As we roll along into the heart of the college lacrosse season, the Ivy League race is beginning to heat up. In a year of upsets and unpredictability, the teams in the Ivy League have proven that they are one of the deepest conferences in the country.
When we used to think of the Ivy League, loyal lacrosse fans would picture Princeton and Cornell dueling for conference championships. In recent years, however, the competition has increased and the conference has seen some different teams with a lot of success.
Last year, Princeton won the regular season crown and therefore hosted the Ivy League tournament at Sherrerd Field in New Jersey. At the tournament, Yale got on a roll and took the conference crown, gaining an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
This year, Yale is back in the mix, and Princeton and Cornell can play with anyone in the country. To make things even more interesting, the Penn Quakers are one of the best teams in the country, defeating Duke and Princeton thus far. They are ranked seventh in the new poll, while Princeton sits at 10th and Cornell holds onto their No. 2 spot in the country.
With four Ivy League teams ranked in the Top 20, conference play certainly has a lot on the line. The Brown Bears are also having a quietly successful season with a 4-1 record in 2013. They must prove themselves against more prominent teams if they want to be ranked in the upcoming weeks.
The league is 26-12 collectively, an impressive record considering many tough out-of-conference games early in the season.
Harvard and Dartmouth are both 2-3 so far, with the Big Green suffering a 13-5 loss at the hands of the North Carolina Tar Heels last night.
In upcoming conference action, Princeton will host Yale in a nationally televised matchup on Friday night at 5 p.m. The Tigers defeated Yale in five overtimes during the regular season last year, but Yale got the last laugh by winning the conference tournament on Princeton's home turf.
In another huge matchup, Penn will travel to Cornell on Saturday to determine the top dog in the league. Penn took down Princeton by a goal last weekend, and a win over Cornell would propel the program even higher in the national rankings.
Dartmouth will also face Harvard on Saturday, with both teams looking to get back to .500 on the year.
With some upsets imminent, this tough league could prove to be the most competitive in the nation.
Check back for predictions and results in the coming days.