This past week of NCAA play was an adventure to put it lightly. With upsets all around the league, the conference comparison picture is not going to be any clearer for another week or two. That is, with one exception. The Big Ten is already proving to be very strong. The downside? One of their top preseason teams was routed for the only loss the conference has seen so far. Their schedule has been a little on the weak side to date, so we would hope to see them doing pretty well, but winning nine out of your first ten games is impressive no matter what.
The CAA also made their debut this past week with excellent results. Their only loss was an overtime game with UMass losing to Army. But, Towson has shown they are likely the favorites going forward with their dominant showing against Hopkins. Plus, Hofstra beat Lehigh to balance out the head to head with the Patriot League. Speaking of the Patriot League, their overall record isn’t great. But, how about that win for Colgate over ‘Cuse? Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane.
READ MORE: Check out Ryan Conwell’s Inside Lacrosse Media Poll ballot for this week here.
In 2018, The Patriot League as a whole finished just above .500. Loyola was the best team, and but Navy was showing some major promise with a late ‘Cuse upset. Army faded through the season, but Bucknell, BU, and Lehigh all made big pushes. The expectation was for much of that to carry over into 2019. While Colgate had the same final conference record as BU (and the head to head win), they fell to Lehigh for the second time that season. But, this was a Colgate team that beat Cornell. Like, 14-11 beat Cornell. That was enough to pull Colgate into the top 20, but Cornell only was receiving votes at the time. Eventually, Cornell would finish at No. 8, beat Yale for the Ivy championship, but ultimately would fall to Maryland in the NCAA second round. Colgate on the other hand, lost their next three games, and would lose five of their last six to end the season. Most notably, their last game was a 17-5 rout at the hand of none other than Syracuse. What a different a year makes.
For Syracuse, they are the poster child of a struggling ACC. The ACC is just 4-3 out of conference right now and are currently in the fifth spot in our conference comparison as Cuse, Virginia and Duke all lost this past week. Duke was first, falling at home to High Point. High Point looked very good and was beating Duke in every aspect of the game. The story was not too different for ‘Cuse. They let Colgate jump out on them early, and never recovered. They almost came back, but almost was not enough. Where ‘Cuse really needs to focus this next week against Albany is between the lines. In the scrimmage against Yale, their clearing was really struggling. It felt rushed. Against Colgate, this was no different. Passes were thrown away, there were missed opportunities and poor clock awareness. They still had bright spots, though. Brett Kennedy is lethal in transition as an LSM. He scored a goal due to absolutely nothing other than speed. But the ‘Cuse SSDMs not named Dearth need to step up if this team is going to hold more teams to shot clock violations and create transition threats. If they have numbers, setting up their Orange attack in an unsettled situation will work. But they can’t just rely on the poles to do it all year.
As always, here are the past two years of conference comparison for reference.