Monday, May 25, 2015

CMass Lax Power Rankings: 5/25/15

Shrewsbury attackman Joe Buduo looks to score against St. John's pole John DeFlumeri and goalie Hunter Gaither. Buduo, a senior, reached 200 career points in Shrewsbury's season finale against Framingham Sunday.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

This whole region is a mess, and that's actually a great thing.

I don't know what else to say. St. John's just beat Algonquin, but Shrewsbury beat St. John's convincingly, while Algonquin beat Shrewsbury twice, but Grafton beat Algonquin, and Tantasqua split a season series with Grafton. Oh yeah, and Westboro beat Shrewsbury, but St. John's topped the Rangers by 10+ goals, and Tyngsboro just keeps on winning.

Yeah, try and figure this all out.

Well, I guess I'll try, but things will really be decided in the tournament. Until then, here is my best shot at ranking the best lacrosse teams in Central Mass.

1. Algonquin: 12-5, 8-1 Mid-Wach A. Division 2

Last Week: No. 1

The Tomahawks lost to St. John's last week, but I still think they've been the most consistently dominant team in Central Mass… Emphasis on the word "think."

Wins over Westford Academy (a team that beat St. John's), and two wins over Shrewsbury (another team that defeated the Pioneers) still stick in my mind, plus Algonquin is the outright champion of Mid-Wach A, the region's toughest league. But, man are the Top-3 in CMass as close as ever.

2. Shrewsbury: 15-5, 7-3 Mid-Wach A. Division 2

Last Week: No. 2

The Colonials closed out their regular season with three straight wins and reached the 15-win mark for the third straight year. Shrewsbury's defense is as good as ever, but the attack, supplemented by a versatile midfield, could be what makes the Colonials a tough out come tournament time.

And if you do get the best of the Colonials, don't expect things to be easy. Of their five losses this season, three of them have come by a single goal, two of them in overtime.

3. St. John's: 12-5, 1-0 Catholic Conf. Division 2

Last Week: No. 4

Hard not to push St. John's higher after an impressive win over Algonquin last week, but I'm trying not to get lost in the moment. The Pioneers won a close game over Algonquin, but Algonquin has two close wins over Shrewsbury, which has an 8-3 win over St. John's.

Basically, the Top-3 in the region is a toss up, and any of those teams can likely beat the other on a given day. That being said, the Pioneers seem to have as much upside as anybody in the state, as evidenced by their win over the Tomahawks and domination of Westboro. Still, finding consistency will be key.

Can St. John's carry this momentum into the tournament? A big win Tuesday against Western Mass power South Hadley would sure help them do just that.

4. Tantasqua: 14-2, 9-1 Mid-Mass. Division 2

Last Week: No. 5

The Warriors have now won 12 in a row, and their two wins last week against playoff-bound league foes Worcester and Northbridge locked up a share of the Mid-Mass. title. The Warriors will share the league crown with Grafton, whom they split their season series with.

The Warriors face Western Mass foe Monson to close out the regular season Friday, and could enter the Division 2 Central/West tournament as the hottest team in Central Mass.

5. Tyngsboro: 15-1, 10-0 Mid-Wach B. Division 3

Last Week: Unranked

Hard to keep a one-loss team out of the rankings for long, and Tyngsboro continues to put up eye popping offensive numbers. Still, the Tiger defense has come on strong lately as well, surrendering just four goals the last two times out.

A matchup with desperate Hudson (the Hawks must win out to make the playoffs) awaits Tyngsboro on Tuesday, before a huge rematch with the only team to beat them this year, Groton-Dunstable. Tyngsboro will host that one on Thursday to close out the regular season.

Dropped Out: Westboro (No. 3 last week)

In the Hunt: Westboro (11-4), Grafton (12-6), Groton-Dunstable (10-7), Worcester (12-6), Assabet (15-0), Marlboro (14-3)

You know the region is tough when one loss to a great team is enough to drop you out of the rankings. Such is life for Westboro, who fell to St. John's 19-6 last week, but will have a chance to redeem itself Tuesday against league-foe Algonquin to end the regular season.

Grafton had a solid week, topping an underrated Wachusett squad, but falling to Eastern Mass power Franklin. The Indians seem to be getting healthy, and should be a tough out in the Division 3 Central/West tournament. Given that they finished their season last week, they should be well rested come tournament time.

Groton-Dunstable scored an impressive win over Leominster last week, and can now focus all its attention on rival Tyngsboro Tuesday. A win would go a long way toward the Crusaders' seeding in the Division 3 Central/East tournament.

Like Grafton, Worcester's regular season is also in the books. Despite a tough loss against Tantasqua to end things, it was another successful year for the Warriors, who will make their second playoff appearance in a row, and ever.

Assabet is the last remaining unbeaten in Central Mass, and the Aztecs are one game away from a perfect regular season. Considering they just defeated this week's opponent, Greater Lowell V-T, by 13 goals last week, I'd say their chances are pretty good.

Finally, we have Marlboro, a high-scoring team that has won nine in a row. The Panthers close out the year Wednesday against St. Peter-Marian, and remain one of the most interesting teams heading into the playoffs.


Anonymous said...

Who's tyngsboros best player

Gene S. Kapuscienki said...

Congrats to Joe Buduo on reaching 200!

Anonymous said...

I know Tyngsborough has a bunch of good players...sophomore Laforge is very good with speed and tenacity and also good at the face off X. They also have a very good middle who is a large body, is quick and lets the ball fly. I forget his name and grade though. Overall they are solid all around.

Joe Parello said...

Yeah, they're actually pretty stacked, and I think Austin Coene is the middie you're talking about. The only question for them will be if they're battle tested enough to make a deep tournament run. They possess the ball well, have a ton of weapons, and are really coming along defensively. That game against G-D tomorrow should be a great one.

Anonymous said...

If GD wins tomorrow night by, say, 5 or more, is it possible, plausible and/or probable that GD would be seeded higher in the CenEast Div 3 brackett even though it it be a 16-2 record (Tyng) vs 11-7 record (GD).. Not sure how it all works, but GD would have the head to head and, many would say, a tougher sched with wins over many of the same teams tyngs has as well as Westboro and a tough Emass D2 Tewksbury. This will make that selection night very interesting. Of course...all out the window if Tyngs Wins.

Joe Parello said...

It's possible, but I'm not sure how likely. There are three criteria for seeding teams. The first is win percentage, which Tyngsboro would obviously have the advantage in. The second is wins against other tournament teams, and the third is a subjective ranking of the teams by all committee members.
If G-D were to win tomorrow, and Leominster took care of business as well, that would give the Crusaders six wins vs tournament teams. But, Tyngsboro would actually finish with 8, due to multiple wins over Leominster, Littleton and now tournament eligible Oakmont. This is also assuming Bromfield wins its way in as well.
Now, my question would be, are wins over D2 tournament teams like Westboro weighed any heavier, because that would obviously help G-D. While both teams have beaten D2 Leominster (Tyngsboro twice), G-D has also beaten a very good D2 North Tewksbury team, and taken out a few near tournament teams in D2 like Wachusett and Nashoba.
Clearly, some of those wins are more impressive than beating an 8-7 D3 team, so I'm not sure if the committee would differentiate. I guess issues like this are what the subjective poll is for.
So, the only real way for G-D to jump Tyngsboro, even with a win, is for all the committee members to rank the Crusaders significantly higher than the Tigers in the subjective poll, so much so that it makes up for the disparity in winning percentage and victories against tournament teams.
I don't expect that to happen, but tomorrow's game could jump or drop each team a seed, meaning it's still a big one. Oh yeah, and it's a rivalry game where one team gave the other its only loss, so there's that.
Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joe. Love the insight. I wouldn't want to be ranking that D2 CW bracket! No matter the seeding, the games will get played and that's how the only rankings that matter are established!

Anonymous said...

Joe, come on down to the tyngsboro GD Game at tyngsboro at 7

Joe Parello said...

Haha, my day job in the Boston area kept me away, but it looks like I missed a classic. Congrats to both teams on successful seasons, and good luck in the tournament!