Meanwhile, more crossover games in the west should draw plenty of interest.
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.
Haverford School (Pa.) at McDonogh School (Md.), March 21
This game pits the defending Inter-Ac champion against the defending MIAA “A” Conference champ in what has been an excellent head-to-head matchup in recent seasons. McDonogh started its season with back-to-back wins, holding the Eagles’ first two opponents to a combined 10 goals. The Haverford School opens its year against McDonogh. These teams last met in 2015 with Haverford coming out on top, 9-8 in overtime. The Fords went 26-0 that season. Haverford is 4-2 in the last six meetings with McDonogh, currently the No. 6 team in the USA Today High School Sports Super 25 rankings. The Fords are currently No. 22.
Kent Denver School (Colo.) at Saint Ignatius Prep (NorCal), March 21
This inter-state matchup features one of the best programs in California taking on a Kent Denver team looking to return to the upper echelon of the high school ranks in Colorado. The Sun Devils are off to a 2-0 start with impressive victories over in-state foes Mullen and Heritage. Since falling to Torrey Pines out of SoCal, the Wildcats have earned two major wins with victories over Gonzaga (D.C.) and reigning Texas Division I state champ Dallas Jesuit.
IMG Academy (Fla.) vs. The Hill Academy (Ont.), March 22
This meeting of independent titans starts the IMG Academy’s National team’s year. The Hill Academy is already putting itself through a grueling schedule once again, though some of it was disrupted by last week’s snow and poor weather conditions. Getting through it, the Pride downed Springside-Chestnut Hill (Pa.) and Penn Charter (Pa.) in a double-header and outscored those teams by a combined score of 28-10. The Hill then took two hard-fought Super 25 wins, defeating No. 16 Loyola Blakefield (Md.) and No. 12 Boys’ Latin (Md.) on consecutive days. Last year the Hill Academy dominated this matchup, winning 18-8. This will be the IMG National team’s first game out this season, and it will feature the likes of Tehoka Nanticoke (Albany) and a deep midfield highlighted by Cam Badour (Duke) and Dan Burnam.
Chaminade (N.Y.) vs. Massapequa (N.Y.), March 22
The two New York powers did not mess around when making the schedule as this is the first game for both teams. On paper, Chaminade appears to have what could be called an advantage with at least 12 seniors committed to Division I programs, including defender Frankie Tangredi (Harvard) and midfielder Matt Chmil (Duke). The Flyers also boast highly regarded juniors Andrew Bonafede (Duke) and Frank Marinello (Duke). The Chiefs have four seniors and three juniors committed to Division I programs, including a trio of senior midfielders in Kyle Korwan (Furman), Salvatore Ienna (Binghamton) and Brendan Nichtern (Army). This should be one of the best early-season games to watch on Long Island.
Haverford School (Pa.) at St. Paul’s (Md.), March 23
The Crusaders have a few games under their belt before facing the Fords. St. Paul’s took a trip to California where it came away with three wins, including a gritty 9-6 win over a talented Poway (SoCal) squad on March 16. Haverford will be coming off the McDonogh game, which could be a big game for the Fords to find their identity after losing a lot to graduation. St. Paul’s head coach Rick Brocato is taking his farewell tour with another talented Crusaders group after announcing that he will retire at the end of the year.
Poway (SoCal) vs. La Costa Canyon (SoCal), March 24
Poway suffered a tough 9-6 loss to St. Paul’s of the MIAA last week, but the Titans get back to playing California teams this week with a big one on deck. La Costa Canyon got off to a 0-1 start, which included a tough game against Texas power The Woodlands (Texas) on March 15, so the Mavericks, under first-year head coach Kevin Cooper, have already been tested this season. The Mavericks and Titans met last season and battled to a 6-5 decision with Poway coming out on top. Poway, coached by Zack Burke, is the back-to-back CIF San Diego champion and has one of the deepest rosters in all of SoCal.
Gonzaga (D.C.) at Bullis (Md.), March 24
Gonzaga accounted for one of the Bulldogs’ losses in a championship season last year – the Hill Academy was the other – so as both teams look to repeat, revenge is on the minds of the Bulldogs. Alex Trippi (North Carolina) has started strong after earning USA Today High School Sports First-Team Preseason All-USA accolades, scoring five goals and six assists in the first two games. Bullis has a 21-game winning streak while Gonzaga just saw a 14-game streak come to an end in a loss to NorCal powerhouse St. Ignatius Prep – one of the biggest upsets of the early season. The Purple Eagles expect a big season from Jack Myers (Harvard), who opened the year by totaling six points for the Purple Eagles in a 10-4 win over St. Albans (D.C.).