YAIAA lacrosse power rankings: Bulldogs, Warriors reign
The YAIAA lacrosse season is officially two weeks old and thanks to fewer postponements in the past days, the pecking order at the top of the league is starting to shake out. On the boys side, we know West York and Susquehannock look like early league title contenders, and on the girls side, Kennard-Dale remains the only undefeated (as usual). But after that, there are a lot of spots up for grabs.
Overall, it has been an impressive season so far for the league. Several YAIAA teams are in LaxPower.com's top 10 computer rankings for central Pa. on both the girls and boys sides. And the league has an overall record of 8-7 against teams outside of the York-Adams area.
Below are the boys and girls lacrosse power rankings through April 8. Enjoy.
Boys Top 5
1. West York (5-0)
Before Tuesday, you probably could have argued for Dallastown or Susky here, but a 7-6 win over the Wildcats sealed the top spot, in my opinion. Yes, three of their wins have come in overtime, so it could be argued that their record could be a lot worse if not for a few key plays and a few big Cole Rinehart saves.
But the Bulldogs don't get rattled in close games. They find ways to win. And those three wins are against York Catholic, Red Lion and Dallastown - an extremely tough stretch of schedule. West York isn't out of the storm just yet. They get Susky (5-0) in a battle of the two remaining undefeated teams on Thursday. After that, the schedule finally calms somewhat for the Bulldogs.
"We're in a four-game stretch where it's going to define our season with the playoffs," West York coach Rodney Tamblin told GameTimePA.com reporter Matt Goul after Tuesday's win.
In addition to Rinehart's solid play in net, the Bulldogs entered the week with the league's leading goal scorer (Cody Richter - 18 goals) and assist leader (Hunter Betz - 28 assists).
2. Susquehannock (5-0)
The Warriors are the other undefeated team in the league and while they've outscored opponents, 85-32, in Russ LeBlanc's first year back at the helm, there still isn't a signature win on the resume. That could change on Thursday when they host the Bulldogs, who have never won on the Warriors' field.
Big opportunity for a statement win there. Can the Warriors prove they belong at the top of the rankings?
3. Dallastown (5-1)
Again, the Wildcats most likely would've been higher if not for Tuesday's overtime loss to West York, but they're still arguably the best team in the league
on any given day. Brian Prats has taken over the top spot in the league with 21 goals and Jack Marks has impressed with 63 saves.
What impresses us the most about Dallastown is its depth. Twelve different Wildcats have found the back of the net this season. But, Dallastown's best win was its 7-3
victory over Red Lion in the season opener. After that, Dallastown blew through four opponents with a combined five wins between them.
4. Red Lion (3-2)
In person, the Lions seem much better than their record shows. To their credit, the two losses were to two teams ahead of them in the rankings and the Lions have dominated in their other three matchups (Kennard-Dale, Spring Grove and Eastern York). The schedule is light until back-to-back games against York Catholic and York Suburban late next week.
Tanner Reif and Jac Gemmill have each scored 10 times and assisted on 11 others. Sam Emig leads the team with 18 goals and freshman Nick Serrano has stopped 41 shots, including 13 in a 13-5 win over Eastern York.
5. York Suburban (4-1)
So, the Trojans started the season 4-0 (all against teams under .500) and held two opponents to two goals each. Then, the Trojans lost 12-7 to a 1-4 Central York team. Will the real Trojans please stand up?
York Suburban might not be as good as its record, but it's a tad better than the tier of teams below.
Just missed the cut: York Catholic, Eastern York, Central York, South Western
Girls Top 5
1. Kennard-Dale (6-0)
Hey, guess what? The Rams are dominant again. Shocking. Kennard-Dale is 6-0 and boasts three wins over teams on this list (SW, Susky, Red Lion). Outside of a 17-16 double-overtime victory at Kennett Square, the Rams have outscored opponents, 83-19. LaxPower.com has the Rams at No. 11 in the state and No. 1 in central Pa.
There's no shortage of firepower in Fawn Grove. Four Rams - Morgan Day, Emmie Dressel, Maddie Day and Lyndsey Duty - have scored at least 14 goals. Morgan Day leads the league with 29.
Barring a dramatic upset, the Rams should still be undefeated when they go on the road for back-to-back games against Cumberland Valley (6-0) and York Catholic (3-1) in late April.
2. Susquehannock (5-1)
The only blemish on an otherwise perfect resume so far is an 11-6 loss to Kennard-Dale. Not bad.
The Warriors' 16-6 win over defending division champ South Western in late March was especially impressive.
Susquehannock has put up 20 or more goals twice this season and no team (other than K-D) has scored more than six on the Warriors' defense. Ashley Valway has been impressive on the offensive end, averaging more than three goals per game.
3. South Western (4-3)
The Mustangs have had a brutal schedule to start the season. Seven games in 16 days and three against top-ranked opponents - Hempfield, Susky and Kennard-Dale.
Even with that tough stretch and even after losing their two top goal scorers from last season, the Mustangs and first-year head coach Allison Lawhead remain above .500. Erin Brown and Laura Silver have had a lot to do with that. Brown is second in the league with 21 goals (*one game not reported) and Silver is top five in saves with 49 (*one game not reported).
4. York Catholic (3-1)
You could make the argument that the Irish could be bumped ahead of South Western. Neither team has a bad loss and neither has an overwhelmingly impressive victory just yet.
York Catholic's one loss was a tough 6-4 defeat by Susky in the season opener. Since then, the Irish have won at Spring Grove, at West York and at New Oxford by a combined 40 goals.
Circle the week of April 18 on the calendar. In a five day span, York Catholic will take on Hempfield (5-0), Kennard-Dale (6-0) and South Western (4-3). Yikes.
5. New Oxford (2-2) / Red Lion (3-3) tie
I took the easy way out here and called it a tie. I know, it seems wrong, but bear with me.
The Colonials are tough to gauge. They've looked really good in wins over Eastern York and York Suburban. Then, they got blown out at home by York Catholic. Either way, it has been a great start for a program that had eight total wins in the previous six seasons.
Raleigh Bateman and Braxtin Reddinger have been a dynamic duo, combining for 29 goals in four games.
The Lions have been just as tough to figure out. Their wins are over Dallastown (2-5), Spring Grove (0-6) and Eastern (2-2). They got crushed by Kennard-Dale, then lost by three goals each to West York (2-3) and Cedar Crest (2-4).
Luckily, New Oxford and Red Lion play each other on Thursday, which will help settle this debate.
Just missed the cut: Eastern York, West York, York Suburban, Central York