Welcome back to Under the Radar! If you’re joining us for the first time, this is where we take a look at some of the lesser-covered teams, players, and stories of the week. We’re changing things up after Week 1, and will be bringing you our Under-the-Radar Team of the Week, Under-the-Radar Player of the Week and Under-the-Radar NCAA DI Men’s Lax Storylines of the Week as THREE (that’s right, count ’em THREE) separate posts. Also, look for this week’s Under-the-Radar Team of the Week here and the Under-the-Radar Player of the Week here.
Under-the-Radar NCAA DI Men’s Lax Storylines of the Week:
- Blue blood bias: I prefer results over the logo on the helmet, but it seems the national polls don’t exactly agree. No. 12 Syracuse sits above No. 18 Colgate despite the same record and a head-to-head loss (and the Raiders loss was to Maryland). At 2-2, Virginia has only dropped to No. 13, despite having two wins by a combined four goals. The worst offender in my eyes? No. 18 Johns Hopkins, who are 1-2 with a one-goal win thus far. They’ve lost games by nine and six goals respectively, but win one close game and they’re back in the top 20? C’mon, pollsters, make these teams still earn it!
- Southern Conference on the rise: Don’t look now, but the Southern has two teams in the top fifteen. No. 11 High Point finally dropped one, in a one-goal loss to St. Johns, but remains a scary good team with a Tewaaraton candidate in Asher Nolting. Meanwhile, Richmond is sitting pretty at No. 14, its sole loss coming by one goal to Maryland and with a top-ten win in its pocket now, thanks to their 9-8 win over Notre Dame. The conference’s depth might still be lacking, but the top-end talent is getting stronger.
- The suddenly vulnerable Terps’ defense: New No. 2 Maryland has long been known for great defense and top-end goaltending. So far, senior Danny Dolan has provided the latter, with 58 saves and a 58% save rate. However, he’s already seen 100 shots-on-goal, for an average of 20 per game. Not terrible, but considering that the Maryland margin of victory has been, on average, just over three goals, they’re starting to walk a fine line. One-goal wins over Richmond and Penn are better than losses, but it feels like they’re getting close to dropping one if the offense clams out for a quarter.