NCAA Lacrosse: Reflections on 3/18/2013 Nike Division I Top 20 Poll
Another week of intense NCAA lacrosse action is in the books, and yet again, the Top 20 poll looks a bit different than a week ago.
The top dogs have stayed atop the polls, with Maryland, Cornell and Notre Dame coming in the top three for another week. Maryland took care of Villanova in Philadelphia this past weekend, as Cornell beat Yale and Notre Dame won a thriller against Denver.
The Syracuse Orange took a big jump after handling Johns Hopkins on Saturday, the Orange now hold the No. 4 spot in the rankings with a 4-1 record thus far. Denver is slated in the five spot, with the loss to Notre Dame being minimized by the team's effort and pushing the Irish into an overtime situation.
Hofstra, coming off two big wins against Delaware and Notre Dame in succession is sixth in the nation. They have only one loss at the hands of the Princeton Tigers, and the Pride seem to be heading in the right direction.
With a huge win at home against Princeton, the Penn Quakers jumped into the top 10 and are now ranked sixth in the new poll. The Quaker offense played good lacrosse, while their defense and goalie stood the test against a potent Princeton offense. The one-goal win puts the team in a good position in the Ivy League.
Ohio State won a shocker against Virginia last weekend, putting them in the eight spot this week. Gone are the days when UVA rolled over everyone, and the big universities from the Midwest have shown they have the goods to compete with anyone.
Defending champion Loyola is ranked ninth, with the Princeton Tigers rounding out the top 10. The Tigers will host Yale this Friday, a must win in a very tough conference this year.
Johns Hopkins dropped out of the top 10, and sit at No. 11 in the polls this week. The Blue Jays have their hands full as they face the Virginia Cavaliers. This game will certainly be intense, with both teams coming off disappointing losses.
The ACC sees Duke, UVA, and UNC ranked 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively. These teams are undoubtedly talented, but must play more consistently as they fight for the conference crown. Maryland looks like it could cruise past these teams at this point.
Lehigh, a very good squad, holds the fifteen spot, with conference foe Bucknell right on its heels in sixteenth position.
Drexel, at 5-2 in 2013, is ranked 17th in the nation. It will have to prove itself against Hofstra this week. With a win, the Dragons could surge up the polls next Monday.
Yale is the fourth Ivy League team in the Top-20, as it holds the 18th spot with a 3-2 record thus far.
Penn State and Albany round out the Top-20.
With so much movement in the rankings, it is hard to decipher between the contenders and pretenders. Other than the top three teams, I could see even more movement this week. Look for the ACC teams (other than Maryland) to get going, their rosters are just too good to stay outside the top 10.
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