(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Athletics)
The college lacrosse season is two weeks in and one full weekend has surpassed, and what a weekend it was. Team’s whom I had ranked No. 2, No. 4, No.7, and No. 15 in my preseason rankings all fell in upset losses on Saturday.
While I don’t have an official vote, I have decided to make my top 20 a separate post this week to come out on Monday’s. And with the passing of the first full weekend of action, it’s time for my first weekly rankings.
1. Virginia Cavaliers (1-0)
The only place where there is no change from preseason to now is at the top. Virginia took care of business against Michigan on Saturday in a 17-113 victory. Connor Shellenberger (3G/3A), Payton Cormier (5G/1A), and Thomas McConvey (3G/3A) each had six points on the day in a contest that showed clearly the depth and lethality of this Virginia offense.
2. Cornell Big Red (0-0)
3. Princeton Tigers (0-0)
4. Notre Dame (0-0)
I don’t like moving teams up who haven’t played, but with both Georgetown and Maryland losing I have decided to move up Cornell and Princeton from three and five, as well as Notre Dame from six in the preseason rankings. All three will get their seasons underway this weekend with Cornell playing UAlbany and Princeton playing Monmouth. Notre Dame will face Marquette on Wednesday and Cleveland State on Sunday.
5. Maryland (1-1)
The Terrapins are coming off a 12-7 upset loss to Loyola, marking the program’s first regular season loss since 2020. Maryland committed 22 turnovers and had a 16% team shooting percentage. They did, however, outshoot Loyola 42-26, saw Luke Wierman go 18-for-22 (81%) at the dot, won the ground ball battle 38-27 and went 17-for-18 in the clearing game. Not being able to adjust against a solid Loyola defense may have been Maryland’s only true fault. I couldn’t push them out of the top five and expect the Terps to bounce back stronger soon.
6. Penn (0-0)
7. Yale (0-0)
My thought process is similar here with the Quakers and Bulldogs, who begin their seasons along with the rest of the Ivy League this weekend. Penn will face Georgetown in a big time matchup on Saturday while Yale will face Villanova on Sunday. I had Penn at eighth and Yale at nine in my preseason rankings.
8. Georgetown (0-1)
In Saturday’s loss to Johns Hopkins, Tucker Dordevic led the way for Georgetown with five goals while Graham Bundy, Jr., had four goals and one assist. Brian Minicus had two scores. Jacob Kelly, Aidan Carroll, and Nicky Solomon also got involved. The offense looks like it has the pieces but seems to be a work in progress. Daniel Hincks made 13 saves with a 50% save percentage to anchor what was a solid defensive effort. Will Godine’s absence due to injury at SSDM was significant.
9. Ohio State (2-0)
The Buckeyes looked really good in their season opener against Air Force two weeks ago and took care of business last week against Cleveland State. The Jack Myers-led offense has proven to be deep, Drew Blanchard has been as expected moving to the primary option at the faceoff dot, and the close defense of Bobby Van Buren, Marcus Hudgins, and Jacob Snyder with Skylar Wahlund in cage has been as advertised. Some tougher test await Ohio State in the coming weeks but Nick Myers’ squad looks very good through this point.
10. Rutgers (2-0)
With a blowout win over Marist and a hard-fought, 11-7 victory over Stony Brook in the rearview mirror, Rutgers has taken care of business thus far. The attack line of Dante Kulas, Brian Cameron, and Ross Scott has had little trouble and that NASCAR offense has continued with Bobby Russo, as well as SSDMs such as Noah Daniels making and impact in between the boxes. Kyle Mullin has been as expected in cage. All appears well on the banks.
11. Johns Hopkins (2-0)
Maybe the biggest surprise team for me through this point. The Blue Jays beat Jacksonville and showed much depth while doing so in their opener. A week later, Hopkins impressed even more with an upset victory over Georgetown in which Russell Melendez had four goals while Jacob Angelus dished out just as many assists, and both Garrett Degnon and Jonathan Peshko had hat tricks. The John Crawley offense is coming together nice while the Hopkins defense looks strong once again with Tim Marcille proving to be a more than capable starter. Also, Tyler Dunn and Logan Callahan provide two good options at the faceoff dot.
12. Delaware (1-0)
13. Harvard (0-0)
14. North Carolina (1-0)
I am putting these three together because I choose to move neither from my preseason ranking. Delaware beat Lafayette 14-5 to open the season on Saturday while North Carolina defeated Mercer 25-3 on Friday night. Both showed a lot but its hard to gauge a team’s true worth after season-opening blowouts. Harvard, on the other hand, opens its season this weekend against Virginia.
15. Loyola (1-0)
Loyola’s faceoff trouble throughout and clearing issues in the fourth quarter are the two negatives I took away from its incredible upset win over Maryland. Luke Staudt was stellar with 19-saves in his second ever start and the close defense of Matt Hughes, Alex Bean, and Cam Wyers was just as good. Evan James had a hat trick while Davis Lindsey and Seth Higgins each had three points off one goal and two assists. That core led what looks to be a rejuvenated Loyola offense. I didn’t foresee the Greyhounds jumping into my rankings at the outset of the weekend but Charlie Toomey’s squad has certainly impressed.
16. Jacksonville (1-1)
For a second consecutive season, the Jacksonville Dolphins have upset the Duke Blue Devils and this time it came on the Dolphins home turf as John Danowski’s squad made the trip south. With Max Waldbaum out through the first two games, midfielder Brandon Galloway has taken the reigns with a hat trick in each of the first two games of the season. Freshman Jack Taylor showed up with a hat trick to help get past Duke. Luke Millican has continued to be a solid anchor for a younger defense that showed a ton o growth on Saturday and had an especially good second half.
17. Duke (2-1)
Am I dropping Duke too far? I considered not moving them out of the top 10 from the preseason, but I couldn’t justify putting them above Jacksonville. The offensive core of Brennan O’Neill, Andrew McAdorey, and Dyson Williams has been very solid and led the way in blowout wins over Bellarmine and High Point. Against Jacksonville, On Saturday, O’Neill had five goals while Williams had three. McAdorey started at midfield and went 1-1. Duke is still coming together as a whole and what its true depth looks like is to be determined.
18. Navy (3-0)
The Midshipmen had to fight to hold onto the 13-12 victory against Hofstra over the weekend. Navy has also beaten Mount St. Mary’s and Queens as one of a very few 3-0 teams at this point. Xavier Arline had a career-high seven points (3G/4A) on Saturday while Henry Tolker had five goals and Mac Haley had a hat trick. The attack unit has been more productive and the midfield presence of Patrick Skalniak and Dane Swanson hasn’t faded away. Pat Ryan and Dan Daly sharing time in cage has headlined a solid defense. Its hard to tell exactly how good Navy is at this time, and they do have issues at the faceoff dot, but the Midshipmen proven to be solid through three games.
19. Saint Joseph’s (1-0)
I didn’t move Saint Joseph’s from its preseason ranking for the same reason I stated above with respect to North Carolina and Delaware. The Hawks defeated Sacred Heart soundly, 17-5, on Saturday afternoon in a game where Zach Cole went 74% at the dot.
20. Vermont (1-1)
I puzzled over this final spot a bit. I was unsure if I should drop Denver out, leave Brown in (who hasn’t played yet) or move Vermont in. Ultimately, I chose to place the Catamounts at this final spot. After a close loss to Syracuse in its opener, Vermont beat Boston U. 14-12 on Saturday. The Catamounts held a 13-6 lead entering the fourth quarter and had to ward off the Terriers’ comeback. How the offense has come together with the likes of Brock Haley and Jonas Hunter, among others, moving into bigger roles has been pleasing. Matt Shaffer has been crucial as a first-year starter in cage, posting a 70% save percentage against Syracuse and 56% save percentage against Boston U. The remainder of the defense, as well as faceoff man Tommy Burke have been as advertised.
Others Considered: Denver, Brown, Boston U., Syracuse, Michigan