Tanner’s Top 20: Week Nine

Easter weekend is in the books and once more we have shake up among the top teams.

While I don’t have an official vote, here is a look at my own personal top 20 after week seven of the 2023 season.

Let’s Go!

1. Virginia Cavaliers (7-2)

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1)

I am putting these two together this week because both had similar wins last weekend. Virginia went into Chapel Hill and blasted North Carolina 19-12. Notre Dame welcomed in top-ranked Duke and put in a beatdown, 17-12. Both teams were able to pull away as they avalanched goals at points in the game while their defenses held firm on the other end. Is it a two-horse race between the Irish and Cavaliers? One weekend won’t tell that but they are certainly the top two teams right now.

3. Maryland Terrapins (6-3)

Unfortunately, the glove incident took a lot of oxygen out of Maryland’s win. Luke Wierman’s dominance at the dot helped aide the Terrapins in the comeback victory. Braden Erska put home the game-winner just 54 seconds into overtime. It was a win that showed, once again, when Maryland is down that they will find a way to win.

4. Duke Blue Devils (10-2)

After a really good win over Virginia a week prior, Duke went into South Bend and their winning streak halted at eight. Brennan O’Neill was held to just one goal and the Blue Devils defense had no answer or the Irish offense.

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-3)

Just when it looked like Johns Hopkins was going to pull more of its late-game magic out of the hat, Penn State was there to shut them down with a Jack Fracyon-anchored defense that stood tall late. On the other end, Kevin Winkoff showed off the ice in his veins as he put home both the game-tying goal near the end of regulation and the game-winner in OT.

6. Georgetown Hoyas (6-3)

Georgetown has now won six in a row with its 13-11 victory over Providence being the latest. They gutted one out over the weekend, 13-11, against a Providence team with a hot goalie. Tucker Dordevic (4G/1A) and Jacob Kelly (3G/3A) led the way for the Hoyas.

7. Cornell Big Red (7-2)

The Big Red now have two losses on the season after falling 10-8 to Harvard over the weekend. Similar to its earlier loss, Cornell had trouble breaking through the opposing defense. That was especially true late as they were unable to convert opportunities to get back in the game.

8. Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (9-4)

Johns Hopkins exploded out of the gate and exploded late in the game. However, while it looked like Hopkins would ride its typical script to a win, the Blue Jays would falter 12-11 in an incredible overtime contest versus Penn State.

9. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-3)

Coming into the weekend, nobody in the Big Ten needed a win more than Rutgers. In the end, the Scarlet Knights would get that much-needed win to avoid dripping to 0-3 in league play as they topped Michigan 13-12 in overtime.

10. Army West Point (9-1)

I am not quite sure if Army need to be at this spot but they did win over the weekend and I am not sure who else would fit here. The Black Knights had to hold off a potential upset at Colgate in a 10-9 win. It was another strange game for the Black Knights.

11. Utah Utes (6-4)

Utah has now beaten Jacksonville, Air Force, Robert Morris, and Bellarmine, as well as Detroit Mercy. Those five wins came in a row and almost ensure them the top seed in the ASUN. Last weekend, the Utes blasted Robert Morris on the road in a 26-16 win that saw them explode in the second half.

12. Jacksonville Dolphins (9-2)

Jacksonville blasted Queens 25-5.

13. Delaware Blue Hens (8-3)

Delaware blasted Fairfield 17-7 in a game where Tye Kurtz (4G/1A) became the Delaware and CAA all-time leader in career points.

14. North Carolina Tar Heels (7-3)

I pondered if this was far enough to drop North Carolina or if I should drop them a spot or two further. The Tar Heels were simply dominated in every way by Virginia in a 19-12 loss on Friday.

15. Loyola Greyhounds (6-3)

Once more, Loyola showed an inability to recapture what they had earlier in the season. This time, the Greyhounds dropped an 11-10 decision to Navy on Friday.

16. Michigan Wolverines (5-4)

Along with Hopkins and Ohio State, Michigan had the best loss of the weekend. The Wolverines showed a lot being able to comeback and force overtime on the road against the Scarlet Knights. Ultimately, however, they came up short.

17. Denver Pioneers (5-4)

One of my biggest questions coming out of the weekend is what to make of Denver. The Pioneers dropped a 13-6 decision to Georgetown a week prior before beating Villanova by almost the same score, 12-6. Holding Matt Campbell off the board, the Denver defense has one of its best games of the year.

18. Villanova Wildcats (8-3)

Villanova fell at Denver 12-6 in a game where Matt Campbell was held off the board and its offense struggled against a fired up Denver D.

19. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-5)

Once more, glove gate overshadowed what was a great game. Led by a five-goal day from Ed Shean, the Buckeyes offense looked very good against the Maryland D for most of the game. In the end, however, Ohio State’s faceoff woes hurt them and they couldn’t stop the late-game Terrapins spurt that won them the game in OT.

20. Drexel Dragons (7-3)

It came down to Bryant and Drexel for this spot. Ultimately, I went with the Dragons. Winning each of their last five games, the Dragons are 3-0 in the CAA for the first time since 2007. That includes a 15-14 overtime win over Stony Brook last week.

Others Considered: Penn, Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Bryant, Saint Joseph’s

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