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Aidan McLane

2023 Men's Top 30: How Brown Fared vs. Projections

July 10, 2023
Patrick Stevens
Rich Barnes

Before USA Lacrosse Magazine looks ahead to what’s to come in 2024, our team of staff and contributors decided it was worth taking one last look at 2023.

After all, you have to look at the most recent results before making projections for what’s to come. To do that, we’re taking a journey through the top 30 teams in men’s and women’s lacrosse — what went right, what went wrong and what we should all think of that team’s season.

Was it a success? A failure? A mixture of both? You’ll find out our thoughts over the next month or so.


Nike/USA Lacrosse Preseason/Final Top 20 Ranking: 12/Unranked
2023 record: 6-8 (2-4 Ivy League)


The Bears were quite good at their best, picking off Villanova and Penn in a span of 13 days. Faceoff man Matthew Gunty (63.1 percent) was a first-team all-Ivy selection. Devon McLane had a nine-goal game against Vermont en route to a 51-point season (28 G, 23 A). His younger brother, Aidan, led Brown in goals with 29.


The great what-if of Brown’s season is obvious — how would it have navigated the spring had it not dealt with the suspension of seven seniors because of a noise complaint. The Bears went 1-3 without them, including one-goal losses to Harvard and UMass. Brown finished in the top 25 of only two of the 16 categories tracked by the NCAA — 11th in faceoff percentage and 20th in saves per game.


In the middle of playing four tournament teams from a year ago, Jack Kelly scored with 2:17 to go to lift the Bears past Penn on April 8.


It’s not a stretch to think Brown would have flipped its record without the suspension, but it also gave up 16 goals to each of the Ivy’s three NCAA tournament teams (Cornell, Princeton and Yale). The Bears also yielded 19 goals while dealing with their veteran absences to North Carolina, and conference opponents shot 31 percent against them.

Even in a best-case scenario, it wouldn’t have been a top-15 team.