Army Vaults to No. 14 in Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Men's Top 20

PHOTO BY DONNA TAMASITUS/ARMY WEST POINT


The Division I men’s lacrosse season almost started out the year 2-for-2 in witnessing a regular factor in the Southern Conference title race upend a perennial contender to reach Memorial Day weekend.

Almost.

For much of its game at Richmond on Saturday, Maryland was in trouble. It trailed by three at halftime, by four after three quarters and by five with 13 minutes to play. It rallied to force overtime, then lost the faceoff to a pair of extra periods. And when Anthony DeMaio scored with 2:12 to go in double overtime, the Terrapins owned a 14-13 victory — their first lead of the game.

And instead of a shakeup, the top 11 remains unchanged from last week. Fortunately, there should be some movement soon, with Duke-Denver and Penn-Maryland among the highlights of next weekend’s games.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division I Men’s Top 20

 
Feb. 10, 2020

W/L

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1 Penn State 2-0 1 2/15 vs. Saint Joseph's
2 Virginia 1-0 2 2/15 vs. No. 18 Lehigh
3 Yale 0-0 3 2/15 at No. 20 Villanova
4 Maryland 2-0 4 2/15 vs. No. 9 Penn
5 Notre Dame 0-0 5 2/15 vs. Cleveland State
6 Syracuse 1-0 6 2/15 vs. Binghamton
7 Johns Hopkins 1-0 7 2/15 at No. 17 Loyola
8 Denver 1-0 8 2/15 vs. No. 13 Duke
Penn 0-0 9 2/15 at No. 4 Maryland
10 North Carolina 2-0 10 2/15 vs. Lafaayette
11 Cornell 0-0 11 2/15 at Albany
12 Duke 1-1 13 2/15 at No. 8 Denver
13 Ohio State 2-0 14 2/15 vs. UMss
14 Army 1-0 NR 2/10 vs. NJIT
15 Air Force 1-1 12 2/15 at Utah
16 Rutgers 1-0 17 2/15 at No. 14 Army
17 Loyola 0-1 16 2/15 vs. No. 7 Johns Hopkins
18 Lehigh 1-0 19 2/15 at No. 2 Virginia
19 Georgetown 1-0 NR 2/15 at UMBC
20 Villanova 0-1 18 2/15 vs. No. 3 Yale
Also considered (alphabetical order): Delaware, Hobart, Michigan, Princeton, Richmond, Towson, UMass





z
Nike/US Lacrosse Rankings
Division I Men | Division I Women
Division II Men | Division II Women
Division III Men | Division III Women

HOT

Duke (+1), Ohio State (+1), Rutgers (+1) and Lehigh (+1)

Outside of Army, no team made an overwhelming push. But all four of these programs did enough to nudge forward at least a little.

Duke shrugged off its opening loss to Air Force, busting opening a competitive game against High Point in the fourth quarter to cruise 17-8. Ohio State smothered Boston University 11-4 for an early road victory to pair with its 23-9 rout of Detroit on Tuesday.

Rutgers got six goals from Adam Charalambides and never trailed in a 17-10 defeat of St. John’s.  And Lehigh opened its season with a 16-11 triumph over Utah.

NOT

Air Force (-3)

While there’s a case to be made the Falcons shouldn’t be placed behind Duke until they have more losses than the Blue Devils, there’s also an argument that a six-goal loss at home to anyone should precipitate a larger drop.

The latter discussion is easier to counter. Air Force was tied with Denver with 20 minutes to play before the Pioneers rattled off five consecutive goals and surged to a 13-7 victory. Nonetheless, Falcons goalie Braden Host turned in another stellar effort, stopping 21 shots a week after making 17 saves against Duke.

As for the placement vis-à-vis Duke? Yes, it’s an inconsistency, but the Blue Devils have probably played a bit better in aggregate over their two games even if Air Force was better than them on the season’s first day.

IN

Army (No. 14)

The Black Knights slid out of the top 20 without even playing the first week, since somebody had to make room for Air Force. But the opportunity was there to immediately jump back in, and Army took full advantage of it, pounding UMass 17-4.

Joe Alberici’s team took a 9-0 lead into halftime, never surrendered consecutive goals, were splendid on special teams (3-of-5 on extra man while not allowing a goal in five man-down situations) and benefited from 23 Minutemen turnovers. Sophomore goalie Wyatt Schupler made 13 saves in his first college action. Army’s rout stands as one of the most complete performances of the season to date.

Georgetown (No. 19)

Another team that scored the first nine goals in its opener, the Hoyas were never threatened in a 17-3 victory at Lafayette. Dylan Watson had six goals (doubling his career high) and Jake Carraway added four, while the Georgetown defense ceded just nine shots on goal.

There’s still plenty for the back-to-back Big East tournament champs to prove after taking some graduation losses, but it’s tough to ask for much more out of a season debut from Kevin Warne’s bunch.

OUT

UMass (previously No. 15)

A lot went wrong for the Colonial Athletic Association’s preseason favorites in its opener at Army, but the lack of scoring stands out. With losses like defenseman Isaac Paparo and goalie Sean Sconone, the Minutemen figured to need a veteran offense to provide stability in the season’s early stages.

Instead, Massachusetts’ six offensive starters combined for 12 shots and 10 turnovers in a 17-4 loss. The Minutemen usually find a formula for winning rooted in toughness and togetherness, and chances are they’ll be better Saturday at Ohio State. But it was an unquestionably bumpy start.

Towson (previously No. 20)

The Tigers (0-1) were on the wrong end of a lopsided 15-7 margin at Johns Hopkins, but it was a tie game a little more than a minute into the second half. Towson scored four transition goals and was perfect clearing the ball at a time of the season when that’s an especially dicey proposition.

One big problem was the disjointedness of the Tigers’ settled 6-on-6 offense. That netted only two goals the entire afternoon, and while the absence of midfielders Grant Maloof and Austin Stewart didn’t help, it’s an area that will need to improve for Towson to get where it wants to this season.

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