Once again, we’re back to take a look at my top 20 lacrosse teams I voted for in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll for Men’s NCAA DI. The only teams in my top 20 from last week that lost were Penn, Lehigh, Hopkins, Denver, Rutgers, Ohio State, and Towson. Of all of those teams, only Towson lost to a team outside of my top 20. So relatively, things were pretty sane and self-contained. Towson dropped out, which means one more team was added in. Just as a note, this week’s poll was released Monday and ballots were obviously due before then. That means that I haven’t taken any of today’s (Tuesday) games into consideration for this article, but you’ll see those games reflected in next week’s edition, like Marist’s big win over Army. So stay tuned!
For a brief refresher on what happened last weekend and to see some of the top moments, storylines and plays from Week 2 of NCAA Men’s Division I lacrosse, click here. You can also see top moments from last weekend in NCAA Women’s lacrosse as well by clicking here or take a look at some photos from Hofstra’s win over Michigan (courtesy Jeff Melnik) by clicking here.
Now, let’s take a look at my top 20 lacrosse teams after Week 2!
Is This Poll Serious?!: My NCAA Lacrosse Ballot
My Ballot: The Top 20 Lacrosse Teams In NCAA Lacrosse (Men’s Division I)
1. Penn State (Last Week: 1)
National Poll: 1
W 19-4 vs St. Joseph’s
The 3-0 Nittany Lions have done little to convince us that they don’t deserve this top spot yet. BIG game coming up with Yale this week, though.
2. UVA (Last Week: 2)
National Poll: 2
W 12-8 vs Lehigh
UVA has had the two toughest opening games of anyone in the top 10, and they have come out looking great. Princeton is up next.
3. Yale (Last Week: 3)
National Poll: 3
W 18-12 vs Villanova
Yale, like the other Ivies, played their first game and topped Villanova by six. It was a good win, but nothing compared to what could happen if they beat Penn State this week.
4. Maryland (Last Week: 4)
National Poll: 4
W 17-15 vs Penn
Maryland is officially the comeback kids. They were down 15-11 heading into the final quarter when they blanked the Quakers while putting up 6 goals in the first 10 minutes of the quarter.
5. Syracuse (Last Week: 5)
National Poll: 5
W 17-4 vs Binghamton
The Syracuse defense had a much better showing this time out, but their offense was a little more relaxed while their clearing game struggled more that it should have. Both are things that they cannot afford against Army this weekend.
6. Notre Dame (Last Week: 6)
National Poll: 6
W 17-7 vs Cleveland St
Notre Dame moved up a spot in the national poll due to Penn’s loss as they also played their first game of the season. A good early win for the Irish.
7. UNC (Last Week: 8)
National Poll: 7
W 24-8 vs Lafayette
Another beneficiary of Penn losing, they move up a spot in the national poll. The UNC offense has been nothing short of explosive this season. Their opposition hasn’t been much to date, but a reeling Hopkins is on the slate.
8. Penn (Last Week: 7)
National Poll: 8
L 15-17 vs Maryland
Penn losing this opener to Maryland did hurt their ranking a little bit, but not by much. A two-point loss in their first game to a team universally ranked higher is not that bad of the thing.
9. Duke (Last Week: 9)
National Poll: 10
W 15-13 vs Denver
Duke hovered for me, they move up three spots in the national poll. This is right about where they belong for now, though. With Penn and Richmond as their next two games, we’ll know if Duke is actually for real or not very quickly.
10. Army (Last Week: 15)
National Poll: 9
W 19-1 vs NJIT
W 15-4 vs Rutgers
Army is one of the handfuls of teams with three games under their belt, and with two of them being UMass and Rutgers, may have the most impressive resume to date. They also made a bigger jump this week because nearly every team in front of them lost this week.
11. Cornell (Last Week: 11)
National Poll: 11
W 19-10 vs Albany
Cornell’s first game against Albany produced what we thought it would produce. A goal and four assists from Jeff Teat and another five goals from Jonathan Donville to lead the Big Red. Towson and High Point are up next, which seemed like much bigger games a few weeks ago.
12. Loyola (Last Week: 18)
National Poll: 12
W 10-7 vs Hopkins
Loyola won the neighborly battle over Hopkins, which was a good way to rebound from the Virginia loss. With all the talk about departures for them from last year, it’s also clear that Kevin Lindley is more than prepared to lead this team, adding another four goals this week.
13. Lehigh (Last Week: 10)
National Poll: 18
L 8-12 vs UVA
Hovered nationally, I dropped them three spots. I do have Lehigh much higher than most teams, and I do feel they are going to be a very good team this year. But staying as a top 10 team will have to be dependent on some quality wins.
14. Georgetown (Last Week: 17)
National Poll: 14
W 14-8 vs UMBC
Georgetown is mostly still riding expectations at this point. They don’t face anyone that we expect to really challenge them until March 14th, when they go down to North Carolina. Fairfield and Mount St. Mary’s are next up.
15. Denver (Last Week: 13)
National Poll: 13
L 13-15 vs Duke
Denver slid a little bit nationally, but they had a good shot at this upset against Duke. They have a doubleheader weekend with some easier games against St. Bonaventure and Cleveland State. But then they go into a full gauntlet of North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.
16. Hopkins (Last Week: 12)
National Poll: 15
L 10-7 vs Loyola
The win over Towson isn’t looking as good now, but the loss to Loyola wasn’t terrible. It just means the Hopkins is much more in line for a ranking here in the teens for now. But with UNC and Syracuse being two of their next three games, things may get worse before they get better.
17. Rutgers (Last Week: 14)
National Poll: Unranked
L 4-15 vs Army
I know Rutgers is unranked by everyone else, but I still don’t want to completely drop them just for Army just yet. Their other two wins are solid, and they have a closer matchup with Loyola this week. A big loss, and they’ll be on the outside looking in. A win and I’ll feel a little more justified in keeping them here.
18. UMass (Last Week: 19)
National Poll: Unranked
W 9-7 vs Ohio State
UMass really had my back this week. Since I left them in the top 20 even after the Army loss, there was not much hope. But topping Ohio State was a big win for the Minutemen. Next up are a pair of winnable in-state games with Harvard and UMass-Lowell.
19. Ohio State (Last Week: 16)
National Poll: 19
L 7-9 vs UMass
Ohio State had the biggest drop of the week, being at ten the week before, nationally. Their preseason expectations were incredibly high, and these first three games are not reinforcing those expectations much.
20. Providence (Last Week: Unranked)
National Poll: Unranked
W 16-9 vs Bryant
There were several teams considered here, most notably Air Force, but the 3-0 Friars seem to have a nice little run coming together. Wins over BU, Holy Cross, and Bryant are checking off most of their nearby rivals, which are important games for them. If they really are this good, it’s conceivable that they could be 9-0 heading into the Big East portion of the schedule.
Follow a loss to Hopkins, the hope was for the Tigers to bounce back with Mount St. Mary’s. A loss again to wind up at 0-2 means they definitely fall from the top 20 for me.
Teams Just Outside Of My Top 20 Lacrosse Teams Ballot:
These are the ones with the best shot at making the top 20 in the coming weeks, not in order: Richmond, Air Force, Delaware, Hofstra, and Navy.
Who Did I Leave Out Of My Poll?
Air Force (Inside Lacrosse Week 2 ranking: 16)
Richmond (Inside Lacrosse Week 2 ranking: 17)
Delaware (Inside Lacrosse Week 2 ranking: 20)
I would be lying if I said I did not consider all three of these teams to be in my 20th spot, which was wide open this week. Delaware’s win over Mount St. Mary’s is slightly more interested in light of the Towson loss, but the NJIT game did not tell us as much. With Richmond, it’s still not clear in the Maryland game was a fluke or not. Air Force looked great in the Duke opener, but the loss to Denver was not great, and the one-point win over Utah does not instill much confidence yet.
Who would you as your top 20 lacrosse teams in your NCAA Lacrosse ballot for the Men’s Division I poll? Share in the comments or tag us on social media (@LaxAllStars).