Nike/LM HS West Report: Productive Trip for St. Ignatius
The St. Ignatius (Calif.) boys shook up the national poll with a 10-8 victory on the road over Landon (Md.), which was ranked second at the time. It was a huge victory for lacrosse in the West region as several teams are emerging among the nation's elite.
Ben Knaus (Trinity) led the Wildcats with three goals, while Finn Barry scored twice. Tommy Fleming, Patrick Brosnan, Peter Alimam (Fairfield), Matt Klein and Nick Stinn (Notre Dame) also had goals for St. Ignatius.
After trailing 8-6 late in the fourth quarter, St. Ignatius scored three straight goals to seal the win. Klein got the go-ahead goal with just under a minute to play, and Alimam added some cushion with a goal after winning the ensuing faceoff.
Nike/LM West Boys' Top 10
1. St. Ignatius (Calif.), 9-1
St. Ignatius (Calif.) staked its claim as one of the top high school programs in the nation with a 10-8 victory over Maryland power Landon. ... Foothill (Calif.) kept pace with two impressive victories over a pair of Massachusetts teams -- Cohasset and Medfield.
Arapahoe fell to a tough Kent Denver team, 9-5, in a matchup of two strong Colorado teams. The Warriors, however, still have the talent to rebound and make a strong postseason run.
Two days later, St. Ignatius played well again before falling 12-9 to No. 4 Gonzaga (D.C.). Knaus led the way again with four goals. Brosnan, Fleming, Barry, Klein, Stinn and Alimam also scored. Mac Gates finished with 11 saves. St. Ignatius was 0-for-3 on extra-man opportunities, while Gonzaga scored twice on three chances. Timmy Monahan (Maryland) led Gonzaga with five goals.
Kent Denver Thriving With Tough Schedule
The players for the Kent Denver boys lacrosse team have embraced the challenge of a tough schedule and are confident they can compete against any team in the nation.
The Sun Devils, who are 7-2 on the season, recently travelled to Florida for spring break and took down Noble & Greenough (Mass.) before falling to the Brunswick School (Conn.).
Coach Ben Brenneman said his players have little trouble making the necessary adjustments against tough opponents.
"We made great strides as a team and had a blast," Brenneman said about the trip. "Both teams we faced were very high-caliber squads. The style of play wasn't so different. They just both had a lot of players who have played their whole lives and are planning to play college ball, so does Colorado. But the overall depth and experience in places like Connecticut and Massachusetts is very impressive. It's always great to play Brunswick, and hopefully we get Nobles on the schedule again down the road."
The difficult schedule also prepares Kent Denver for the rigors of its league schedule in Colorado where it remains unbeaten. The league is one of the deepest in the nation and routinely produces NCAA Division I talent.
"The heart of our conference and non-conference schedule spans the next three weeks, so it will be great to see how we stack up against other top teams in Colorado," Brenneman said.
Some of Kent Denver's standouts on offense have been Joe Rassenfoss (Cornell), Jaden Franklin (Denver) and Zander Ellis (Utah). The veteran defense is led seniors Jack Ammons (Colorado College), Alex Lippitt (Trinity College) and Gunnar Sveen (Babson College). Senior goalie Nick Johnston, who hasn't played goalie since eighth grade, also is having a solid year.
The Sun Devils have won 12 state championships in boys' lacrosse and are gunning for their first title since 2008. Right now, Brenneman said the team is simply focused on getting better every day.
"We want to be there in the end, but focus on one practice or one quarter at a time," he said.
West Boys' Player of the Week
Ben Knaus, St. Ignatius
The senior scored three goals to lead St. Ignatius to a 10-8 victory over Landon (Md.), which was ranked second in the national top 25. He followed that up with four goals in a narrow loss to No. 4 Gonzaga (D.C.). Knaus will play for Trinity next season.
Also notable: Brett Bottomley (Mercer Island, Wash.), Jeremy Sison (Novato, Calif.), Ian Sime (Park City, Utah), Matt Tracy (Redwood, Calif.), Tennison Schmidt (Brighton, Utah)
Boys' Games to Watch
Mercer Island (Wash.) at Bellevue (Wash.), April 16
This is an intriguing showdown in Washington State as Bellevue will look to put a dent in Mercer Island's dominant season. Opponents have yet to find a way to slow down Mercer Island attackman Brett Bottomley (Dickinson), who has been a lethal finisher this season.
Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) at Pacific Ridge (Calif.), April 17
Both Rancho Bernardo and Pacific Ridge have been solid this season, so this game provides an intriguing matchup in Southern California. Rancho Bernardo is led by Andrew Parker, a first-team Palomar pick, while Tristan Ruh, a first-team Coastal selection, is one of Pacific Ridge's top players.
Nike/LM West Girls' Top 10
West Girls' Player of the Week
Charlie Rudy, Novato (Calif.)
The freshman got the game-winner in an 11-10 win over Amador Valley (Calif.), which won the North Coast Section Division I title last season. Rudy has 25 goals and 20 assists after missing the first four games because of the basketball team making a deep run into the postseason.
Also notable: Michelle Cove (Stadium, Wash.), Charlotte Moxley (Drake, Calif.), Christine Cook (Redwood, Calif.)
1. San Ramon Valley (Calif.), 12-0
2. St. Ignatius (Calif.), 7-3
3. Monte Vista-Danville (Calif.), 12-1
4. Novato (Calif.), 14-1
5. Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.), 7-0
6. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 8-1
7. West Linn (Ore.), 5-0
8. Granite Bay (Calif.), 11-1
9. La Costa Canyon (Calif.), 10-2
10. Centaurus (Colo.), 7-2
West Linn rolled to five straight wins in Oregon and is looking to topple defending state champion Lake Oswego in Oregon. ... Centaurus (Colo.) is back in the rankings this week with key in-state wins over Mullen and Air Academy. The Warriors have only one league loss to No. 6 Cherry Creek (Colo.).
Denver East (Colo.) took a tough loss to Colorado Academy. Colorado is shaping up to be the toughest league in the region.
Girls' Games to Watch
San Ramon Valley (Calif.) at California High (Calif.), April 17
This is a rematch of the season-opener when San Ramon Valley edged California 10-8. San Ramon Valley has emerged as the dominant team in the West region with a well-balanced lineup, but should be challenged again by the Grizzlies.
Lake Sammamish (Wash.) at West Linn (Ore.), April 18
Washington and Oregon have one of the best rivalries in the West region. This game matches up two of the stronger teams this season. West Linn is led by Natalie Byrne (USC), who is one of the top midfielders in the region, and Lake Sammamish was a state finalist last season.
Ezra Ende scored five goals and had three assists for a season-high eight points to led Vashon Island (Wash.) to a 20-7 victory over North Kitsap (Wash.). The Vultures have won three straight.
With each victory, the confidence for the Granite Bay (Calif.) girls' lacrosse team appears to be growing.
After an early-season loss to West No. 4 Novato (Calif.), the Grizzlies have been able to string together 10 straight wins, including a huge 11-9 overtime victory over California High. Defense has been the key as Granite Bay has allowed 10 goals or more just twice in 12 games and has three shutouts this season.
"I think the girls have wonderful team chemistry, and that is the key to our success," said coach Stu Brokowsky, who hails from New York. "I believe we can continue to improve as we move on from here."
Emily Torris has been the team's top defender, and she is going to George Washington in the fall. Attacker Carlin Isaacson also has been dominant, and she will be attending Villanova in 2016. Lauren Hardoy has complemented Isaacson with some scoring punch of her own.
The team is now looking to make a deep run in the California playoffs.
"Our biggest strength is that we don't have any glaring weaknesses, and our team speed is excellent," Brokowsky said. "Our focus now is to finish first in our league and see how far we can go in the NCS Championships."
Hayden Dean scored five goals to help Redwood (Calif.) top Marin Catholic (Calif.) for the first time since 2010 with a 13-12 victory.
Nike/LM West Region Report Archive
- April 7: Productive Trip East for West No. 1
- March 31: St. I's Big Week
- March 24: Corner Canyon Staking Claim
- March 17: Spencer Back to Sidelines in California
- March 10: Starting Strong Out West
- Preseason Rankings and Players to Watch
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