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ESPN Boston's boys lacrosse Top 25

4/9/2015

Top 25 MIAA boys lacrosse poll, as selected by our panel of staff writers, correspondents and area coaches (updated 4/8/15).

1. Medfield (23-2): The defending Division 2 state champions shouldn't miss much of a stride this year and enter the year as our top team. John MacLean and Matt Treiber should be among the state's most feared scorers this year.

2. Lincoln-Sudbury (16-7): It's BU or bust for the Warriors this year, as they failed to reach the D1 state final last year. L-S has the potential for a very strong defensive core with returning All-State Eamon Hunter and Cam Hyde.

3. Duxbury (19-4): One would think the Dragons would take a step back after losing Mr. Lacrosse award winner Nick Marrocco in the cage. But this is Duxbury and the defense will again be among the state's best with poles Shawn Errasti, Hunter Marston and Liam Stauss.

4. Acton-Boxborough (21-3):The reigning Division 1 state champions return a good portion of their title-winning team, with talents like attack J.T. Kelly back in the fold.

5.BC High (11-9): After a somewhat disappointing 2014 campaign, the Eagles return a major player in the Division 1 state derby. With offensive talents like Sam Freidman and A.J. Kucinski, BC High could be the favorite in what should again prove to be a very tough Catholic Conference.

6. Xaverian (18-4): The Hawks can rely on their defense as well, and it all starts in the cage with Mike Toomey, who's already proven he's among the best there is in the state.

7. Cohasset (20-4): The defending Division 3 state champions truly can go toe-to-toe with any team in the state - regardless of division. A big part of the reason why? Returning All-Americans Danny Axelson and Cole Kissick.

8. Needham (18-3): The Rockets lost a good deal from graduations and prep school departures, but if you're looking for a dark horse in the Division 1 title race, look no further than here.

9. Dover-Sherborn (18-4): Will we see the Raiders matchup with Cohasset again for the D3 title? That's still a long ways off, but you have to feel good about their chances of at least getting back to BU with Grant Gregory and Bailey Laidman leading the attack.

10.Hingham (19-6): Last year's Division 2 state runners-up are focused on getting back to the big stage and will look to A Jake Brodie to shoulder an ever greater portion of the offensive production.

11. Catholic Memorial (11-9): A talented, young corps from a few years ago has matured and this could be the Knights' year to make a deep postseason run. Tyler Bogart will rank among the state's top scorers at the end of the year and they can stop it too with Joe Zegarelli in the cage.

12. Longmeadow (21-2): It's a different look in many regards for the Lancers, as Keith Campbell takes over as head coach. This team can still score in droves with Cam Kelleher and Will Lukas leading the attack.

13. Billerica (12-10): It's been a couple of early postseason exits for the Indians in the last couple seasons, but watch out for this squad making some noise come the postseason with Jeff Trainor patrolling the midfield.

14. St. John's Prep (9-13): A disappointing finish to the season had the Eagles watching the postseason from the stands. They still play one of the state's tougher schedules, but we think that trend will not repeat this year.

15. Concord-Carlisle (14-7): The Patriots overcame key injuries to make the Central-East final and are looking for more this year behind a legitimate Mr. Lacrosse candidate in Will Blumenberg.

16. St. John's of Shrewsbury (19-2): The Pioneers will look to move past last year's postseason upset and reassert their will in Division 2 Central. Behind attack Jared Ward and middie Andrew Cox, they can sure score in transition, and often.

17. Marshfield (11-9): After some of the established powers, Division 1 South should be a pretty wide open derby, and don't be surprised if the Rams make a deep run come late May and June.

18. Franklin (15-6): Speaking of early season dark horse picks to made noise in D1 South, enter the Panthers. Quarterfinalists a year ago, they're looking for more entering this season and should be a favorite across the Hockomock League.

19. Wellesley (16-5): The Raiders' first season in the Division 1 ranks ended in a playoff loss at Duxbury, and while this is the lowest they've started a season in our Top 25 poll, woe will befell the team who takes them lightly.

20. Westfield (17-4): The Bombers were a surprise D2 Central-West finalist last year, but now the book is out. They'll likely have to unseat Longmeadow again to move out of the bracket.

21. Shrewsbury (20-5): The Colonials tore a path through the previously-ranked St. John's (Shrewsbury) and Westfield clubs to earn at spot in the D2 state final against Medfield. We'll see if they can capture lightning in a bottle once again.

22. Westford Academy (17-6): They'll have to do it without a couple of All-Americans in Jay Drapeau and Ryan Hesseltine, but the Grey Ghosts should again be a force to reckon with in the DCL.

23. Walpole (11-9): The Rebels were cut down by Medfield in the second round of the D2 Central-East tournament, and while they'd likely have to face the Warriors again somewhere along the way, this isn't a team to forget about in the district.

24. Newton North (10-9): The Tigers backed into the tournament last year, but they'll emerge as a dangerous team in Division 1 South, after playing a very tough out-of-conference schedule to start the year.

25. Bridgewater-Raynham (17-3): The Trojans had their most successful season to date last year, both in terms of overall record and playoff longevity.

Last 10 Out: Andover (11-9), Archbishop Williams (22-2), Foxborough (11-10), Hanover (14-5), King Philip (16-5), Malden Catholic (6-14), Scituate (10-11), North Andover (15-7), Wakefield (15-5), Wayland (15-6).