HERE WE GO...!!!
The Madlax Media Team is excited to present the production of the IAC Championship! The Livestream pre-game show starts at 655pm (click link above to watch).
Bullis, the IAC #1 seed hosts, Georgetown Prep, the IAC #3 seed at Bullis Stadium at 7pm on Friday the 13th but ... Don't Be Scared.
Instead, just get really excited to see two of the nations top teams loaded with some of the best players from THE DMV battle it out under the lights. Prep is ranked #20 nationally and #3 in the DMV. Bullis is ranked #19 nationally and #2 in the DMV.
Starting Line-Ups (anticipated):
Attack: Chase Band, Jackson Maher, Tucker Wade
Midfield: Jewel Walker, Anthony Rinaldi, Ben Jose
Defense: Charlie Muller (LSM), Matt Till, Merrick Carey, Cole Friedlander
Goal: Brayden Ferguson
Attack: Colin Burns, Nathan Kabiri, Owen Horning
Midfield: Tommy Arata, Rafe Bradshaw, Brendan Galvin
Defense: Mac Christmas (LSM), Sam Muir, Isaiah Rose, Ryan Welgos
Goal: Jack Kask
Players to Watch:
Bullis: Tucker Wade, Brayden Ferguson, Charlie Muller, Chase Band
G Prep: Colin Burns, Nate Kabiri, Isaiah Rose, Mac Eldridge, Mac Christmas(tbd)
Keys to Victory:
1. Limit the dangerous Prep attack.
2. Make the face-offs a groundball battle and win at least 40%.
3. Handle emotions and use the huge home field 'Friday night lights' crowd to advantage
1. Dominate time of possession with Mac Eldridge. 70% or more FO Wins.
2. Play solid Defense without Mac Christmas. He is a game time decision to play. Defense allowed a season high 13 goals in last game vs Bullis.
3. Offensive output over 10 goals. Only 8 goals in the last meeting versus a very strong Bullis defense.
The Week 9 ‘Game of the Week’ features a pivotal IAC semifinal matchup between rivals #3 Georgetown Prep and #4 Landon. While Prep is ranked higher in the DMVLAX Top 20, Landon is the higher seed in the IAC tournament and will host. In their head to head matchup this year, Landon upset the Little Hoyas on their home field, in a low scoring 6-5 affair. In that game, Landon did a fantastic job of limiting Prep’s star Attackmen Colin BBQ Burns (Princeton) and Nate Kabiri (undecided) thanks to excellent play from Jackson Galiani (Hobart) and Cullen Brown (Ohio State), as well as an absolutely ridiculous performance between the pipes from Hunter Taylor (Michigan). Since this game; however, both teams offenses have started to click and we expect a slightly higher scoring game.
The player to watch for Landon will once again be senior goaltender Hunter Taylor. Taylor has proven to be arguably the most formidable keeper in the DMV, and his performance in Landon’s upset earlier this year may have been his best we’ve seen. Prep will likely control time of possession thanks to their senior faceoff man Mac Eldridge (UVA). Additionally, it will be paramount for the Bears’ defensive unit led by Galiani, Brown, Nico Schermer and Will Cohen (Ohio State) to once again limit the offense production of the Prep attack unit. The other major key for Landon will be countering Eldridge at the faceoff stripe. The Bears have been rolling with a kitchen sink full of faceoff men, which has been fairly effective; however, against a dominant specialist like Eldridge, we expect sophomore long stick midfielder Davis Owens to be one of the primary faceoff men in this pivotal matchup.
Anyone who has watched Prep, knows that their strength lies in their potent attack unit. But in games in which the opposing team can limit their production, Prep has struggled immensely. The key to the game for the Little Hoyas will be be generating offensive production from the midfield. As their top midfielder Larry Horning (Georgetown) is out for the year with a broken jaw, the Little Hoyas have looked to junior Tommy Arata (Colgate) to lead the midfield. A small, shifty offensive weapon, Prep has looked tremendous on offense when Arata can notch several points. In the previous matchup between the rivals, Prep struggled to defend sophomore Landon Attackmen Anthony Panetti, who led the low scoring game with three points on two goals and an assist. Expect Prep junior Isaiah Rose (Army) to draw this assignment and will be a key matchup defensively for the Little Hoyas. Kevin Miller, Landon's leading scorer, will be a game time decision with an upper body injury. If he plays that will be a huge boost for the Bears offense!
We expect this game to be an absolute thriller once again between two evenly matched opponents, who want nothing more than to beat their crosstown rivals. While both teams have had rough patches this season, they are both seemingly hitting their stride at the right time, priming for an extremely exciting matchup. Landon has excelled when their defense steps up, and if they are able to hold the Little Hoyas under 10 goals, they will likely win. That being said, we expect the rematch to fair differently. While the game will be a scrappy, close affair, eventually Eldridge and LSM Mac Christmas (Duke) will take over between the lines and give Prep the slight advantage in what should be an epic DMV battle.
Madlax Media will be heading to Lake Braddock on Friday night for a marquee VHSL 6A matchup between two of the top public contenders in the DMV, as #15 Lake Braddock hosts #8 Robinson in a massive public school matchup under the lights. Robinson, who fell last year to Yorktown in overtime in the Regional Finals, is hungry to hunt down yet another state title, something that the Robinson program has become synonymous with in recent years. On the otherhand, Lake Braddock is hungry to avenge their loss to Robinson in last years Regional Playoffs, as the Rams ended their season. Both programs are off to fantastic starts to the season preparing us for a fantastic ‘Game of The Week’! Read below to check out the teams and keys to the game for both squads!
Robinson has become the face of Virginia Public School lacrosse of the past decade, having won numerous VHSL 6A State titles and produced a number of extremely talented collegiate players, most notably, Jack Rowlett of the Chaos Lacrosse Club and Team USA. Last year’s overtime defeat remains etched in the minds of the Rams who returned this season, and their play reflects it, and they have been simply punishing opposing teams en route to an 11-0 start to their 2022 campaign. The biggest question entering ‘22 was how the Rams would replace the scoring of 1st Team All-State Attackmen Brett Jackson; however, this seems to not be a problem as Robinson’s offense has been churning. The player to watch on the offensive end of the ball for the Rams is Charlie Reynolds, a senior attackmen bound for Marquette. Having started for the Rams since his sophomore year, Reynolds is a dynamic dodger with a fantastic outside shooting stroke. Look for senior Aiden Schiefer (Christopher Newport) to contribute significantly on the offensive end as well.
What really helps the Rams offense churn, is their ability to play make it-take it, thanks to their dominance at the faceoff stripe. Robinson has a two headed monster of Division 1 commits taking draws in the form of senior Geoff Knowlton (Manhattan) and junior Adam Dembicki (St. Johns), who make up one of the best 1-2 punches in the area. The other primary strength of this Robinson squad is their excellent defensive unit who are led by 6’5 senior Will Maag, one of the top poles in the state of Virginia, and junior long stick midfielder Alex Populah, a dynamic two way threat.
Lake Braddock sits at a very impressive 11-1 record entering Friday’s ‘Game of The Week.’ Off to one of their best starts in memory, the Bruins only loss on the year has been to Battlefield, the #12 team in the DMV who remains undefeated. This will be a huge test for Lake Braddock in terms of depth, as they clearly have the talent, but will need to make the most out of home field advantage and minimize mistakes if they have a chance of beating the red hot Rams.
The strength of this Bruin squad comes at the attack position, as their attack unit is led by a pair of junior studs in Jack Schubert (Georgetown) and Sam Macavoy (Penn State). The future Hoya, Schubert has a larger frame, a fantastic finishing touch, and excellent feeding ability, while MacAvoy is a dynamic athlete with an incredibly strong lefty cannon which he can seemingly hit from anywhere. The two future D1 attackers operate very efficiently together, and the duo has led the Bruins offense to an amazing start to 2022, beating opponents by a whopping average of 9.25 goals a game.
Week 6 of the 2022 season brings us a prime time IAC matchup between two top 10 teams in the DMV as the #7 Landon Bears travel to #5 St. Stephens to take on the Saints at 4:30 PM. This is an intriguing matchup with key IAC playoff implications, and with how wide open the IAC has been thus far, this could be a marquee victory for both program as they make a run at the coveted IAC and DC titles.
The matchup to watch all game long will be the potent Saints offense battling against a stifling and physical Bears defense. The Saints offense is led by a senior duo of stud Attackmen, Will McCulloch (Loyola) and Witt Crawford (Drexel), this tandem might be the most dangerous duo in the DMV, as the lefty-righty one two punch plays with perfect chemistry. Filling in the third attack spot has been sophomore Bryce Gunn, a strong outside shooter with a big frame. Adding to the the mix offensively from the midfield, look for the shifty speedster Finn Jensen (Harvard) and large outside shooter William Aitken to contribute for the saints.
The matchup of McCulloch, Crawford, and Gunn will certainly be a challenge for Landon’s defense. While they did just hold a potent Prep offense to just five goals, it should be noted that senior goalie Hunter Taylor played one of the best games of his career, making 16 saves that day while garnering Game MVP honors. The trio of Brown (Ohio State), Cohen (Ohio State), and Gallinari (Hobart) is mean and fierce, and will give the Saints all that they can handle.
On the other end of the field, St. Stephens has a formidable goalie and defense of its own, led by senior goalie Jasper Simon (LIU). Playing in front of Simon are some ferocious senior defensemen Calum Wayer (UMBC), Baylor Hunt (Air Force) and Michael Guglielmone, who are joined by Grayson Schmidt (UNC) arguably the top defensive shortstick midfielders in the entire DMV.
It isn’t news to anyone that Landon’s weak point thus far has been their fairly stagnant offense. Sophomores Kevin Miller and Anthony Panetti have been bright spots, but other guys will have to step up for the Bears to win Friday and have a shot at the IAC. In Wednesdays game against North Carolina’s top program Cardinal Gibbons, Miller exploded for 7 goals including the double overtime winner, while Panetti set up overtime with a 35 yard step down through a wall of players with just :02 seconds left on the clock. A performance like that might propel one of the Bears attackmen to true stardom. But in order for the Bears to win Friday, they will need key production from their first midfield of Cam Brown (Dartmouth), Chase Robertson, and Anthony Savoy.
Neither team has an excellent faceoff man, and both tend to use a long stick to take a fair amount of draws, sophomore Davis Owens for Landon, and senior Baylor Hunt for the Saints. Look for senior, Bobby Rudzski to have an advantage at the X for the Bears. Except wings to play a pivotal role in this matchup, as time of possession will be paramount to winning for either team. While Landon’s ferocious defense will hold the St. Stephens at bay, the Saints eventually have too much firepower and win a close one 12-10.
The week five ‘Game of the Week’ brings us a marquee IAC matchup between bitter rivals Georgetown Prep and Landon. The two perennial powerhouses have been the face of lacrosse in the DMV for decades, having produced some of the best teams and players that the area has ever seen. We expect this to be another epic battle!
While both programs started the season off slowly, both the Bears and Little Hoyas have put some pieces together and seem back on track and playing well as they enter conference play. Here are a few things to pay attention to entering Monday’s pivotal IAC matchup.
After being rattled by minor injuries, Prep’s star faceoff man Mac Eldridge appeared to be at full strength, as he completely dominated last week as the Little Hoyas throttled Gonzaga 15-6. Eldridge’s dominance allowed Prep to play 'make it-take it' and dominate time of possession. Expect this to be a key factor in Monday’s game, as one of the Bears’ biggest struggles in 2022 has been at the faceoff stripe. We expect to see a double poled approach from Landon, utilizing their exceptionally athletic long sticks in senior captain Cullen Brown (Ohio State), junior Will Cohen (Ohio State), and sophomore Davis Owens, who faced off exceptionally well versus Severn earlier in the season.
This defensive unit is the biggest strength of the Landon team in 2022. They are athletic, rangy, and can all push transition with ease. Additionally, senior netminder Hunter Taylor (Michigan), has proven himself as one of the areas top goalies and can keep Landon in games. The Bears’ defensive unit will be tasked with defending two of the DMV’s top Attackmen in Colin Burns (Princeton) and Nate Kabiri (Georgetown), who are both regarded as five star recruits and are capable of absolutely dicing up defenses. After a slow start to ‘22 due to a lingering off-season injury, Burns has returned to full form, dropping a whopping 8 points last week vs. Gonzaga. Nathan Kabiri is the bigger scoring threat so we think Cullen Brown (OSU) will guard him while we expect Jackson Galiani (Hobart), Landon's best 1v1 cover guy, to matchup with Burns.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears have struggled thus far to generate scoring outside of their three studs: Cameron Brown (Dartmouth), Kevin Miller, and Anthony Panetti. Since Panetti’s move to attack, the Bears have struggled to score from the midfield outside of Brown. Recently, the Bears have moved sophomore Chase Robertson to first midfield. A tall athletic middie with a strong outside shot, the Bears will need Robertson and Brown to have excellent games from the midfield if they expect to upset the Little Hoyas. Mac Christmas, one of the top long stick midfielders in the country, will likely guard Cam Brown, priming for a marquee matchup at the midfield. Christmas has historically been excellent against the rival Bears, last year scoring a hat trick in one matchup, while forcing a turnover and scoring the game winner in the other.
The Hoyas close defense of Isaiah Rose (Army), Sam Muir (Navy) combined with excellent sophs, Graham Lesher and Ryan Welgos, played very well and looked cohesive against Gonzaga a week ago but the Landon attack with Miller, Panetti and Senior Oehlerking (Dartmouth) is dangerous at times and should be able to produce points. That said, expect Landon to dodge primarily from the midfield but they will all have to get by Jack Kask who was the game MVP vs Gonzaga and recorded 11 saves!
Offensively, the Little Hoyas have adjusted to their key losses at the midfield due to graduation and the season ending injury of their top midfielder Larry Horning. In last week’s defeat over Gonzaga, junior Rafe Bradshaw, Senior Brendan Galvin and junior Tommy Arata (Colgate) were an effective new first mid line. Connor Remington (Stevenson) also add a punch offensively at midfield. In order for Landon to be successful against the potent Prep offense, they will need excellent performances from their defensive midfielders Preston Lugar (Navy), Collin Flood (Colby) and Nate Ferguson, as sliding from Kabiri and Burns will haunt any defense.
While Prep is the deeper and more talented team, Landon will enter this rivalry game hungry for an upset, particularly after last year’s results. We expect this one to start off fairly closely, before Prep controls the faceoff stripe and opens the scoring up in the second half.
The Jesuit Classic. Prep vs. Gonzaga. Dating back to 1891, Georgetown Prep and Gonzaga has been one of the longest standing and fiercest rivalries in the DMV and quite possibly, the entire country. As both enter Monday’s rivalry game in the top five of the DMVLAX Top 20 rankings, this is sure to be a fierce battle between to teams that have butted heads for over a hundred years in various sports. To make matters even more interesting, the two Jesuit schools will faceoff on the campus of Georgetown University, under the lights, in what is sure to be a packed house and the newly renovated Cooper Field Stadium. We expect both student bodies to travel and be loud for this one!
Prep enters the game at 5-3 having fallen to three out of conference opponents in St. Johns, Brunswick, and St. Mary’s Annapolis, all three of which rank in the top 10 in every national media rankings. While these are all certainly quality losses, few expected Prep to have fallen three times this early in the season considering their tremendous 2021 run and roster entering the spring of ‘22. That being said, Prep does have five quality wins on the season, and a roster that still has them as the favorite to win the IAC; maybe a rivalry victory over the Purple Eagles is just what they need to get the ball rolling.
On the other side, the Purple Eagles of Eye Street enter Monday’s contest as the #2 team in both the DMVLAX and IL.com National Rankings after an incredibly impressive 8-0 start to the season including a number of remarkable wins over highly regarded programs including McDonough, Culver, PVI, and Landon to name a few. No one predicted this incredible start for Gonzaga, but none of their previous success mattered on Friday when they traveled to take on WCAC rival St. Johns, falling brutally 17-6. If the Zags want to rebound from this disappointing loss, this would be a key step in getting the Purple Eagles back on track.
One of the biggest questions entering the game against St. Johns, was how would Gonzaga would replace the offensive production of star senior attackmen James Matan (UNC), who is out for the year. As we predicted, sophomore Johnny Gardiner stepped up to fills those shoes, and did so nicely, registering Gonzaga’s first two goals in a closely contested 6-2 first half. In order for the Purple Eagles to be successful, they will need a strong showing from their first midfield line and seniors Ian McGlynn and Brendan Lane (Holy Cross).
The other lone bright spot for Gonzaga in the battle between the DMV’s top two teams was junior goalie Declan Monahan (Penn), who absolutely stood on his head for the majority of the game, registering an incredible 15 first half saves. Expect Monahan to have another excellent performance in the cage, as Gonzaga’s very solid defensive unit looks to rebound. Once again leading the defensive core for Gonzaga will be the duo of Matthew Rienzo (Georgetown) and Austin Cunningham (Army), who will look to stop the dynamic attack duo of Nate Kabiri (Georgetown) and Colin Burns (Princeton). When other teams have found success against the Little Hoyas, it has been paramount to limit the production of Kabiri and Burns and force Prep to run their offense through the midfield.
Midfield production has been a problem for the Little Hoyas in 2022 and now with the awful news that Larry Horning (Georgetown) is out for the season, it will be even more challenging. Mac Christmas (Duke) needs to look to be a scoring threat as a offensively minded LSM more than ever now. While the depth is certainly there, the issue is that the majority of their midfield is just now getting their first taste of varsity lacrosse, as Prep graduated an abundance of talented midfielders in ‘21 including one of the best first line midfields of recent memory in the form of Will Angrick (Notre Dame), Michael Ridgeway (Notre Dame), Hugh Mullane (Brown). Look for junior Tommy Arata (Colgate) and other younger midfielders to step up.
Additionally, in order for Prep to find success on Monday, they will need a big game out of senior faceoff man Mac Eldridge (Virginia). Eldridge, who is regarded as the top faceoff man in the 2022 class, was absolutely dominant last year for Prep, but has been injured in a few games thus far in ‘22, and didnt perform at his normal level particularly against St. John’s Jackie Weller (Michigan). Gonzaga also struggled mightily against the Cadets at face-offs, going south of 25% for the game. With the struggles that Prep’s offense is currently facing, and the injury bug that is currently plaguing Gonzaga’s offense, we expect faceoffs and possession to play pivotal roles in the rivalry matchup.
The aspect of a neutral site, and the fact that this rivalry has been a mainstay in the D.C. area for over a century provides the feeling of a very close affair, but in the end, the loaded attack for Prep will find a way to score enough to win a closely contested lower scoring affair.