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Well, we didn’t see that coming.
St. John’s (D.C.) not only beat St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) in the showdown of the NLF’s top two high school teams on Friday. The Cadets left no doubt that they were the top team in the country with an 11-5 win over the Friars, a number that would have looked worse if not for St. Anthony’s scoring twice in the final minute.
St. John’s owned just about every battle and walked away knowing that they had shown that the chasm between them and everyone else was that sizable. Of course, still undefeated Brunswick (Conn.) undoubtedly has something to say about that, and a theoretical game between the two would certainly be something to see.
Despite that, Caleb Fyock (Crabs / Ohio State) and his squad ascend to the top spot in this edition of the NLF high school rankings. The junior goalie, ranked as the No. 11 player in the ’23 class, was brilliant for the Cadets with 17 saves against the Friars’ high-powered offense. Defensemen Richard Checo (Lehigh) and Riley Figueiras (Syracuse) continued to prove that they should be in the five-star mix in the final NLF ’22 rankings.
“We’re a whole unit, it’s not just one player,” Checo said. “I think (we showed that we’re the top team) so, but you never know. You still have to keep getting better, and we’re playing for May 9 for our conference championship.”
1. St. John’s (D.C.)
2. Brunswick (Conn.)
The Bruins have continued their dominant ways, only ceding double-digit goals once this year. Brunswick edged No. 14 Taft, 7-5, thanks to a pair of goals from both NLF No. 84 ’23 Jackson Wolfram (Prime Time / Brown) and NLF No. 7 ’23 Tomas Delgado (Prime Time / Duke). Will Donovan (Notre Dame) is as good an LSM as there is in the country, and the lefty racked up a goal and seven ground balls against the Rhinos.
3. St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)
St. John’s game aside, the Friars continued to prove that they’re among the nation’s elite with a 19-10 rout of rival No. 17 Chaminade and a win over No. 19 St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.). Jack Ponzio (Team 91 LI / Navy) carried the mail against the Flyers, erupting for a three-goal, four-assist day. Michael Leo (Team 91 LI / Syracuse) and NLF No. 3 Owen Duffy (Team 91 LI / North Carolina) each bagged five points. Duffy’s three-goal, six-assist day helped the Friars fend off St. Ignatius’ upset bid.
4. Mount Sinai (N.Y.)
Rare to see NLF No. 1 ’22 Joey Spallina (Team 91 LI / Syracuse) held off the scoresheet for a half. Not so rare for him to put up five points in the second half, though, as the Mustangs ran past defending Long Island Class B champion Garden City, 8-5. LSM Dylan Sageder (Team 91 LI / Syracuse) and uncommitted junior goalie Brayden Wilcken (Team 91 LI) headlined the defense. Cole Marsala‘s (Team 91 LI / Quinnipiac) pocketed five goals and an assist as Mount Sinai toppled rival Bayport-Blue Point, 13-8.
5. Culver (Ind.)
The schedule has lightened significantly for the Eagles since Culver’s insanely rigorous East Coast stretch. The Eagles have racked up five straight wins since heading back to the Midwest, a 13-7 triumph over Ontario rival Hill Academy (Ont.) the most impressive of the bunch. NLF No. 30 senior Griffin Scane (Penn) was the ringleader with three goals and two helpers, while Gabe Sorichetti (High Point) and Nick Roode (Michigan) each added two goals and an assist for the Eagles.
6. St. Mary’s (Md.)
In a year filled with parity and teams taking turns in beating each other up, the Saints have been the model of consistency and have yet to dent the goose egg in the loss column. They recently scored a 7-6 win over McDonogh, thanks in large part to a Nick Golini (Navy) hat trick. St. Mary’s then hammered St. Paul’s, 13-5, but dates with No. 8 Boys’ Latin and No. 16 Archbishop Spalding loom large for playoff positioning.
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7. Lawrenceville (N.J.)
The Big Red enter the NLF top 10 for the first time in the Jon Posner era. It took all of a season and a half after a 10-9 win over Salisbury (Conn.). Sophomore Connor Gately set up three goals and scored two of his own, while junior DJ Clark (Denver) popped a hat trick for Lawrenceville. George Northup (West Coast Starz / Yale) secured the win in goal. Tyler Mininno (Harvard) and Quintan Kilrain (Crabs / Syracuse) spearheaded the defensive effort.
An 18-5 rout of Kiski (Pa.) also marked Posner’s 300th career win as a head coach.
8. Boys’ Latin (Md.)
The Lakers’ 6-5 loss to Severn was eyebrow-raising, but Boys’ Latin came roaring back with an impressive 9-7 takedown of Archbishop Spalding. NLF No. 3 ’22 Dom Pietramala (North Carolina) tallied four times against the Cavaliers, while NLF No. 24 ’23 Kyle Foster (Ohio State) was excellent in coverage and also chipped in a goal.
9. Salisbury (Conn.)
10. Malvern Prep (Pa.)
The Friars have once again put themselves in the driver’s seat in the Inter-Ac. They’re hunting for a fourth straight championship. NLF No. 28 ’23 AJ Nikolic (Cornell) went off for five goals and a helper and five-star sophomore Lucca DiBartolomeo headlined a defense that hounded rival Haverford into one second-half goal as part of a 13-6 Friars win. It’s hard to envision anyone in the league taking down John McEvoy‘s squad, and that statement could hold true for another couple of years with how loaded Malvern’s underclass group is.
11. Deerfield (Mass.)
12. Salesianum (Del.)
13. New Canaan (Conn.)
14. Taft (Conn.)
15. Darien (Conn.)
16. Archbishop Spalding (Md.)
17. Chaminade (N.Y.)
18. Manhasset (N.Y.)
19. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.)
20. Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)
21. Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.)
22. Radnor (Pa.)
23. IMG (Fla.)
24. Severn (Md.)
25. Mountain Lakes (N.J.)