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The Best Cornell Attack Unit In Years, Syracuse A Surprise No. 1 And More: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Recap — Week 4

The 2020 NCAA Men’s Division I lacrosse season is starting to take shape as we leave Week 4 to head into Week 5, with teams fighting for position for postseason play in May.

2020 NCAA Men’s Division I Lacrosse: Week 4 Top Moments

Note: Take a look at this week’s Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. All references to team rankings are based on that poll for the different week’s rankings.

Top Matchups

Syracuse – Hobart

A lot of eyes were on this matchup to see if Hobart could prove itself and the frenetic scoring pace it had established against lower-ranked opponents against the top competition in the NCAA. The Orange came into this game as the No. 3 team in the country, which provided a perfect opportunity for Hobart. The aftermath was that Syracuse walked away with the 21-13 win after capitalizing on opportunities against the Hobart defense and forcing its offense to post its lowest goal total in a game for the year. To the victor goes the Kraus-Simmons trophy, or something like that.

The game was relatively close throughout, with the Orange adding to its four-goal lead at the end of the third quarter to achieve the eight-point score differential in the win.

Interestingly, while Penn State, who was ranked ahead of Syracuse, won this past weekend over a Penn team that went into the matchup being ranked No. 9 in the nation, stayed put in this week’s poll after No. 1 after Yale’s loss to UMass. So far, Yale has been the only team over the past year-and-a-half or so that has actually beaten Penn State, which should strengthen Penn State’s argument to be the nation’s top team depending on Yale’s total-season performance.

Apparently Syracuse’s No. 1 ranking came while other teams like Penn State actually generated more first-place votes. Although Syracuse is a great team and could very well be the top team in the country at the end of the season, based on strength of wins and teams’ schedules thus far there could be an argument that other teams might be more qualified for the No. 1 spot based on their resume thus far. The Orange will have a chance to prove themselves the rest of the season.

Penn – Penn State

This was the big game most people were excited for heading into this weekend. The No. 2 Nittany Lions took on No. 9 Penn in a cross-state rivalry that saw Penn State establish supremacy in the Quaker State in an 18-17 overtime win on the game-winner by who else, Mac O’Keefe.

The overtime winner gave O’Keefe a two-goal lead in career goals scored in the Big Ten as he moved into the top-spot in conference history earlier in the game on his third goal, passing Johns Hopkins’ Terry Riordan.

O’Keefe shone for the Nittany Lions, having four goals and an assist to lead Penn State in scoring while last year’s Tewaaraton-finalist Grant Ament had two goals and two assists. Jack Traynor added four goals himself to help in Penn State’s scoring effort. Colby Kneese had 18 saves in cage.

Dylan Gerger led all scorers with six points on five goals and one assist.

UMass – Yale

Ryan Conwell mentioned in a previous ‘Is This Poll Serious?!’ article at the beginning of the season that UMass was one of those teams that was on borrowed time. The Minutemen have answered the call much like they did in 1776 over the last stretch of games, as UMass has beaten then No. 12 Ohio State and now No. 1 Yale in addition to wins over Harvard and UMass-Lowell. It’s lone loss since its season-opening loss to Army was to Harvard by one goal.

This was Yale’s first loss this season after wins over Villanova and Penn State. TD Ierlan went a ridiculous 20-for-26 at the faceoff X but couldn’t overcome UMass in the 10-13 loss. Matt Gaudet went off for five goals in the loss to match UMass’ Billy Philpott’s five point performance of four goals and an assist to lead all scorers in the game.

NCAA Lacrosse Quick Mentions

  • Cornell had a 17-16 win over Ohio State to move to 3-0 on the year with an attack unit led by Jeff Teat that has been praised as one of the best units since Rob Pannell’s line himself since, well, virtually Rob Pannell himself. Check out the tweet below.

  • No. 8 Maryland beat No. 5 Notre Dame behind Logan Wisnauskas’ five goals.