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PBA's Jake Bacilek.

Palm Beach Atlantic Sails into USA Lacrosse Division II Men's Top 20

February 26, 2024
Dan Arestia and Kyle Devitte
Ron Hilliard / Palm Beach Atlantic Athletics

Division II action did not disappoint last weekend, as squads that suffered early losses rebounded and teams at the top of the USA Lacrosse Division II Men’s Top 20 kept rolling — with one exception.

The Adelphi offense was stifled by Lenoir-Rhyne’s defense in a way that they have not been accustomed to for the last decade. The Panthers only managed to score three goals against the Bears, resulting in a 7-3 loss that saw the reigning champs move to 5-0 this season. Adelphi tumbled down the ranks, but it has a chance for redemption against No. 4 Mercy this Saturday.

Limestone made its case for the top spot with a win over Coker — a 20-6 firefight that saw their goal total balloon to 82 this season. Mercy also rose several spots thanks to a win over Bentley, which did the opposite for the Falcons, who now sit near the bottom of the Top 20.

Speaking of the bottom of the table, Palm Beach Atlantic took the 20th spot thanks to Maryville dropping out due to its first loss of the season. Several teams are lurking near the bottom of the ranks, and one slip could set off a chain reaction.


1. Lenoir-Rhyne, 5-0 (Prev: 1)
2. Limestone, 5-0 (Prev: 2)
3. Rollins, 3-0 (Prev: 4)
4. Mercy, 3-0 (Prev: 5)
5. Saint Anselm, 1-0 (Prev: 6)
6. Adelphi, 1-1 (Prev: 3)
7. Tampa, 3-1 (Prev: 7)
8. Wingate, 2-1 (Prev: 8)
9. Newberry, 4-0 (Prev: 12)
10. UIndy, 4-1 (Prev: 9)
11. Seton Hill, 3-0 (Prev: 13)
12. Mercyhurst, 1-2 (Prev: 11)
13. Pace, 0-0 (Prev: 14)
14. Frostburg State, 1-0 (Prev: 17)
15. Lander, 4-1 (Prev: 15)
16. Colorado Mesa, 2-0 (Prev: 16)
17. Bentley, 0-1 (Prev: 10)
18. Florida Southern, 2-2 (Prev: 19)
19. Montevallo, 3-1 (Prev: 20)
20. Palm Beach Atlantic, 3-0 (Prev: NR)

Also considered (alphabetical order): Davenport, Maryville, Saint Leo, Westminster


Limestone (no change)

There’s a hot offense, and then there’s whatever the Saints have been in February. They turn the calendar to March with a 5-0 record, and their lowest goal total in any game so far is 18. They’re averaging 20.4 goals per game. Zach Terry has 28 goals to lead the team, but (hilariously) has yet to record an assist. The Saints have five players averaging over three points per game, and none of them are Mike McGarry, whose slow shooting start really hasn’t mattered all that much because the rest of the offense has been so good. Add to the mix that Tim Ladner is facing off at 70 percent, and you have the recipe for a team that can grab momentum and steamroll opponents before they know what hit them.


Adelphi (-3)

After a romp in its opener, Adelphi came up short in its first meeting with a ranked opponent. That opponent was top-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne, but the Panthers still looked outclassed. They didn’t score their second goal until the ending moments of the third quarter. While they took 38 shots, just 15 reached the cage. The Panthers also went 0-for-4 on the extra man. For the offensive struggles, the defense played well. Dylan Renner made 13 saves, and they only committed one foul. The Panthers will look to right the ship when they host another ranked opponent, Mercy, next weekend.


Palm Beach Atlantic (No. 20)

The Sailfish make their debut in the Top 20 thanks to a 3-0 start. They won their first close game this year in an 8-7 win over Farmingdale on Saturday and hold blowout wins over Chowan and Emmanuel. The Sailfish stand out because of how young the roster is. Leading scorers Brad Wharton, Keegan Southard and Bryce Downs, all of whom have nine points, are a freshmn and two sophomores, respectively. The youth on offense is balanced with upperclassmen on defense, led by grad student Cole Gierman and senior Aaron Miechiels.


Maryville (was No. 18)

Maryville drops out of the Top 20 following a loss to Wingate. After starting the season with a win against Lewis, Maryville drew some more attention. The loss to the Bulldogs this week was a one-goal game, and if it’s possible to gain respect for a team in a close loss, that’s the kind of game that does it. But ultimately, losses drop teams in the rankings, so Maryville drops out to make room for other teams moving in. They take on a dangerous Alabama-Huntsville team this weekend.