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Army's Evan Plunkett.

Re-Ordering in Middle of USA Lacrosse Division I Men's Top 20

February 12, 2024
Patrick Stevens
Cecil Copeland

It would be improper to suggest nothing happened this week in Division I men’s lacrosse.

After all, McCabe Millon made a rousing collegiate debut, scoring five times in Virginia’s 19-11 defeat of Michigan. Maryland summoned the sort of defensive performance it usually could not a year ago, muffling Loyola 11-4. Army rallied from a three-goal hole in the fourth quarter, then staved off UMass 13-12. Johns Hopkins bounced back from an opening loss to win 11-9 at Georgetown.

So, stuff happened.

But in terms of things that dramatically altered the perception of the sport’s top-tier teams? On that front, not much happened. Which is why this week’s rankings look a lot like last week’s with a little movement in the middle.


1. Notre Dame, 0-0 (Prev: 1)
2. Duke, 2-0 (Prev: 2)
3. Virginia, 1-0 (Prev: 3)
4. Maryland, 2-0 (Prev: 4)
5. Cornell, 0-0 (Prev: 5)
6. Army, 1-0 (Prev: 6)
7. Denver, 2-0 (Prev: 7)
8. Syracuse, 3-0 (Prev: 8)
9. Johns Hopkins, 2-1 (Prev: 9)
10. Yale, 0-0 (Prev: 10)
11. Penn State, 1-1 (Prev: 13)
12. Princeton, 0-0 (Prev: 14)
13. Rutgers, 2-0 (Prev: 15)
14. Michigan, 0-1 (Prev: 11)
15. Loyola, 1-1 (Prev: 12)
16. Delaware, 1-0 (Prev: 16)
17. Penn, 0-0 (Prev: 17)
18. Boston U, 2-0 (Prev: 18)
19. North Carolina, 1-0 (Prev: 20)
20. Richmond, 1-1 (Prev: NR)

Also considered (alphabetical order): Bryant (1-0), Colgate (2-1), Georgetown (0-2), Marquette (2-0), UMass (0-1), Navy (2-0), Ohio State (2-0)

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Penn State (+2)

This is an inertia move to some extent; someone gets to move ahead of a couple teams that lost, and these two Big Ten teams were in the right place at the right time. Still, Saturday carried some value for both. Penn State wasn’t about to become an upset victim for the second week in a row after dropping its opener to Colgate by a goal. The Nittany Lions’ 18-10 victory over Villanova was even more lopsided than the score indicated. They led 8-1 early in the second quarter and 13-2 midway through the third. Matt Traynor scored six goals. Jack Fracyon made 13 stops. All (or almost all) was right in Penn State’s world.

Rutgers (+2)

The Scarlet Knights never trailed in a 16-12 game that looked like a runaway much of the afternoon. Rutgers led 7-1 and 13-6, but the Seawolves closed within 14-12 with 8:28 to go before the Scarlet Knights pulled away. Jack Aimone had four goals and Ross Scott added three goals and three assists, as Rutgers improved to 2-0 for the ninth year in a row. There’s still a bit of a mystery to the Scarlet Knights, and Saturday’s encounter with Army should provide a solid barometer. But picking off Lehigh and Stony Brook to open the season is an encouraging start.


Loyola (-3)

The Greyhounds can’t be thrilled about managing just four goals in any game. Their starting attack is going to have to do much better than shooting 1-for-14 against a remaining schedule that still includes Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Duke, Army and Boston University. But the other end of the field offers some encouragement. Loyola limited Maryland to 23.4 percent shooting (11 of 47), and goalie Luke Staudt made 16 stops. The Greyhounds’ defense had possession tilted against it thanks to the Terrapins’ 14-4 faceoff advantage, but it held up well. That’s something to build on.

Michigan (-3)

In their first game since falling in last May’s NCAA quarterfinals to a buzzsaw ACC team, the Wolverines … lost to a buzzsaw ACC team. They were nearly doubled up on faceoffs (21-11) and gave up three three-goal runs in the first half to what’s been one of the most explosive teams in the country in recent years. Michigan slips a few spots, but there was always going to be a little uncertainty about the Wolverines — both because of some new pieces and the reality no one will be surprised by them this year. They’ll look to get well during a two-game week at home, facing Canisius on Tuesday and Hobart on Saturday.


Richmond (No. 20)

Almost as promised, the Spiders weren’t gone from the Top 20 for long after their double-overtime loss to Maryland to start the season. Richmond turned in one of the most thorough performances of the young season Saturday, clobbering Robert Morris 23-7 as Aidan O’Neil had six goals and six assists and Dalton Young added five goals and three assists. Not only that, but Richmond pushing Maryland the way it did (even at home) looks even better in the wake of the Terps’ 11-4 defeat of Loyola. So, the Spiders jump back into the rankings in time to welcome Virginia in a rematch of a NCAA tournament first round game from a year ago.


Colgate (was No. 19)

The Raiders couldn’t make it two upsets in a span of three days, falling 18-10 to Syracuse on Monday. But credit to Colgate: It turned around Sunday and won 16-11 at Hobart, as Jack Turner scored four times and Rory Connor added three goals and three assists. The Raiders will look to make it two in a row when they visit Albany on Saturday in the Great Danes’ season opener.