Two of the Insider Sports Network columnist, Alex Covone and Cameron Andrews, take their knowledge and formed a NCAA men’s lacrosse power rankings for the 2015 season, to this date.
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1. Notre Dame (6-1): The Fighting Irish are coming off a double overtime victory against the, highly skilled, Syracuse Orange. Junior attackman Matt Kavanagh upholds the leadership for the Fighting Irish as they progress towards the top of the rankings. Expectations are risen for Notre Dame as they claim the top spot in this week’s power rankings.
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2. Syracuse (7-1): The Orange may be coming off a double OT loss to Notre Dame, but they are still one of the most dangerous teams in college lacrosse. Led by their dynamic duo of attackmen –Dylan Donahue and Kevin Rice– the Orange have racked up more than a couple very impressive wins.
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3. North Carolina (10-1): Set the scene of a beautiful sunny spring day in North Carolina; the only way the day could have been better was with a win. The Tar Heels were immaculate in their victory over defending champions Duke. The victory was fueled by senior midfielder Chad Tutton and junior goalkeeper Kieran Burke. Moving forward, the Tar Heels’ longevity will be tested with Virginia and Syracuse on their upcoming schedule.
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4. Maryland (8-1): Maryland is one of the mainstays in the upper echelon of college lacrosse. Maryland is coming off a series of wins in which the margin of victory wasn’t even close. They’ve got one of the best defenses in the NCAA and you can look for them to continue their winning ways against Penn State.
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5. Denver (7-2): In an effort to top Georgetown, the Denver Pioneers cruised to a 19-7 victory over the Hoyas. The first half the Pioneers had instantaneously went on a 13-1 run, creating a comfortable lead. Although being tested earlier in the year, the Pioneers should cruise to round out the season on a 7-0 win streak.
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6. Virginia (8-2): Virginia has an impressive record, but unfortunately they cannot be ranked higher. They haven’t been able to beat the tougher opponents on their schedule. However, there is no doubt that they are still one of the teams that no one wants to face.
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7. Duke (7-3): Although recently falling to rival North Carolina, the Blue Devils remain towards the top of the power rankings due to the experience they provide. Expectations for junior midfielder Myles Jones has never been higher. Looking ahead for the Blue Devils’ schedule, they will be tested with opponents such as Stony Brook and Marquette ahead.
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8. Cornell (7-2): The Cornell team is a polarizing one. They’ve played great this year, but their schedule hasn’t been tough, making it hard to place them in the rankings. They haven’t done anything spectacular to put them above others, but their consistency earns them the #8 slot.
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9. Albany (7-1): Although the Thompson’s Trio is done, excluding attackman Lyle Thompson, the Great Danes still provide well played lacrosse. Albany recently shut out UMass Lowell with a final score of 25-0. Defeating teams such as Harvard and Stony Brook have been their greatest feat to this date, but keep an eye out for April 2nd when the Great Danes face Syracuse; a further test for Albany to see if they’re capable of competing with the opposing, and soaring, competitors.
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10. Brown (8-1): Brown has been flying under the radar this year. They are 8-1 and have had a couple of quality wins against teams such as UMass and Princeton. They may not be the most known team in the NCAA, but they should not be taken lightly. Keep an eye out for Brown in the Ivy League tournament; they round out their season playing four of the six remaining games against Ivy League teams.
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11. Yale (6-2): The Yale Bulldogs are creating a brand for themselves, if not created already. Topping Penn recently had been a distinct accomplishment for the Bulldogs, as they hope to crown themselves for the Ivy League conference. Yale’s most recent game, against Sacred Heart, was smooth sailing. Senior attackman Conrad Oberbeck and sophomore attack/midfielder Jeff Cimbalista both added four points to the Bulldog’s 13-3 victory. Upcoming games against Dartmouth and Brown should give the general public a better understanding of the Bulldogs.
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12. Princeton (6-2): Led by senior attackman Mike MacDonald, the Princeton Tigers have strung together a pretty impressive season. Although they lost to Brown last week, they also bested Yale two weeks back by a score of 11-10. Although Princeton may not be the strongest team, they can certainly play with the best of them on any given day.
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13. Marquette (8-1): The Golden Eagles are hard to dislike. Earlier in the week, Marquette defeated BIG EAST rival Villanova all seemed well. The following game, not so much. The Golden Eagles suffered a brutal 9-3 loss to unranked Bellarmine. Marquette should rebound quickly due to teams such as Notre Dame, Duke, and Denver on their upcoming schedule. The Golden Eagles’ schedule, thus far, this year is not all too impressive, but it has proved that they are capable of competing with the highest competition.
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14. Ohio State (8-3): Ohio State has been inconsistent in recent years, and this year has not been the best for them. However, they are coming off of a win against Penn State in which they survived a late game scare from the Nittany Lions. They still have teams such as Johns Hopkins and Maryland left to play on their schedule; it should be interesting to see how they progress going forward.
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15. Towson (7-3): The Tigers have been making some noise throughout the season; initially starting with the win over, at the time, #5 ranked Johns Hopkins early on in the season. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Tyler White has kept the Tigers in closely contested games throughout the season, such as their most recent game against UMass, resulting in a 6-3 win. In addition, the tigers are ranked third for the fewest goals allowed, according to the Baltimore Sun. The Tigers face competitive teams, such as Delaware, Fairfield, Drexel, and Hofstra, to round out the season. Further victories can move the Tigers further up in the rankings.