Loyola Boomerangs Back Into Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Men's Top 20


Goalie Jacob Stover made 12 saves in Loyola's 14-6 win over Army that gave the Greyhounds hosting rights to this week's Patriot League semifinals and championship game.

The final weekend of April has the potential for a lot more intrigue than this past Saturday and Sunday. And a big part of that is the number of high-profile teams going on the road.

Of the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Men’s Top 20 teams in this week’s top 12, only three (Duke, Maryland and Albany) won’t leave campus. The Blue Devils will play host to the ACC tournament and will play Notre Dame and possibly Syracuse on their own field.

Meanwhile, Ohio State heads to Rutgers for a game that’s been utterly unpredictable the last two years. Hofstra, hoping to stay in the hunt for the top seed in the Colonial, visits Towson. Denver gets a tricky trip to Marquette. And then there’s Johns Hopkins’ trek down I-95 to Maryland for what could be the first of two matchups between the longtime rivals in a span of six days.

This past weekend didn’t do much to shift the top 20. The next week, though, could be a different story.

April 24, 2017




1 Syracuse 11-1 1 4/28 vs. No. 19 North Carolina
2 Denver 10-2 3 4/29 at Marquette
3 Duke 11-3 4 4/28 vs. No. 8 Notre Dame
4 Ohio State 12-2 5 4/29 at No. 16 Rutgers
5 Maryland 9-3 2 4/29 vs. No. 10 Johns Hopkins
6 Albany 11-2 7 4/29 vs. Hartford
7 Penn State 11-2 8 4/29 at Michigan
8 Notre Dame 7-3 9 4/28 at No. 3 Duke
9 Hofstra 11-1 10 4/29 at No. 13 Towson
10 Johns Hopkins 8-4 12 4/29 at No. 5 Maryland
11 Yale 8-4 6 4/29 at Harvard
12 Princeton 9-4 14 4/29 at Cornell
13 Towson 7-4 11 4/29 vs. No. 9 Hofstra
14 Villanova 8-5 18 4/29 at Providence
15 Loyola 8-5 NR 4/28 vs. Patriot Semifinal
16 Rutgers 9-4 15 4/29 vs. No. 4 Ohio State
17 Army 10-3 13 4/28 vs. Patriot Semifinal
18 Richmon 10-3 16 4/29 vs. Furman
19 North Carolina 6-7 17 4/28 vs. No. 1 Syracuse
20 Virginia 8-6 20 4/29 vs. Penn
Also considered: Air Force, Boston University, Brown, Penn, Providence

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


Villanova (+4)

Consider this jump equal parts acknowledging the Wildcats’ fine play over the last six weeks and a response to a bunch of losses from other teams in the bottom half of the top 20. After all, Army, North Carolina, Richmond and Rutgers all slipped up this weekend.

Villanova has won seven of its last eight, including an emphatic 18-3 drubbing of St. John’s on Saturday. That isn’t going to bolster the Wildcats’ postseason prospects, but there’s no question it shows that Michael Corrado’s team is handling its business the way it is supposed to as the Big East tournament fast approaches.


Yale (-5)

The Bulldogs lost 12-11 at Albany on Saturday, and this drop seems more severe than it really is. It’s a little bit of a correction for a team with a couple nice victories over borderline postseason teams (Princeton and Villanova) but nothing to show for its high-profile trips to Maryland and Albany.

There probably isn’t much difference between No. 6 and No. 12, and Yale finds itself in a good spot even with Saturday’s loss. The Bulldogs already have clinched the top seed in the Ivy League and won’t have to leave campus early next month to find their way back to the NCAA tournament.

Army (-4)

The Black Knights were in a tough spot Friday; They had less than a week to reload after an emotionally crushing loss to Navy and had to deal with an angry Loyola team coming off an overtime loss at Boston University. The result was a 14-6 blowout that cost Army the chance to host the Patriot League tournament.

It was the most goals allowed by the Black Knights since Loyola scored 14 on them in last year’s Patriot League final and easily their most lopsided loss of the year. They might have to solve the Greyhounds this weekend in Baltimore if they want to secure their first NCAA tournament bid since 2010.


Loyola (No. 15)

The Greyhounds boomerang back into the top 20 thanks to their rout of Army in West Point. Loyola will play host to the Patriot League tournament this weekend, with a matchup against the lowest remaining seed in Friday’s semifinals.

That means Charley Toomey’s team won’t see Army for the second time in eight days, and it also won’t play Boston University (No. 3 seed) or Bucknell (missed the tournament) in the semifinals. Those are the two teams that dealt Loyola overtime losses in the regular season.

The Greyhounds’ rope unit will almost always play well, and sophomore Pat Spencer is one of the country’s top attackmen. But if Loyola can get quality play from goalie Jacob Stover (12 saves against Army) and the likes of Jay Drapeau and Zack Sirico on offense (a combined seven goals and three assists), they can re-establish themselves as a potential headache in the postseason.


Providence (was No. 19)

The Friars’ one-week cameo in the top 20 comes to an end after a couple losses. Providence dropped an overtime decision at Brown, then got blasted 12-2 at Denver as the Pioneers secured the Big East’s regular season title.

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