Here’s the first Super 7 of the year. It includes records and an explanation on why each team is ranked where. Stats leaders will be updated tomorrow night. Away we go…
(Through Sunday, Sept. 16)
1. Academy of Notre Dame (6-0-0, 1-0-0)
What’s not to like about the Irish? They already have statement wins over Villa Maria (1-0), Haverford (8-0), and Archbishop Carroll (4-2). Two-time All-Delco Moira Putsch is off to an absurd start with a county-leading 14 goals, All-Delco Emily Faught has racked up seven goals, and Maddie Snider, Nina Diamond, Amanda Odgers, Maggie Fitzgerald and Taylor Leonhardt all have three points or more. Rookie goalie Gabby Carlini has been a revelation with her five shutouts and 92.8 save percentage. I’m looking forward to taking in Tuesday’s Inter-Ac battle with my No. 2 team, which is…
2. The Episcopal Academy (7-0-0, 1-0-0)
If Notre Dame is No. 1, EA is more of a 1A than a 2. The Churchmen have posted four straight shutouts (five overall) and also have a nice win over Haverford (4-1). All-Delco Alana Dumas has matched Putsch’s absurd start to the year, as the two are tied for the county lead with 19 points, but Dumas has been as much of a playmaker (nine assists) as a scorer (10 goals) despite battling strep throat. Margaux Paolino has been a pleasant surprise with eight goals and two assists, and Lexi Curry has two two-goal games in her past three contests. The depth has been superb as well, as Kali Kilmer, Kelly McGowan, Christy Palazzese, Maddie Blacskai, and Callie Avellino all have three points or more. Gianna Pileggi has five shutouts and a 90 percent save percentage. With all that star power, Tuesday’s game promises to be another classic.
3. Cardinal O’Hara (4-0-0, 1-0-0)
Surprise! The Lions are ahead of the preemptive Catholic League favorites Archbishop Carroll Patriots, and it’s because O’Hara has been a bit more impressive in the early going. Marissa Cicione has been on a ridiculous tear with at least two goals in every game, including a four-spot in a 9-0 rout of Archbishop Wood. All-Delco Grace Boston has eight points to her name, and it was her and Cicione’s goals that helped O’Hara knock off Garnet Valley, a Central League power, by a 3-1 score. Carlie Spaeder boasts six points on the young season, and the Lions are brimming with confidence after beating the Jaguars and Agnes Irwin by that same 3-1 margin. Goalie Liz Piszker has also been good with her 92.3 save percentage and two shutouts.
4. Archbishop Carroll (2-2-1, 1-0-0)
If ND and EA are No. 1 and No. 1A in the Inter-Ac, the Lions and Patriots are the same in the Catholic League. Carroll faltered in its two marquee games, a 4-2 loss to the Irish and a 2-0 whitewashing at the hands of Merion Mercy, but there’s no shame in playing big teams. Megan Kelly has five goals and two assists already, and her twin, All-Delco Katie Kelly, has found the back of the cage three times. Carroll could use a little bit more balance as Gabby Sutter is the only other player with three points, but Becca Brosious‘ play in net (83.9 save percentage) means the Patriots don’t have to score as much.
5. Strath Haven (4-0-1, 2-0-0)
Defense, defense, defense. The Panthers have gotten it done with an absurdly stingy defense that averages 0.4 goals against per game. No, that’s not a typo. They’ve only allowed two goals in five games. Caroline Boyd has been impressive in goal (87.5 save percentage, 3 shutouts), but it’s been the players right in front of her that have stood out. Casey Oehler and Jessica Borbee have been strong defenders for Haven, among others, and Borbee has found the time to add four points. Rebecca Lucci has been the go-to girl on offense with five goals and an assist. The Panthers’ signature win of the young season was a win over Garnet Valley (2-0). I’m intrigued by this Haven team, and if it can get some other sources of offense, who’s to say that it can’t win the Central League?
6. Haverford (3-2-1, 2-0-0)
The Fords didn’t exactly get off to a dream start with an 0-2-1 three-game stretch that featured bad losses to ND (8-0) and EA (4-1), but the train seems to be getting back onto the track. Haverford has shut out Ridley, Marple Newtown, and Plymouth Whitemarsh in consecutive games, and two-time All-Delco Jess McCarthy has four goals in her past three games. Tess Horan is tied with McCarthy for the team lead in points with two goals and two assists, and both of those goals came in the past two games. Six players all had one goal in the win over PW, and if Beth Sandowich can keep getting that type of diverse offense from her team, the Fords should contend for the league title until the end. That’s especially true if Katie Wyman (three shutouts, 80 percent save percentage despite that rough start) keeps shining.
7. Garnet Valley (3-2-0, 0-1-0)
The Jaguars are in a bit of a funk in their past three games, dropping decisions to O’Hara and Strath Haven, but like Carroll, they shouldn’t be punished for playing good teams. When GV wins, it’s because it scores a lot – four goals per game in wins, 0.5 per loss – and All-Delco Eleanor Kirby and her four goals are a big reason why. Dana Davis, a key player on the Jaguars’ state-title winning lacrosse team, has two goals and two assists to tie Kirby for the team lead. Katie Keyser has struggled a bit in the early going (two goals, one assist), but there’s little doubt that she’ll be back to terrorizing goalies in no time. Goalie Hailey Valerio has been busy, making 51 saves at an 83.6 percent clip, and Julia Schoonover also has two goals. It should be interesting to see how GV reacts to its next test, considering the Jaguars are 0-2 in their first two significant tests.