(Photo Courtesy of Loyola Athletics)
The first truly fully weekend of college lacrosse has passed. The Ivy League is back, as well as Notre Dame and multiple others. And once again, madness has ensued to prove early on that this season may be as wide open as any year in recent memory.
While I don’t have an official vote, here is a look at my own personal top 20 after another wild weekend of action.
1. Virginia Cavaliers (2-0)
Virginia is the best team in college lacrosse thus far. And it’s not even close. The Cavaliers took it to Harvard in a 25-21 win on Saturday and that final score is very misleading. The Cavaliers led 20-8 at the half. Behind a 10-point outing from Connor Shellenberger, Virginia took it to Harvard from the get go.
2. Cornell Big Red (1-0)
3. Princeton Tigers (1-0)
I am putting Cornell and Princeton together right here because I chose no move neither after each won their opener. Cornell beat UAlbany in a 12-10 game that was closer than I expected. Princeton took it to Monmouth in a 22-9 victory.
4. Notre Dame (2-0)
Notre Dame got things underway this weekend and took care of business as expected, beating Marquette in a midweek game before earning a win against Cleveland State on Sunday. The Kavanagh brothers, along with Jeffery Ricciardelli, Eric Dobson, and others have showcased this offenses depth and firepower through two contest.
5. Maryland (2-1)
Maryland got back in the win column on Saturday with a 15-12 victory over Syracuse. While the Terrapins were never able to fully pull away until late, the success of Luke Wierman at the faceoff dot helped them never trail and guaranteed those extra possessions for the offense.
6. Loyola (2-0)
Outside of the top-ranked squad, Loyola may be the hottest team in college lacrosse. The Greyhounds upset Maryland in week one and then absolutely took it to Johns Hopkins in what ended up being a 13-8 victory. The Loyola defense once again had itself a strong day with Cam Wyers (3GB/3CT) and Matt Hughes (7GB/2CT) headlining that talent unit at close.
7. Penn (1-0)
The Penn Quakers opened their season on Saturday with a 9-7 victory over the Georgetown Hoyas in which the Quaker defense showed out. Ethan Till led the way out in front of the cage with three caused turnovers while Emmet Carroll made 18 saves with a 72% save percentage.
8. Yale (1-0)
Yale’s defense may still be a work in progress. However, its offense appears to be picking right up where they left off last season. Chris Lyons scored a career-high nine goals in the Bulldogs’ 20-14 victory over Villanova on Sunday. Matt Brandau had seven points (4G/3A) while Leo Johnson (2G/3A) had five points.
9. Ohio State (3-0)
The Buckeyes moved to 3-0 on Sunday afternoon with an 8-5 win over North Carolina. Ohio State scored five fourth-quarter goals in the win and once again leaned on a number of transfers with Kyle Borda tallying two of those scores during the game-winning run.
10. Delaware (3-0)
Once again, Delaware took care of business on Saturday. The Blue Hens defeated St. John’s 16-9.
11. North Carolina (2-1)
North Carolina was one of the team’s in which I was most unsure about coming into the season. They may be better than I expected. How much better, though? I am unsure. The Tar Heels exploded in the second half to beat Johns Hopkins on Tuesday and the inverse happen to them on Sunday against Ohio State.
12. Rutgers (2-1)
I dropped Rutgers two spots from last week. The Scarlet Knights didn’t look bad and got a huge day from Ross Scott. However, they lost what was an absolute shootout with the Black Knights of Army. Improving at the faceoff dot looks like it very well could be the biggest hole in this team once more this season.
13. Georgetown (0-2)
Has Georgetown been the most disappointing team thus far? Maybe. The Hoyas once again had offensive struggles, scoring just seven goals in a loss to Penn on Saturday. Its a long season and there is certainly a lot that Georgetown needs to show, and most of that lies on offense.
14. Vermont (2-1)
Vermont earned its second win of the season on Saturday with a 14-13 overtime defeat of Utah. David Closterman (4G/1A), Brock Haley (2G/2A), and James Basile (2G/2A) led an offense that continues to show improvement week to week.
15. Jacksonville (2-1)
Jacksonville took care of business with a 13-5 win over Marist in a game that saw Dylan Watson find the back of the net four times.
16. Saint Joseph’s (2-0)
Saint Joseph’s defeated the Towson Tigers 16-13 in one of the best mid-major games of the day. Zach Cole went 63% at the dot and score twice for the Hawks.
17. Johns Hopkins (2-2)
Johns Hopkins started the season strong with two big victories. However, the Blue Jays offense seemed to stall out in Tuesday’s loss to North Carolina and Saturday’s loss to Loyola. The defense also seemed to regress and get slower as the game went on, and the faceoff success just wasn’t there.
18. Duke (2-1)
Despite beating Denver in overtime on Friday night, I decided to drop Duke one spot. O’Neill proved to the be the hero of the night and has been very good, as has the rest of that attack. However, once again, I find myself asking what exactly to make of this Duke offense.
19. Army West Point (1-1)
I have moved the Black Knights into the top 20 for the first time this year following its victory at home against Rutgers on Saturday. Between Reese Burek’s five goals, Will Coletti’s dominance at the faceoff dot, and the Black Knights ability to constantly hit back at Rutgers, this team is impressive.
20. Boston U. (1-1)
I moved the Terriers back into the top 20 after their 16-15 overtime victory over Bryant on Saturday.
Others Considered: Syracuse, Denver, Villanova, Michigan, UMass