Brown Biggest Riser in Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Men's Top 20

PHOTO BY RICH BARNES

Devon McLane has four goals in each of his last three games — big-time wins over Penn, Yale and Cornell.


How many consecutive weeks does it take for a team to pick up a high-profile victory before it lands in the top 10?

Looks like the answer is three.

Brown’s three-game run against Penn, Yale and Cornell has turned a 5-4 bunch staring at what anyone would have believed to be a gauntlet before the Ivy League became this year’s RPI champions into a fast-rising team on the precipice of its first NCAA tournament berth in six years.

The Bears need only to defeat Dartmouth, the only sub-.500 team in the Ivy League, to clinch a conference tournament berth. Easier said than done; the Big Green led Princeton in the fourth quarter and Penn late in the third quarter the last two Saturdays.

The team the Bears displaced from the top 10 this week? None other than Cornell, which has lost consecutive home games by a combined 12 goals but can still claim a share of the Ivy League title with a victory at Princeton on Saturday.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I MEN’S TOP 20

 
April 25, 2022

W/L

Prev

Next

1

Maryland

12-0

1

5/5 vs. Johns Hopkins/Penn State winner (Big Ten semifinal)

2

Georgetown

12-1

2

4/29 at Villanova

3

Rutgers

12-2

4

5/5 vs. No. 8 Ohio State/Michigan (Big Ten semifinal)

4

Virginia

10-3

5

4/28 vs. Lafayette

5

Princeton

9-3

3

4/30 vs. No. 14 Cornell

6

Jacksonville

13-2

6

5/5 vs. TBD (SoCon semifinal)

7

Yale

8-3

7

4/26 vs. Quinnipiac

8

Ohio State

9-4

8

4/30 vs. Michigan (Big Ten quarterfinal)

Notre Dame

6-4

9

5/1 at Syracuse

10

Brown

8-4

14

4/26 vs. Bryant

11

Penn

6-4

10

4/26 vs. No. 20 Saint Joseph's

12

Duke

10-5

12

5/1 vs. No. 17 North Carolina

13

Denver

8-5

16

4/29 vs. Marquette

14

Cornell

10-3

11

4/30 at No. 5 Princeton

15

Harvard

8-3

17

4/30 at No. 7 Yale

16

Army

10-3

13

4/29 at No. 19 Boston U

17

North Carolina

8-5

15

5/1 at No. 12 Duke

18

Richmond

8-4

18

4/30 vs. VMI

19

Boston U

10-3

19

4/29 vs. No. 16 Army

20

Saint Joseph's

11-2

20

4/26 at No. 11 Penn

Also considered (alphabetical order): Bucknell (9-4), Delaware (8-5), Lehigh (7-5), Navy (8-5), Utah (8-3), Villanova (8-4), Vermont (8-6)





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

HOT

Brown (+4)

Whatever it is that coach Mike Daly said after the Bears spotted Penn a 5-0 lead after a quarter, he should remember it for future use. In the 11 quarters since, Brown has outscored Penn, Yale and Cornell by a 45-26 margin — and handled both Penn and Cornell on the road.

Bruno was sharp out of the locker room twice in Saturday’s 13-8 victory, taking a 6-0 lead after a quarter at Cornell. When the Big Red closed within 6-4 at the break, the Bears punched the margin out to 9-4 and were never seriously threatened.

Denver (+3)

The Pioneers have won three in a row, their longest run of the season, after getting trounced at home by Georgetown. They gutted out a 12-10 victory at Villanova, and have pounded St. John’s and Providence by a combined 34-7 over the last two weekends.

How good is Bill Tierney’s team? Tough to say when it’s beating up on the teams that will miss the Big East tournament, but it’s also clear the Pioneers have one path to the postseason: Winning the Big East’s automatic berth. That might mean going through Georgetown on its home field.

Harvard (+2)

The Crimson might be able to do the same thing Brown just did: Get hot late in the season and surge right into the postseason. Beating Princeton 19-16 was an impressive start to such a plan, which could add a road upset of Yale to close out the regular season.

Sam King had three goals and two assists and Miles Botkiss had four goals in Saturday’s victory to help illustrate how promising both the present and future are at Harvard. Both are first-year players, and both have 23 goals as part of the Crimson’s breakout season.

NOT

Cornell (-3)

The Big Red may have peaked with its 17-9 walloping of Harvard earlier this month. Since then, Cornell has escaped in overtime against a Syracuse team that has sunk to 4-9, then it got drubbed at home by Army and Brown. The Big Red have allowed an average of 15 goals in that three-game stretch, and they must now visit a potent and cranky Princeton team that has defensive issues of its own.

Army (-3)

A week after the Black Knights pounded Cornell in Ithaca, they found themselves in exactly the sort of regular-season meeting with Navy they often do: Close, regardless of the records. It was the Midshipmen who prevailed in overtime at Michie Stadium on Jack Sweeney’s goal, earning their sixth victory over Army in the teams’ last seven regular-season matchups.

Now, the truly tricky part: Army has to regroup from an emotional game on a short week and contend with Boston University on Friday. (The same goes for Navy, which welcomes Bucknell to Annapolis that night.) The Black Knights are 1-7 in the game following a meeting with Navy since 2015, though the lone victory did come last year against Colgate in the regular-season finale.

As well as the Tar Heels’ lineup shakeup worked against Syracuse, they had little effect in a 12-5 loss at Notre Dame on Thursday. The question wasn’t effort; North Carolina played hard throughout and kept things interesting until the Irish pulled away in the third quarter. Still, it’s a worn-down team lacking depth in vital areas. Considering what the Heels lost to graduation, it’s understandable.

Thursday marked the Tar Heels’ fourth loss by at least seven goals this season, sinking them further toward the Top 20 cut line with only a trip to Duke left in the regular season.

Princeton (-2)

OK, the Tigers gave up 19 goals at Harvard. Not good. That ended a four-game winning streak that featured a 17-9 thumping at Brown that looks better by the week, and this is still the team that owns arguably the best victory on the board (at Georgetown) and also picked off Penn and Rutgers. A slight dip is warranted, but in the aggregate, Princeton is still a top five team.

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