Delaware Joins Nike / US Lacrosse Division I Men's Top 20


Delaware's Mark Bieda (48) had four goals and two assists in Delaware's 19-12 win over Drexel.

So it turned out there wasn’t quite as much separation this week as expected.

Chalk some of it up to Georgetown’s trip to Denver being delayed by three days due to snow, a blessedly normal sort of postponement in a year that’s already seen more than enough of them for virus-related reasons (Saturday alone featured five such games).

And some of it stems from just how North Carolina and Maryland collected key conference victories in the week’s most high-profile games.

The Tar Heels rolled out of Charlottesville with a 16-13 defeat of Virginia, a final score that doesn’t do justice to the totality of North Carolina’s effort. Joe Breschi’s bunch led 11-3 late in the first half, and Virginia didn’t get within three until there was a little more than two minutes remaining in the game.

Chris Gray was Chris Gray (four goals, one assist), Nicky Solomon had three goals and three assists and — perhaps best of all for North Carolina — freshman goalie Collin Krieg made 20 saves as the Tar Heels earned their first victory over Virginia since 2017.

It made Carolina a tempting option to hopscotch over Maryland, especially as the Terrapins were in a tight game through three quarters against Rutgers.

Yet just like it had in the middle of the game against Penn State and in the third quarter against Johns Hopkins the previous two weeks, Maryland shifted into turbo gear. The Terps scored goals on each of their first eight possessions in the fourth quarter, with seven players finding the net in that span. Instead of the one-goal margin it held entering the final period, Maryland departed with a 19-12 victory.

There are arguments for both schools to be No. 2 (or even No. 1), but one thing’s for sure: Very few teams appear to be quite in the same neighborhood as Maryland and North Carolina. In a normal year, we’d get a good sense of how they match up during their traditional late March meeting. This season, it’ll just have to be something that could prove a fun NCAA tournament possibility.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division I Men’s Top 20

March 15, 2021




1 Duke 8-0 1 3/25 vs. No. 6 Syracuse
2 Maryland 4-0 2 3/20 at No. 14 Ohio State
3 North Carolina 7-0 3 3/20 vs. Air Force
4 Georgetown 4-0 4 3/16 at No. 9 Denver
5 Army 3-1 7 3/20 vs. Holy Cross
6 Syracuse 3-1 8 3/20 vs. No. 18 Hofstra
7 Rutgers 3-1 5 3/20 at No. 15 Johns Hopkins
8 Virginia 5-2 6 3/20 vs. Robert Morris
Denver 5-2 9 3/16 vs. No. 4 Georgetown
10 Notre Dame 2-0 10 3/17 vs. Marquette
11 Lehigh 3-0 11 3/28 at Colgate
12 UMass 1-0 13 3/20 vs. Drexel
13 Loyola 3-2 14 3/20 vs. Bucknell
14 Ohio State 2-2 15 3/20 vs. No. 2 Maryland
15 Johns Hopkins 2-2 20 3/20 vs. No. 7 Rutgers
16 Penn State 1-3 12 3/20 at Michigan
17 Navy 2-0 17 3/20 at Lafayette
18 Hofstra 3-1 18 3/20 at No. 6 Syracuse
19 Richmond 2-3 19 3/20 at Bellarmine
20 Delaware 5-1 NR 3/20 vs. Towson
Also considered (alphabetical order): Albany (2-1), Boston University (3-1), Bryant (3-1), UMBC (2-0), Vermont (2-2), Villanova (3-1)

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


Johns Hopkins (+5)

It’s been an interesting progression on Charles Street as the Blue Jays navigate their first season under Peter Milliman. They lost 14-8 in their opener to Ohio State, looking like a team that had limited practice time under a new coaching staff. Which, of course, they were. Then came a 14-7 defeat of Michigan after a slow start, followed by a fine first half against Maryland before things unraveled in an 18-10 loss.

Saturday might go down as a breakthrough for Hopkins, which played its most complete game to date. The 13-6 victory over Penn State included both an offensive flurry (seven goals in the third quarter to put it away) and a defensive statement (the Nittany Lions managed only three goals in the first three quarters).

It was always logical to think Hopkins, maybe more than anyone this season, would be vastly better in the second half of the season than the first. The Blue Jays have already made substantial strides and can move into a tie for second place in the Big Ten on Saturday when Rutgers visits Homewood.


Penn State (-4)

You have to score to win, and you have to shoot to score. These are not especially profound insights, but they do help explain Penn State’s regression against Johns Hopkins after enjoying its first victory of the season a week earlier against Ohio State.

The Nittany Lions trailed 13-3 after three quarters, but more discouraging than the lack of output was the lack of opportunity. Penn State had only 14 shots through 45 minutes (and just 22 for the game), and they did not attempt one shot in the third quarter as Hopkins turned a potentially interesting 6-3 game into a blowout.

Now 1-3, Penn State can ill-afford to sputter for long. They visit Michigan to end the first round of Big Ten play before Hopkins pays a return visit to Happy Valley on March 28.


Delaware (No. 20)

It was an inauspicious start to the season for the Blue Hens, who had their scheduled opener against Villanova canceled and before falling 10-7 in a midweek visit to Mount St. Mary’s. But they’ve deftly regrouped, scoring at least 14 goals in every contest during their current five-game winning streak.

That includes Saturday’s 19-12 road drubbing of Drexel, which saw Delaware score nine goals in the first quarter. The Blue Hens never let the Dragons get any closer than six the rest of the way as Mark Bieda had four goals and two assists, Tye Kurtz had four goals and an assist and Cam Acchione and Mike Robinson both posted hat tricks.

There’s a chance to build on this even more. The Blue Hens won’t leave Newark for more than a month, with visits from Towson, Fairfield and Drexel (plus an open date) scheduled for that stretch.


Albany (was No. 16)

After consecutive victories to open the season, the Great Danes stumbled at home against Vermont 14-12. The Catamounts built a 10-4 halftime lead, then withstood the inevitable Dane Train run as Liam Limoges had four goals and three assists.

It was the third consecutive victory in the series for Vermont, and its first ever at Albany. The teams will meet again April 16 in Burlington, and the Great Danes will look to regroup Saturday when they visit Binghamton.

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