Editor’s Note: Each week, I submit my ballot for the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Then, I explain my vote with brief explanations for why I have different teams in different spots.
This was a pretty crazy week once again where the team I had as my number one lost. That happens, but I’m certainly not alone in that fact. But, before giving away too much, let’s dive into the ballot:
1 Towson LW: 6 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll:1
W 12-10 vs Loyola
A huge win for the Tigers vaults them up to the top spot this week. With Maryland losing, I honestly thought Towson would be unanimous, but the Big Red pulled in a few votes. Lucky for us, Sunday March 10th in Charlotte, these two face off. If they both win Friday, this will literally be a game for first place.
2 Cornell LW: 3 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 2
W 17-16 vs Albany
Cornell is scaring me a bit, but if their defense kicks in, they’ll be terrifying. But, this offense is as electric as I thought they would be in the preseason. Jeff Teat is currently fourth in the country in points per game. A mere .33 PPG ahead of Towson’s Brendan Sunday.
3 Penn State LW: 5 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 4
W 15-14 vs Penn
Penn Stats survived this one, but they’re still rolling along. They have the country’s leading scorer, the second highest scoring offense, best scoring margin in the country, best man-up in the county, and second best shooting percentage. They’re doing OK.
4 Loyola LW: 1 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 3
L 12-10 vs Towson, W 19-15 vs Holy Cross
Loyola had a bit of a setback against a good Towson team, so I wasn’t going to drop them far. They got beat. What did scare me was how close Holy Cross was keeping their game for so long. The Hounds pulled away eventually, but the Patriot Madness almost took over.
5 Yale LW: 4 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 4
W 12-11 vs UMass
Yale’s learning what it’s like to be the king. They’ve been a big game for a few years, now they’re THE game on everyone’s schedule. Last week I harped on UMass’ shooting. They’re among the worst in the country, but jumped up to 40% in this game. If they keep that up, they’ll be a dangerous team. This near win over Yale proves that.
6 Maryland LW: 2 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 7
L 13-14 vs Notre Dame
I’m not going to drop Maryland too far for an overtime road loss in a field house. But the Terps are not a dominant team right now, just a really good team. As much as everyone loves to credit Duke for getting better through the season, nobody improves like Maryland. They’re freakishly consistent and the wins will keep coming Albany is a virtual lock up next. They don’t lose two in a row.
7 Duke LW: 7 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 6
W 11-7 vs. Richmond
This game felt eerily similar the the Jacksonville game. The Spiders we close all night, then came just a little bit short. Duke closed out well and did not let Richmond come back into it. They score the keys goals, and made the stops when they had to. It really was a solid performance by the Blue Devils on the road.
8 Denver LW: 8 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 8
W 12-10 vs UNC
This is the best win for Denver so far. If you only weight their schedule and don’t care about expectations, this is not a number eight team. But with Notre Dame next, a win would cement them as a top 10 team without reservation. It’s also in California, which adds some more fun to it.
9 Notre Dame LW:11 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 10
W 14-13 vs Maryland
Notre Dame got a good win with this one. It was also sorely needed given the loss to Richmond. That loss is still why Notre Dame is back here instead up up in the top five. With Denver and Virginia next, they will really show where they belong.
10 Villanova LW: 9 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 11
W 17-9 vs Delaware
After shocking Yale with the win in Connecticut, the Wildcats are now winners of three straight. Penn and Drexel are great local rivalry games that could catch them. But coming out on top would mean bringing a 5-1 record down to Maryland.
11 UVA LW: 15 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 13
W 15-14 vs. Cuse
Virginia stole this one in the Dome, but it wasn’t by chance. As much as the UVA defense was struggling to handle the Syracuse middies, they won key faceoffs in the end and their offense used the crease calls to their advantage. In their postgame comments, they confirmed that was part of their plan which led to the big penalty discrepancy. This allowed them to wear down the Orange defense just enough to exploit matchups and make the plays they needed to win.
12 Syracuse LW: 10 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 14
L 14-15 vs UVA
The Orange opened ACC play with a loss, but at least it wasn’t a bad one. They seemed to have moved on from all their mistakes that led to the Colgate loss. They’re definitely not a top 10 team at the moment, but the potential is there. If they can generate some more offense from the attack, they’ll be especially dangerous.
13 Army LW: 12 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 17
W 12-5 vs Lafayette
This was a good win for Army. They’ve played some close games, but they needed to show that they can put teams away when they should. Lehigh should be a win next, but their schedule is very backloaded. BU, Navy and Loyola in a row is how they start April, which will define their season.
14 Navy LW: 13 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 19
W 14-8 vs Bucknell
I really like Navy’s potential and this win over Bucknell was huge. Of course, I also have the benefit of writing this after Princeton torched them, but my vote from Sunday still stands. The Princeton loss is troubling, but Lafayette this weekend should help turn things around. Depending on how other teams play, the Princeton loss should drop them from the national poll, and may even from this ballot.
15 High Point LW: 14 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 12
W 16-15 vs Robert Morris
This was a needed win after a head scratcher of a loss to St. John’s. This was a good win, and the Virginia and Duke wins are looking even better. With eight games left, and only Richmond being a ranked team among them, High Point could finish the season at 13-1 going into the SoCon tournament. Even a loss in the finals there could be enough to earn an at-large spot. Which means: SoCon could be a two bid conference.
16 Richmond LW: 16 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 15
L 11-7 vs Duke
Richmond had this close for awhile, but let Duke run away with it. They’re also a great example of an almost High Point. Losses to Duke and Maryland are good losses. Wins over Bucknell, UMBC are expected, but the Notre Dame win is good. One win will not make a an NCAA team, though. It’s barely March, but they’re staring down the need for a SoCon title already. post-Tuesday update: the loss to Mount St. Mary’s is not going to help their case at all.
17 Ohio State LW: 17 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 9
W 13-9 vs Marquette
9? Really? As time goes on, the Ohio State wins are getting a little better. BU by 7 is pretty good and UMass by 4 is a decent win. They’re still 5-0, but we’re about a week and half from their three game stretch of Denver and Notre Dame back to back, which is going to be very telling.
18 Rutgers LW: 18 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 20
W 8-4 vs Fairfield
Just like Georgetown and Hopkins, Rutgers has two good losses, but no good wins. Princeton could pull off a win here and boot the Knights from the top 20 for me. Tuesday update: yeah Princeton’s probably taking over here next week.
19 Georgetown LW: UR Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 16
W 13-11 vs. Mount St. Mary’s, W 14-6 vs Hofstra
They don’t have any good wins, but they do have a good loss. Statistically, there’s nothing the Hoyas are doing that really stands out. Sounds like a perfect #19 team.
20 Hopkins LW: UR Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 18
W 14-12 vs Princeton
Hopkins is improving and their two opening loss aren’t too bad, and their two recent wins are also not too bad. I’m not going to get too optimistic with them, but I think they’re a top 20 team. How they handle the Syracuse offense will be interesting to see.
Who did I drop?:
Who did I leave out?
Nobody! We at least agree on which 20 teams, even in the order is all off.