Salisbury (Conn.) School
has been a lacrosse power for years in the highly-competitive New England Prep School Athletic Council West under veteran coach Bobby Wynne, now in his 10th season.
But Wynne said this year's Crimson Knights are a special group. Off to a 9-0 start and ranked No. 3 nationally by MaxPreps this week, the Knights have bonded together as a unit.
"We have a great core of seniors that from Day 1 has just been really committed," said Wynne. "They are buying into the team concept."
The team was forced to support each other even more this winter after the passing of senior standout Kanatiio "Tiio" Adams, 18, a Cornell University recruit and Iroquois U-19 team member from Akwesasne, a Mohawk Nation territory that straddles the borders of New York, Ontario and Quebec.
"It has really been difficult for our team, but at the same time, it brought them closer together," said Wynne. "It's been an incredibly resilient group. They have found a way to battle through difficult situations."
The Crimson Knights are led by senior captains
(defenseman, signed with Penn State), John O'Connor
(midfielder, signed with Delaware), and Mike Morris
(attackman, Johns Hopkins). Six other seniors have either signed or committed to Division I programs and two more have committed to D1 programs from the junior class.
Salisbury faces a tough opponent in nearly every game in the NEPSAC West. The toughest win was an 11-10 victory over neighborhood rival Hotchkiss.
"We are pretty balanced and I think we have a little more depth than in the past," Wynne said. "Offensively, the kids have been really playing well together and they bought into the team concept.
"Sometimes when you have a lot of talent, there tends to be too many chiefs," Wynne added. "One of the keys this year was talking about sharing in each other's success, and I think this group has really embraced that."
Salisbury has four more games – Taft, Deerfield, Avon Old Farms and Choate - in its quest for an undefeated season. Wynne will look past no one.
"You have to buckle up the chinstrap every Wednesday and Saturday and bring your ‘A' game," said Wynne. "You don't have an (off day) in the New England West. Games to Watch This Week
No. 10 Conestoga (Pa.) at Garnet Valley (Pa.), Tuesday
No. 8 Chaminade (N.Y.) at No. 15 St. Anthony's (N.Y.), Thursday
No. 3 Salisbury at Deerfield (Mass.), Saturday
No. 21 Yorktown (N.Y.) at No. 15 St. Anthony's (N.Y.), SaturdayMaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Boys Lacrosse Rankings
1. (No. 1 last week) Garden City (N.Y.), 13-0
The Trojans toppled Manhasset (N.Y.), 9-3, in the annual Woodstick Classic on Saturday. The Classic is the longest uninterrupted public schools rivalry game in the nation. Rob Savage
, Patric Berkery
and Justin Guterding
each had two goals and an assist for the Trojans, who finish their regular season Wednesday at 12-2 Wantagh (N.Y.).2. (3) Haverford School (Pa.), 17-1
The Fords clinched their fourth straight Inter-Ac League championship and topped off the weekend by downing rival Malvern Prep (Pa.), 13-7, on Saturday as Henry Blynn
had three goals and three assists and Zach Rego
added three goals and one assist. They can complete an undefeated season in the league by defeating Episcopal Academy on Tuesday, and will be the top seed in the Inter-Ac Invitational.
3. (4) Salisbury School (Conn.), 9-0
The Crimson Knights routed Kent (Conn.), 18-3, and now gear up for a tough closing stretch as they shoot for an undefeated season. They play Wednesday at Taft (Conn.) and on Saturday at Deerfield Academy (Mass.).4. (6) Calvert Hall (Baltimore) 13-2
The Cardinals are hot, having won six straight games, the latest a 13-4 MIAA rout of Mount St. Joseph. They are in first place in the MIAA and will take the No. 1 seed into the playoffs. They close their regular season on Tuesday at home vs. St. Paul's.5. (8) Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 17-1
The Purple Eagles closed their regular season with a 7-5 victory over Landon. They rallied from a 5-1 deficit and held the Bears scoreless over the game's final 33 minutes, 6 seconds. Matt Planning
tied it late in the first half and then won it late in the third quarter. They are the top seed for the WCAC playoffs.6. (10) West Islip (N.Y.), 13-1
The Lions will probably go undefeated in Section 8 play after earning key wins over Walt Whitman, 10-5, and Northport, 8-6. Against Northport, Tom Moore
scored two goals, including the game-winner. 7. (7) Bridgewater-Raritan (Bridgewater, N.J.), 12-0
The Panthers bolted to a 7-1 first-period lead and routed Shawnee (N.J.), 14-2, on Saturday. They also blanked North Hunterdon, 12-0, as Scott Bieda
had three goals and two assists, while Zach Jones
posted the rare shutout.
8. (2) Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.), 11-1
The Flyers were stunned by host Fairfield Prep (Conn.), 11-10, on Saturday, despite five goals and an assist from Ryan Lukacovic
. Now back to business. They play at St. Anthony's on Thursday in Round 2 of their CHSAA rivalry.9. (11) Smithtown West (N.Y.), 13-1
The Bulls have won four straight games by 11 or more goals. They close their regular season Thursday at Northport.10. (13) Conestoga (Berwyn, Pa.), 14-3
The Pioneers gained a thrilling 5-4 victory Saturday over No. 25 La Salle as Connor Frisina
scored three goals – including the 100th of his career – and Jake Scott
tallied the game-winner with 3:40 to play. The Pioneers have clinched at least a tie for the Central League title and can win it outright in their season finale on Tuesday at Garnet Valley.11. (14) Gilman (Baltimore), 10-3
Senior attackman Gordie Koerber
scored with 1:42 to play in overtime to give the Greyhounds School a thrilling 11-10 MIAA victory over Boys' Latin (Md.). Goalie Bryan Moore
(18 saves) made a big stop and a clear to set up the game-winner. Gilman needs to defeat Severn (Md.) Tuesday to earn the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the playoffs. 12. (12) Summit (N.J.), 13-0
The Hilltoppers ripped off eight straight goals, five by Nick Kilkowski,
to key a 9-4 victory over Delbarton (N.J.). The game was a rematch of last season's Tournament of Champions semifinals, won by Summit, 10-5. Stefano Stadlinger, Will Weber
and Billy Hadley
led the defense and Alex Salazar
made eight saves for the Hilltoppers.13. (16) Fairport (N.Y.), 11-0
The Red Raiders edged Penfield (N.Y.), 9-6, and now brace for a number of key games against other top New York Section 5 squads, including Penn Yan Thursday and Churchville-Chili on Saturday.14. (17) Darien (Conn.), 12-1
The Blue Wave handed previously No. 5 St. Anthony's (N.Y.) an 8-7 defeat as Henry West
and Peter Lindley
each bagged hat tricks and Case Matheis
had two goals and two assists. Phil Hiffard
made 16 saves in goal. Darien travels to Ridgefield, Conn., (10-1, 6-0) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in a battle of the FCIAC undefeated.
15. (5) St. Anthony's (Melville, N.Y.), 12-2
The Friars suffered an 8-7 loss to No. 14 Darien on Saturday despite two goals and two assists from Sean McDonagh
and two goals and an assist from Dillon Molloy.
They host Chaminade Thursday in the rematch of their 6-5 loss in early April and then take on No. 21 Yorktown on Saturday.16. (19) Duxbury (Mass.), 13-2Sam Sweet
scored the game-winner with 13 seconds to play as the Dragons earned a thrilling 8-7 win over No. 19 Niskayuna at home on Saturday. Sweet, Seamus Connelly
and long pole James Burke
(six ground balls) had two goals each. The Dragons have key home games this week vs. Scituate (Tuesday) and Wellesley (Friday).17. (18) Irondequoit (Rochester, N.Y.), 10-1
The Eagles toppled Victory (N.Y.), 12-6, and gear for a big Section 5 game Saturday at 10-1 Pittsford.18. (21) Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.), 14-3
The Dons remained in a tie for second place in the MIAA with Gilman by downing Severn, 11-6, and Archbishop Spalding, 19-6. They need to beat Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday to secure the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.19. (9) Niskayuna (N.Y.), 11-1
The Silver Warriors earned a 12-11 overtime win Thursday over Shenendehowa, but then suffered their first loss of the season Saturday in an 8-7 defeat at Duxbury. The Warriors rallied from deficits three times in the latter game but lost on a goal by Sam Sweet with 13 seconds to play. They host Ballston Spa (N.Y.) on Wednesday.20. (20) Dublin Jerome (Dublin, Ohio), 15-0
The Celtics blitzed Dublin Coffman, 16-1, on Saturday and close out their regular season Monday vs. Olentangy Orange. The open play in the Midwest Tournament Friday.21. (22) Yorktown (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), 10-2
The Cornhuskers had two big Section 1 wins last week, 11-6 over Mahopac and 14-10 over Lakeland-Panas. They host Clarkstown South Thursday and then play at St. Anthony's on Saturday.
22. (23) West Genesee (Camillus, N.Y.), 12-1
The Wildcats edged Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.), 9-7, as Tim Barber
, Matt Schattner
and Jake Darrow
each scored two goals. They host 13-0 Liverpool on Thursday.23. (NR) Governor's Academy (Byfield, Mass.), 11-0
The Red Dogs enter the rankings for the first time with a 28-game win streak that goes back to 2010. They host 10-1 St. Sebastian (Mass.) on Saturday.24. (24) La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.), 11-4
The Explorers dropped a tough 5-4 decision at No. 13 Conestoga Saturday in a game some feel could have been a preview for the PIAA state final. Matt Rambo
had two goals and an assist, but the Pioneers won it with less than four minutes to play. 25 (NR) Ithaca (N.Y.), 14-1
The Little Red cracked the rankings for the first time after edging Corning, 10-9. Doug Biondi
tied the game with 5:08 left in the fourth period and Jaedon Henderson
(four goals) won it with 4:12 remaining.They close their regular season Tuesday vs. Vestal.Dropped out:
Deerfield Academy (Mass), 10-2, Episcopal Academy (Newtown, Pa.), 15-4.Chris Goldberg, editor and owner of Lacrosse Media, operates Phillylacrosse.com, LILacrosseNews.com and BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, as well as the new national gear site, LaxGearZone.com. He may be reached at email@example.com.