|Lincoln-Sudbury seniors Jack Sutherland (left) and Hayden Frey have been on a tear to open the season|
Our rankings of the best teams in the state during the 2017 lacrosse season, as selected by our panel of staff writers and correspondents. (Updated 4/25)
1. Lincoln-Sudbury (7-0; Last Ranking - 1): This group continued to shine with a win at nationally ranked Ward Melville (N.Y.) and came home to win a fourth consecutive Coaches Challenge Cup the following week.
2. Medfield (5-1; Last Ranking - 3): After surviving a thrilling overtime test against Xaverian, the Warriors will look to take down regional rival Dover-Sherborn in a premier matchup this Tuesday.
3. Hingham (6-1; Last Ranking - 6): While losing to L-S in the Coaches Challenge Cup final, 12-7, Hingham showed plenty of fight and deservedly earned praise from victorious coach Brian Vona.
4. Walpole (7-0; Last Ranking - 8): Still undefeated following an overtime win over Franklin and a narrow win over St. John’s Prep for a Creator’s Crosse title, the Rebels draw another tough test with Needham coming to town.
5. Wakefield (6-0; Last Ranking - 18): Proving that their stunning win over Middlesex League power Reading was no fluke, the Warriors easily handled Acton-Boxborough, 15-5, to remain undefeated.
6. Reading (4-2; Last Ranking - 4): Kevin Tobin served as the hero with a game-winning goal over BC High in overtime, but the Rockets fell by a goal to New Hampshire power Bishop Guertin two days later.
7. BC High (6-2; Last Ranking - 2): The Eagles can weather the storm with Will Bowen out due to a knee injury, and their offense seemed to wake up in a 15-8 victory over St. John’s (Shrewsbury) last Saturday.
8. Newton North (5-1; Last Ranking - 7): No question that the Tigers can score with anyone in the state, as brothers Bryce and Hunter Adam lead a prolific attack for coach and father Bussy Adam.
9. Dover-Sherborn (7-2; Last Ranking - 9): This team should be virtually unstoppable against Division 3 competition once they get UNC commit Bailey Laidman and Bowdoin-bound attack Jack Mahoney healthy and on the field at the same time.
10. Duxbury (4-2; Last Ranking - 5): A couple of lopsided losses against out-of-state competition should teach the young Dragons some valuable lessons as they return to Patriot League play this week.
11. Cohasset (5-2; Last Ranking - 14): Wins over Catholic Memorial, Ipswich and Grafton over the past two weeks, the young Skippers appear to be coming together.
12. Needham (5-2; Last Ranking - 16): Another Mass. power that almost took down Bishop Guertin (N.H.), the Rockets came up just short in an 8-7 decision last Tuesday before returning to dominate in-state opponents Wayland and Xaverian.
13. Andover (6-1; Last Ranking - 13): Golden Warriors couldn’t withstand Hingham’s offensive onslaught in the first round of the Coaches Challenge Cup, but will look to gain the inside track in the MVC with a test at rival Billerica coming up.
14. Franklin (6-2; Last Ranking - 17): The Panthers took Walpole to the brink in an 11-10 overtime loss and bounced back with a quality win over Masconomet.
15. Billerica (4-3; Last Ranking - 11): A stunning loss to rival Chelmsford and an out-of-state loss to Pinkerton (N.H.) has the Indians reeling, but this experienced team should be in the mix come tournament time.
16. Xaverian (2-5; Last Ranking - 12): Living proof that strength of schedule can mean more than wins and losses, the X dropped games to L-S, Medfield (in OT) and Needham but remains talented enough to compete despite the loss of Sean Sperzel (shoulder) for perhaps the entire season.
17. St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (6-1; Last Ranking - 15): While the Pioneers have dominated in Central Mass., they couldn’t keep pace in a 15-8 loss at BC High over the weekend.
18. Falmouth (6-1; Last Ranking - 25): Clippers are riding a six-game winning streak since falling to Franklin their season opener.
19. Catholic Memorial (5-4; Last Ranking - 19): Edging Hanover, Scituate and Foxborough for a Chowder Cup title over vacation week proves that these Knights can win close games.
20. Foxborough (6-1; Last Ranking - NA): After winning consecutive one-goal games over Norwell and Mansfield, the Warriors ended up on the wrong side of a thrilling 9-8 loss to CM In the Chowder Cup final.
21. Longmeadow (6-1; Last Ranking - 24): They’ve deal with a close call or two, but the Lancers edged Minnechaug, Glastonbury (C.T.), and Amherst by a combined 7 goals to maintain their six-game winning streak.
22. Hamilton-Wenham (7-0; Last Ranking - NA): The Generals edged Melrose in OT and required 4 overtime periods to take down Chelmsford in a battle of unbeaten teams last Saturday.
23. Winchester (5-3; Last Ranking - 19): Sachems couldn’t compete with Division 1 power Lincoln-Sudbury or the other contestants in the eighth annual Coaches Challenge Cup, but remain a D2 contender.
24. Acton-Boxboro (5-2; Last Ranking - 18): Colonials don’t have much trouble with DCL competition and even handled rival Concord-Carlisle last Saturday, but fell well short against a true contender in Wakefield.
25. Groton-Dunstable (7-0; Last Ranking - NA): The Crusaders have taken the usually competitive Mid-Wach A by storm, and might be the most balanced team in Central Mass this side of St. John's.
Last 10 out: Minnechaug (7-1), Nipmuc (5-0), Grafton (7-2), Ipswich (5-1), Mansfield (4-2), Melrose (5-2), Northampton (6-1), North Reading (7-1), St. John’s Prep (3-4), Wellesley (4-3)