Monday, May 18, 2015

CMass Lax Power Rankings: 5/18/15

Westboro senior middie Jake Foster notched six points, including the game-winning goal, in a huge win over Grafton.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Two new squads make appearances in our Top-5 this week- One returns to the top tier of Central Mass, while another earns its first recognition among the region's elite.

It was also an interesting week for the region's traditional powers, as St. John's, Grafton and Shrewsbury all took tough losses, while Algonquin may just have asserted itself as a favorite heading into the tournament. Let's not waste any more time though, here are our rankings and notes for this week in CMass Lax.

1. Algonquin: 12-4, 8-1 Mid-Wach A. Division 2

Last Week: No. 1

As other teams stumble, the Tomahawks just keep on winning. With wins over league foes Groton-Dunstable and Wachusett, along with Shrewsbury's loss to Westboro last week, Algonquin locked up a Mid-Wach A title and head into Wednesday's game against St. John's fighting for a Top-2 seed in Division 2 Central/West.

2. Shrewsbury: 13-5, 7-3 Mid-Wach A. Division 2

Last Week: No. 2

The Colonials dropped an 11-10 decision to Westboro, but bounced back nicely with a win against always competitive Nashoba. Shrewsbury wraps up its regular season with winnable games against Shepherd Hill (today) and Framingham (Sunday). Wins in those two games will lock up the program's third consecutive 15+ win season.

3. Westboro: 11-3, 6-3 Mid-Wach A. Division 2

Last Week: Unranked

No team in Central Mass had a better week than Westboro, who flexed its muscle against regional powers Shrewsbury and Grafton, knocking off both, and also defeated red-hot Groton-Dunstable. The Rangers have now split the season series with Shrewsbury and face a huge home test against St. John's this afternoon.

4. St. John's: 10-5, 1-0 Catholic Conf. Division 2

Last Week: No. 3

The Pioneers always play a brutal schedule, so some inconsistency should be expected Still, last week's losses to Eastern Mass foe Westford Academy and Western Mass favorite Longmeadow came by 7 and 8 goal margins, respectively, and have to worry St. John's fans a little heading into a big week.

Today brings a massive road test against suddenly surging Westboro, then one of the biggest rivalries in the region is renewed Wednesday when the Pioneers travel to face Algonquin. If St. John's can get at least a split this week it will be a huge step in the right direction heading into the playoffs.

5. Tantasqua: 11-2, 6-1 Mid Mass. Division 2

Last Week: Unranked

You just can't ignore the Warriors anymore, as Tantasqua picked up a huge win at Mid-Mass. rival Worcester, then followed that performance up with a convincing win against scrappy St. Bernard's. Andrew Tichy has scored 11 goals in the Warriors' last three games, and Ben Beaudry is coming on strong as well.

Winners of nine in a row, the Warriors are Central MA's hottest team, and will face two league challenges against playoff hungry Northbridge, as well as a rematch with Worcester. If they can get through this week unscathed, the Warriors will be set up nicely for a high seed in the Division 2 Central/West tournament.

Dropped Out- Grafton (No. 4 last week), Groton-Dunstable (No. 5 last week)

In the Hunt: Tyngsboro (13-1), Grafton (11-5), Groton-Dunstable (8-7), Worcester (10-5), Assabett (12-0), Marlboro (13-3)

Tyngsboro bounced back from its first loss of the season at the hands of Groton-Dunstable by defeating both Leominster and Shepherd Hill by double-digits. The Tigers are an offensive juggernaut that can possess, so watch out for them come tournament time.

Meanwhile Grafton came up just short against Westboro, but did score a nice win over Northbridge last week. The Indians seem to be getting healthy after a rash of injuries, and coach Alan Rotaroti always has his team ready for postseason play.

G-D came back down to Earth with a pair of losses against league powers, but the Crusaders still have the look of a team that can make noise in Division 3 Central/East. An interesting game against Leominster awaits them this Wednesday.

Worcester came up just a goal short of knocking off Tantasqua, and the Warriors will have a shot at revenge Friday, but can't look past a tough game against St. Bernard's today. With a strong offense powered by James Bowler and Quinn Robert, there's no reason to think Worcester is going away any time soon.

Assabett, meanwhile, continues to roll, and the Aztecs have "undefeated" written all over them. With senior attack Mitch Blasco and company humming, Assabett is a Voke school sleeper in D3 Central/West.

Finally we have high-scoring Marlboro, the squad that features regional scoring leader Billy Doherty. We know the Panthers can put up points, but Marlboro has gotten defensive lately, holding its last three opponents to a combined five goals. Strength of schedule is a concern, but the Panthers have the potential to score with anybody come playoff time.


Anonymous said...

Not a chance Tantasqua is #5. They only beat Grafton cause Msumba was out and the only good non league game they played was Westborough. Watch for a second round thumping like Worcester received last year for Tantasqua.

Anonymous said...

And one of graftons starting defenders was out also

Anonymous said...

They should've beat Grafton (with Msumba) in the first game from what I have heard and they gave Westborough a great game. Your comments just sound like sour grapes. If you have ever played any sport especially lacrosse you should be rooting for parity in the league and not coming up with excuses. So what if they are #5 does that hurt your feelings? When you create your website you can leave them off, until them why not let them enjoy it and not post jackass comments for kids to see. Coach Rotatori would be disgusted that people were making excuses for his team.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 10:19 this morning. Re-read your post, look at the language you use and ask yourself if your post is well written and acceptable? Tantasqua plays a weak non-league schedule, and if they played Shrewsbury, Saint Johns, and Algonquin they would not be in the number five spot. Amherst-Pelham does not count, and they have only played one quality team from outside the league, Westboro. No one is making excuses for Rotatori's team as they played through the injuries and missed games, but it sounds like you are making excuses for Tantasqua and their weak non-league scheudule.

Anonymous said...

Coach Rotatori's team needs no excuses!! When Tantasqua plays Weston, Algonquin, Saint Johns, and Shrewsbury in the same season year after year, maybe they will be a top five team. Grafton plays them all and is competetive year after year. Tantasquua needs to stand the test of time and play some solid non league teams every year

Anonymous said...

There is nobody here bragging about Tantasqua. I simply stated if you want to make your own website and leave them off. They will start to play a progressively harder schedule but why does that bother you anyway? Let their kids enjoy it without having to look at excuses, and yes by posting that they were "without Msumba" and "one of their starting defensman didn't play", those are excuses. Try not to belittle it and let the kids (yes it's about kid's not you) enjoy it. Is there some prize or personal reward in it for you? Once again there are no Tantasqua kids on here bragging only what seem to be some unhappy Grafton parents. Relax buddy the sun is still gonna rise tomorrow no matter who is on the list.

Anonymous said...

Joe, when do the all star and all American nominees come out?

Aleke Msumba said...

I always sign my name to these comments and elsewhere. I think Tantasqua played very well in the first game game vs. Grafton and only lost by one goal. Second game they finished what they started. They are having a very strong season and deserving of being in a top 5 ranking. Good luck to both teams in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Joe Parello said...

Well, I guess the smack talk is back this year, haha. All I ask is that we don't direct anything at individual kids or coaches. If you do, I'll pull the comment, and I may have to switch the comment options so that people can't post anonymously.

I don't want it to come to this, so play nice guys.

As for Tantasqua, I don't think the Warriors can be knocked anymore. They've lost two games by a combined two goals, won 9 in a row, and each time they've played a big-time program, they've acquitted themselves very well.

You can play the "if they played x,y and z" game, but at the end of the day, they're two wins away from clinching a share of the league title and a high seed in Division 2 Central/West. Not a bad place to be.

Grafton has fought back from a ton of injuries this year, and they've got big wins over Algonquin and Tantasqua (yes, respecting Tantasqua does make that a big win) to their name. The Indians aren't going anywhere, and can play with anybody in D3.

Finally, I will be releasing my All-Star "watch list" in the next couple of days. I've got a playoff race update piece coming tomorrow, and the watch list should follow near the end of the week.

My actual All-Star team will be released just after the state final games. All-Americans are decided by the CMass coaches, so I'm not sure exactly when those are coming out, but it has to be coming up soon.

Once I hear something, you all will as well.

Joe Parello said...

Good form Aleke. Oh, and thanks for all the coverage this year. It's been a big help.

Anonymous said...

Joe, Who do you have on mund for All-Stars in the Mid Mass league ?