Although there were not as many top-10 and top-20 matchups this past weekend as there have been in the past, the games we did see were not lacking excitement as the top-20 was shaken up once again. Cornell and Penn State were locked up in a high scoring barnburner Sunday afternoon. Yale was tested by unranked Michigan, Maryland was tested at home by Albany, Duke flew past Loyola at Ridley, and Syracuse did the same at Homewood against Hopkins. Below is my Division 1 Top 10 after this weekend’s games.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Kuhn’s Top-10 (March 9, 2020)
1) Syracuse – Cuse came into Homewood and handed it to Hopkins, and built a comfortable lead after the first quarter. With two of their starting defensemen still sidelined to injury, the offense continued to show it was not to mess with, as Hopkins had to double pole the midfield. Stephen Rehfuss (the attackman that was played with the shortstick) responded with 7 assists. Cuse gets Rutgers next weekend.
2) Princeton – The Tigers took home the battle of New Jersey over Rutgers 16-11. The game was tight early, but a second and third quarter run from Princeton put them ahead. Michael Sowers only had five points, but Princeton was able to shoot effectively to give themselves the win. They move up to #2 as Penn State drops.
3) Cornell – The Cornell Penn State game Sunday night was must watch. In a very back and forth offensive battle (which combined for 33 goals), Cornell found themselves down late and Penn State found themselves needing to run off the last 1:20 to win. Cornell’s ride got them a tying goal late from Jeff Teat and they ended it in transition off the following faceoff with 8 seconds left. Playing the fast style of lacrosse the Cornell plays is hard to beat. We will see how TD Ierlan and Yale will do next weekend.
4) North Carolina – The Heels walked all over Furman 18-11 on Friday. The game was tight and low scoring at half, but faceoff dominance from North Carolina allowed their offense to put the ball in the back of the net. Thus far, UNC has only one top-20 win this year, but I don’t see that being an issue for a much improved team. This week they have Bryant and Georgetown. I see the Georgetown game being a big test for this Heels team.
5) Penn State – Penn State saw a late lead vanquish before their eyes to the anthem of Jeff Teat and Cornell. Up and down in a back and forth game, they couldn’t win the faceoff that mattered (a faceoff with about 20 seconds left that saw Cornell score the winning goal). Obviously, this does not draw much concern for Penn State besides getting Grant Ament in the goal column. Penn State also can score at will, and will score a lot against Furman this week.
6) Yale – Yale hangs out in the middle of the top-10 after they beat Michigan Saturday night in California. One thing that amazed me was the consistent crease work from Matt Gaudet, who scored 7 goals capitalizing on cutting behind the recovering defenseman. Yale saw this one get cut close before they ended up running away with it late. Besides the point, former Loyola midfielder Romar Dennis should stay up in the booth as his commentary on the game was unlike any other I’ve heard before.
7) Maryland – The Terps kept this one closer than many expected as Albany threw a zone defense at Maryland. The Terps, however, won faceoffs and scored enough goals to get a win. The more interesting matchup we get to see is Maryland vs Virginia next weekend, as the Terps surely still have a bad taste in their mouth after Virginia eliminated them last year in May.
8) Duke – Duke was up 8-0 at Loyola late in the second quarter before the Hounds scored their first goal. Duke found some sort of magic in their midfield as Dyson Williams and Nakeie Montgomery scored 7 goals combined. Duke gets Jacksonville and Towson this week.
9) Denver – Denver was the king of #SCTop10 highlights this weekend as they scored a bunch of “wow” goals in their win over Notre Dame. Denver’s offense and defense are quite different, as their offense is led by upperclassmen, while their defense is made up of freshmen and sophomores. Either way, they played well enogh to take down a solid Irish team and secure a great win. They head to Ohio to play the Buckeyes this week.
10) Virginia – Virginia drops but not by much as they lost to Brown this weekend. A couple of fluke goals in the third quarter contributed to Brown’s win, but a win is a win and a loss is a loss. The Hoos need to find a way to get Dox Aitken more involved. If you remember correctly, the Hoos lost to High Point last year before finding themselves making a run and National Champion. ACC play will be interesting this year as I currently have four teams in my top-10.
In a few other matchups this weekend, we had a battle of Philly that included Penn, St. Joes, Drexel and Villanova basically exchanging games. Villanova beat Penn. St. Joes beat Drexel. Drexel beat Villanova. Penn beat St. Joes. All four teams got a win. Long Island Unviersity got their first ever Division 1 win on Saturday as they beat Quinnnpiac. Army and Georgetown took down Lafayette and Towson by putting up 16 goals a piece. The bottom half of Inside Lacrosse’s top-20 did not see much movement.
Here are a few games to look forward to this week and this weekend:
Hopkins vs Mt St Mary’s. Expect this to be a very good game, and one Hopkins has to win to keep its tournament hopes in tact. The Mount will not roll over in this one.
Ohio State vs Notre Dame. Two physical, Midwest teams square off in the shoe. Both need wins badly, as beating Notre Dame would be huge for the Buckeyes, and the Irish need to bounce back quickly.
Princeton vs Penn. Penn looks for a bounce back win over the #2 team while Princeton will be tested. We will see the status of Sam Handley for this game as he should be back in the lineup soon.
Maryland vs Virginia. The rematch of the bizarre game from last year’s tournament is finally upon us. Blood is in the water. Will Virginia get more contribution from Dox Aitken?
Syracuse vs Rutgers. Cuse hopes to get their two defensemen back soon, and they should be able to handle Rutgers. Im sure they will attempt to double pole the midfield again or shut somebody off as Cuse has too many players offensively.
UNC vs Georgetown. Georgetown is on the rise lately and are 6-0. This will be their first big test as Chris Gray is the best player they will have seen so far. Stopping him is the first step in beating UNC.
Cornell vs Yale. I don’t doubt that this game will be similar to the Cornell Penn State game from this Sunday. Whoever wins faceoffs and has the ball more will be successful. Both offenses can score at will, and luckily Yale has TD Ierlan.
Ohio State vs Denver. Ohio State will have their hands full once again as they try to slow down Denver’s midfield. With so much attention drawn up there, it allows attackmen to get open and free down low. Ethan Walker will be another Pio the Buckeyes have to keep a huge eye on. Don’t forget that Ohio State suffered a one goal loss to Cornell just last weekend.
Be sure to follow along this week and weekend and throughout the rest of the college lacrosse season as I will have weekly recaps and previews of the biggest games throughout Division 1.
Sam Kuhn currently is the graduate assistant for the men's lacrosse program at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and is working to complete his Masters of Business Administration in 2020. Sam graduated from the College of Wooster in 2018, where he received his Bachelors Degree in English and played lacrosse as well. In his four years, Sam was a two time All-NCAC selection, a first team All-Region selection in 2018, and surpassed 100 goals for his career, one of seven members in program history to do so. Sam has interned with Inside Lacrosse, and wrote for the sports section of The Wooster Voice.