Ivy League With 6 Teams in Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Men's Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARVARD ATHLETICS

Nick Loring had two goals and five assists in Harvard's win over Michigan.


There remains plenty to argue about when sizing up this Division I men’s lacrosse season a month and a half into the spring.

Those who want to be picky will argue Princeton should slot ahead of Georgetown, the Hoyas should wind up ahead of Penn, Johns Hopkins has earned a nod ahead of Jacksonville and … well, the list goes on for a while.

What seems less debatable is just like it was last May — Virginia and Maryland have elevated themselves exactly as was expected.

Since the Cavaliers’ wild 17-16 victory over the Terrapins on Memorial Day, their regular-season rematch — set for Washington, D.C.’s Audi Field — was something to look forward to as a mid-March treat.

The fact both have made it to this Saturday’s showdown with unblemished 6-0 records just makes it even more exciting.

By this time next week, there will be a consensus No. 1 team. How long that agreement lasts is difficult to know, but it’s worth savoring a true titanic non-conference matchup like this that comes around sometime other than late May.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I MEN’S TOP 20

 
March 14, 2022

W/L

Prev

Next

1

Virginia

6-0

1

3/19 vs. No. 2 Maryland (in Washington, D.C.)

2

Maryland

6-0

2

3/19 vs. No. 1 Virginia (in Washington, D.C.)

3

Princeton

4-1

5

3/19 vs. No. 6 Penn

4

Cornell

5-0

4

3/19 vs. No. 9 Yale

5

Georgetown

5-1

6

3/19 vs. Utah

6

Penn

3-1

7

3/19 at No. 3 Princeton

7

Rutgers

6-1

3

3/15 vs. Lafayette

8

Ohio State

5-1

8

3/20 vs. Denver

Yale

3-1

10

3/19 at No. 4 Cornell

10

North Carolina

5-2

9

3/20 at High Point

11

Army

6-1

13

3/19 vs. Lehigh

12

Johns Hopkins

4-3

16

3/18 vs. Navy

13

Jacksonville

6-2

14

3/19 at UMass Lowell

14

Duke

7-3

11

3/19 vs. Towson (in Washington, D.C.)

15

Harvard

3-1

NR

3/19 vs. No. 19 Brown

16

Notre Dame

1-3

12

3/19 vs. No. 17 Michigan

17

Michigan

7-1

15

3/19 at No. 16 Notre Dame

18

Delaware

5-2

19

3/20 vs. No. 12 Johns Hopkins

19

Brown

5-1

NR

3/19 at No. 15 Harvard

20

Boston U.

5-0

NR

3/19 at Holy Cross

Also considered (alphabetical order): Bucknell (5-1), Denver (3-4), Hobart (2-2), Lehigh (3-2), Loyola (2-4), Saint Joseph’s (5-2), Stony Brook (4-2), Syracuse (2-4), Utah (3-2), Villanova (3-3)





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

HOT

Johns Hopkins (+4)

The Blue Jays bounced back from a two-game slide at North Carolina and Virginia to handle Syracuse 10-7 in former coach Dave Pietramala’s return to Homewood Field as an Orange assistant.

Hopkins got 14 saves from goalie Josh Kirson to further solidify itself as a team near the top of the second 10. The Blue Jays’ results so far (including a loss at Georgetown) suggest a gap to make up between themselves and the top teams. But they’ve handled business against everyone else and have an intriguing Friday-Sunday weekend against Navy and Delaware this week.

Princeton (+2)

After two tuneup games, the Tigers were staring down a brutal six-game stretch. Three were against NCAA quarterfinalists from last season. Three were against teams that figure to contend for Ivy League tournament berths.

Princeton got through the first half of the stretch at 2-1, following up its victory at Georgetown with a 16-11 defeat of previously unbeaten Rutgers. Ivy play now awaits, with Penn, Yale and Brown still looming over the next three Saturdays. The Tigers head into their conference slate from a position of strength, and it was anyone’s guess two weeks ago whether that would happen.

Army (+2)

The Black Knights have followed up their midweek defeat of Syracuse with six-goal victories over Holy Cross and Lafayette to begin Patriot League play. As a result, their methodical climb back from an early loss to Rutgers continues. Next up are two key conference games; Lehigh’s visit to Michie Stadium, followed by a March 26 date at Loyola.

NOT

Notre Dame (-5)

It’s about at the point of the season where being two games under .500 is nearly disqualifying for landing in the weekly Top 20. But let’s not kid ourselves: Notre Dame isn’t too far away from figuring things out.

The Irish have been within a goal in the fourth quarter of Georgetown, Maryland and Ohio State. Those teams are a combined 16-2. Notre Dame isn’t as good as them right now, but the gap isn’t particularly large.

Rutgers (-4)

The Scarlet Knights had one huge problem in Friday’s 16-11 loss to Princeton: Tiger goalie Erik Peters, who made 21 saves while helping to deal Rutgers its first loss of the season.

The defeat puts Brian Brecht’s bunch at the midpoint of the regular season at 6-1. The victory over Army has held up well. Loyola is starting to improve, and the Scarlet Knights’ triumph over the Greyhounds could yet have value. It’s a solid year to date, and a place in the middle of the top 10 is a fair reflection of it.

IN

Harvard (No. 15)

The Crimson (3-1) probably just landed the biggest victory of the Gerry Byrne era to date, a 14-9 triumph at Michigan. In fairness, there isn’t much competition over just eight games: A one-goal victory in the 2020 opener at UMass, two defeats of Fairfield and one against NJIT.

Harvard has reached double figures in all four games this season, and its only loss was against Ohio State in a neutral-site contest in Florida. The Ivy League has been stellar across the board in its return to play in the last month, and the Crimson is doing its part to set up perhaps the most competitive year in the Ancient Eight in recent memory.

Brown (No. 19)

While on the subject of the Ivy League, don’t forget about Bruno. The Bears don’t have a high-end victory that’s going to vault them into the NCAA tournament just yet, but a collection of solid victories (headlined by Stony Brook and Villanova) suggest Mike Daly’s team is capable of a breakout spring.

A name to know is junior Devon McLane, who scored five goals in a 10-7 defeat of Stony Brook on Saturday and has 21 goals and 14 assists in Brown’s first six games. The Bears, whose only loss was a midweek stumble at North Carolina, get a good barometer Saturday at Harvard.

Boston University (No. 20)

Only four Division I teams are still undefeated: Virginia, Maryland, Cornell … and the Terriers, who dealt Bucknell its first loss Saturday to improve to 2-0 in the Patriot League.

Boston University has allowed just seven goals a game over its last four outings, and goalie Matt Garber sports a .624 save percentage. The Terriers bear monitoring, especially if they continue to improve heading into a back-loaded April slate of Yale, Princeton, Loyola, Lehigh and Army.

OUT

Denver (was No. 17)

The Pioneers fell to 3-4 with a 16-14 loss to Yale on Sunday. It’s the latest Denver has been under .500 since going 7-8 in 2009 — the year before Bill Tierney’s decision to leave Princeton and tackle a challenge in the Rocky Mountains.

Much like Notre Dame, this isn’t a bad team. It lost by one at North Carolina and got within two goals of Yale a couple times in the fourth quarter. But it doesn’t have a great defense, giving up 13.4 goals a game. Pin some of that on a good non-conference schedule, but the Pioneers are already running out of chances to build an at-large profile. Sunday’s trip to Ohio State will be vital for that front.

Utah (was No. 18)

Five days after picking off Jacksonville on the road, the Utes fell 13-10 at UMBC in their first game as a ranked team. Fifteen turnovers didn’t help, but in the bigger picture, this seems like a young program still trying to achieve consistency. Also, UMBC isn’t a pushover.

Utah gets another East Coast trip this weekend, visiting Georgetown for an 11 a.m. Eastern start time on Saturday.

Syracuse (was No. 20)

The Orange fell to 2-4 (with victories over Holy Cross and Hobart) with its 10-7 setback at Johns Hopkins. The seven goals marked the fewest scored by Syracuse in coach Gary Gait’s first season.

Syracuse has eight games remaining, and some basic math suggests it needs to get to at least 7-7 to be eligible for the NCAA tournament. The opponents still to come? Notre Dame (twice), Albany, Cornell Duke, North Carolina, Stony Brook and Virginia. It’s not an impossible task — there’s still talent on the Orange’s roster, especially at the offensive end — but it’s also clear Gait’s team has dug a bit of a hole for itself by mid-March.

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