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With the 2021 NCAA DI men's lacrosse season in full swing, the weekly rankings are back, listing out the nation's top-20 teams.
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UNC to No. 1, Hopkins Emerges: NCAA DI Men’s Weekly Rankings Week 5 Ballots

Our weekly rankings are in!

There was quite a bit of shuffling in the poll despite about a quarter of the top 20 not playing this week. The craziest movement was how UNC leaped into the No. 1 spot. The Tar Heels received the same number of No. 1 votes as they did a week ago, but after Maryland’s game against Rutgers and Duke’s weaker strength of schedule, a handful of voters shifted their No. 1 vote from the Blue Devils to the Terps. The change in points was enough to shift UNC to the top of the heap and take the top spot. There was some other small shuffling, but the biggest jump was Johns Hopkins entering the poll at No. 15.

Public ballots and weekly rankings are nothing without praise and shame, so here is our scoreboard:

Ryan Conwell’s picks aligning with the national poll: 5

Nick Zoroya’s picks aligning with the national poll: 7

Everyone agreeing: just Maryland at No. 3

If you’d like to see our previous polls, you can find them here:

Week 0 | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4


RC’s Ballot – NZ’s Ballot

National Poll

2021 NCAA DI Men’s Weekly Rankings – Week 5 Top 20

Note: The following are the official Inside Lacrosse Media Poll ballots are from Lacrosse All Stars’ Ryan Conwell and Nick Zoroya.

1 North Carolina (RC) – Duke (NZ)

National Poll: North Carolina (7-0)

RC: UNC hand to fend off Virginia to come away with the win, but I still feel like it’s the best team in the country right now.

NZ: Standing pat with a beatdown of HPU and Jacksonville. Not much to see here, business as usual.

2 Duke (RC) – North Carolina (NZ)

National Poll: Duke (8-0)

RC: The Duke dismantling of High Point was almost enough for me to push it to the No. 1 spot in my weekly rankings. But the Blue Devils are now entering the ACC schedule, so we’ll see where they stand for real soon enough.

NZ: The Tar Heels dominated the first half but nearly blew it against a very talented UVA team. They have all of the pieces, they just need them all clicking at all times.

3 Maryland (RC) – Maryland (NZ)

National Poll: Maryland (4-0)

RC: We all agree! Take it away, Nick!

NZ: In what was probably the best first half of lacrosse this year, the Terps played Rutgers tight before pulling away in the fourth, proving they’re still the team to beat in the Big Ten.

4 Rutgers (RC) – Georgetown (NZ)

National Poll: Georgetown (4-0)

RC: I’m that guy. I left Rutgers where it was. Yes, Maryland went a big old run very quickly, but outside of that, Rutgers has been a top-five team. Had Georgetown played Denver as scheduled, that may have changed things for me, so stay tuned for a week.

NZ: Idle this week, but I have Georgetown up two spots in my weekly rankings because of Virginia and Rutgers losses.

5 Army (RC) – Syracuse (NZ)

National Poll: Syracuse (3-1)

RC: Army was idle, so it hovered for me.

NZ: I’ve been slowly letting the Orange creep up my board. I refused to have a knee jerk reaction to the games following Army, but they seem to have figured things out.

6 Syracuse (RC) – Rutgers (NZ)

National Poll: Rutgers (3-1)

RC: Cuse is still working on itself a bit, but it beat Stony Brook as it was expected to. With Duke looming (with the Hofstra game likely not happening), things are going to get serious again.

NZ: Clearly a top-10 team. Rutgers played Maryland tight for 75 percent of the game. It just needs to find a way to tighten up the D against a top-three team if it wants a chance in the rematch.

7 Georgetown (RC) – Virginia (NZ)

National Poll: Army (3-1)

RC: I really, really, really wanted to see Georgetown play Denver. But alas, we wait. Thanks, snow.

NZ: Dropping in my weekly rankings, which still put them ahead of the national poll, are the Cavaliers. I refuse to punish great teams for close losses in the ACC.

8 Virginia (RC) – Notre Dame (NZ)

National Poll: Notre Dame (2-0)

RC: Like what Nick said, I can’t punish UVA for dropping that game to UNC. But I did swap it with Georgetown, anyway. A slight slap on the wrist.


9 Notre Dame (RC) – Denver (NZ)

National Poll: Virginia (5-2)

RC: No game for the Irish, no movement.


10 Denver (RC) – Lehigh (NZ)

National Poll: Lehigh (3-0)

RC: Denver was idle, and I kept it where it was.

NZ: Man, is it fun having Lehigh playing again. Sure, it beat Bucknell, but after defeating Loyola last week, the Warhawks are now my No. 10.

11 Lehigh (RC) – Loyola (NZ)

National Poll: Denver (5-2)

RC: Lehigh also hovered for me. I like the Bucknell win, but I like the teams ahead of this one more at the moment.

NZ: Loyola beat Lafayette, which was enough reason for me to keep it right where it belongs.

12 Loyola (RC) – Army (NZ)

National Poll: Loyola (3-2)

RC: A win for the Greyhounds, but they’re still slotted behind Lehigh.


13 Ohio State (RC) – Ohio State (NZ)

National Poll: UMass (1-0)

RC: I brought Ohio State up a spot in my weekly rankings because of Penn State falling.

NZ: A good win against a very streaky Michigan team. Ohio State is in a race for third in the Big Ten.

14 UMass (RC) – UMass (NZ)

National Poll: Ohio State (2-2)

RC: It was great to see UMass on the field again. It had the most frustrating preseason of just about any team in the country with a ton of cancellations and postponements, so this game was a huge moral victory. Oh, and the Minutemen good.

NZ: OMG you guys they did it, they finally played a game. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Minutemen, but all things considered a win is a win, especially when you haven’t had outside competition yet.

15 Johns Hopkins (RC) – Richmond (NZ)

National Poll: Johns Hopkins (2-2)

RC: Count me as impressed. The Hopkins openers was SO bad, but it’s been slowly getting better. This was a win it really needed to show it is to be taken seriously this year.

NZ: I moved Richmond up two spots for dominating a team it should have, but also because Albany and Penn State lost in front of it.

16 Richmond (RC) – Penn State (NZ)

National Poll: Navy (2-0)

RC: Richmond won, but it mostly moves up in my poll due to Penn State dropping.

NZ: The defense struggled to clear, O’Keefe cant get the good looks and seems increasingly frustrated, and the team has no offensive identity as of yet. The Nittany Lions caught Hopkins acting like the JHU we all thought we were getting preseason, and they looked overwhelmed.

17 Hofstra (RC) – Hofstra (NZ)

National Poll: Penn State (1-3)

RC: Even though Hofstra didn’t play, it moves up because of Penn State.

NZ: Idle but moves up in my rankings because of Albany loss.

18 Vermont (RC) – Johns Hopkins (NZ)

National Poll: Delaware (5-1)

RC: Vermont’s follow-up to the good Cuse showing was exactly what it needed. The Catamounts went into Albany and controlled that game. This is definitely a team to take seriously.

NZ: See Penn State for the beat down break down. Welcome back, Jays.

19 Penn State (RC) – Vermont (NZ)

National Poll: Vermont (2-2)

RC: I dropped Penn State a bit further than others in my rankings, but that’s mostly because it is really trending in the wrong direction right now. And especially this year when the B1G isn’t playing out of conference games, you do NOT want to be the No. 5 team in the league. Right now, Penn State is.

NZ: Put some respect on their name. Yes, they opened the season with a three-goal loss to Bryant, but game one in a Covid year seems extra irrelevant (see Syracuse and Johns Hopkins). The Catamounts lost to Cuse by four, beat Lowell by 14, and recently bested Albany. They have the talent, but can that talent produce consistently?

20 UMBC (RC) – Albany (NZ)

National Poll: Hofstra (3-1)

RC: No game for the Retrievers, but they hover for me.

NZ: When you lose to Vermont, you slip five spots. A lot of upside at Albany, but things are starting slow.

RC’s Dropped Out:

High Point (15), Albany (19)

Both of these teams make good arguments for being top-20 teams, but High Point looked really bad against Duke, and I didn’t feel great about that. Albany is still getting its legs under it after a rocky start to the season with Covid issues, so it needs a few more games to figure things out.

NZ’s Dropped Out:

Navy (19), High Point (20)

Navy – Idle, but more dates mean more informed decisions.

HPU – Still convinced this is a 18/19/20 team, but playing an ACC schedule doesn’t help the voters.

RC’s Next Teams In:

These are the ones with the best shot at making the top 20 in the coming weeks, not in order: Navy, Albany, High Point, Delaware.

NZ’s Next Teams In:

Navy, High Point, Delaware, RMU, Marist.

Don’t ever sleep on RMU! As for Marist, don’t be surprised if it cracks the top 20. NEED MORE DATA!

RC’s Who Did I Leave Out?

Navy (17), Delaware (18)

I had Navy out, and it’s still idle. Made more sense to add in Hopkins and Vermont at this point. Delaware is warranting attention, but I’m just not feeling top 20 yet. It’s still likely to win tits next three games working through the CAA schedule until it faces its next big match with Hofstra.

NZ’s Who Did I Leave Out?

Navy (17), Delaware (18)