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March 18, 2013Every Monday on MarylandVarsity.com we will have news and notes from the previous week's games.
Crusaders return in style
Last season St. Paul's could not have been further from ranking consideration. After a 2-2 start the Crusaders lost 13 of their final 14 games.
But this season coach Rick Brocato's team has started 3-0 and posted wins over Canadian powerhouse The Hill Academy and Pennsylvania power Haverford School.
"I think they're [the athletes] buying into what we're trying to do. We've really changed a lot of things," Brocato said. "So much of this group is attitude. I think this group has that. This group has been committed in the offseason to stay together. They work out together and get along well."
Brocato feels the rule changes that went into effect this season, namely the expansion of the substitution box and substitutions being made on the fly has had a positive impact on the Crusaders due to their depth and speed.
Games against Georgetown Prep and Hereford (both teams St. Paul's lost to last season) are up this week and should help further gauge how far St. Paul's has come in a year.
"Nobody really believes in us yet, but we believe in ourselves," Brocato said of his team's start. "It's a little bit of that Baltimore Ravens philosophy. We can't control what people think about us. We can only control what we do on the field."
Not so friendly neighbors to the North
Canadiens are stereotypically considers some of the most polite people in North America, but The Hill Academy was anything but polite as it rolled through the Maryland/D.C. area last week.
The Hill defeated No. 1 Calvert Hall, No. 3 Landon, No. 4 Gonzaga and No. 20 Archbishop Spalding in addition to a win over former ranked team Calverton.
Those ranked teams were outscored 74-34 in five losses and never scored more than eight goals.
The lone bright spot for Marylanders came in the form of a St. Paul's team that has been impressive early after coming off a 3-15 season.
The Crusaders defeated The Hill 13-10 to hand the Canadiens their only loss of the year so far.
"I think the Canadians have done an amazing job of incorporating American field lacrosse and box lacrosse," Brocato said. "That was something over the Summer and Winter that we wanted to do. I feel like the game against Hill it was two teams in very similar in how they wanted to play. Our styles were not contrasting at all.
"We knew what they were and what they were' capable of. We knew what they had. The kids were confident after we won. all the hard work is paying off."
Boys' Latin and Bullis will face The Hill on March 22 and 23 respectively.
The Hill Academy is located in Vaughan, Ontario Canada and according to its website, "is a unique academic and athletic platform to enable dedicated student athletes to get to the next level."
The Top 20 will likely look much different next week. No. 4 Gonzaga will be playing the Top 2 teams in the rankings -- Calvert Hall and Boys' Latin. No. 3 Landon plays No. 20 Archbishop Spalding. Both Gilman and St. Paul's take on No. 8 Georgetown Prep.
Where they rank
Each week MarylandVarsity.com will take a look at where teams in the Maryland/D.C. area rank in a few of the national rankings.*
Boys' Latin takes the No. 1 spot followed by Calvert Hall (3), Landon (10), Gilman (12), Gonzaga (13), Loyola-Blakefield (14) and McDonogh (20).
Boys' Latin again takes the No. 1 spot and garners all eight first place votes. Calvert Hall follows at No. 2 with Gonzaga (7t), Loyola-Blakefield (9), Gilman (14), Landon (16), McDonogh (18) and Georgetown Prep (24) rounding out the rankings.
*Full disclosure: MarylandVarsity.com Co-Publisher Mike Loveday is the High School Coodinator, manages the voting panel and covers the Mid-Atlantic for US Lacrosse.