It’s been a wild start to the NCAA season. Four preseason top-10s have fallen. Penn State is scoring ungodly numbers. Lacrosse is still being considered a spring sport. It’s bonkers. Distinguished members of the lacrosse media are begging the nation not to overreact.
But there is plenty to learn from early season games. Teams will evolve over the course of the season, but for now, in no particular order, here’s what we know about some of the teams making noise.
(Rankings from IL Media Poll)
#10 Duke: The Blue Devils are a team with a history of bad starts that will get back on track by May. High Point is a really talented team that earned every bit of their upset victory. It is possible to live in a world where both these statements are true. We know Duke has one of the nation’s top defensive units and once their talented offense settles into their roles, they will be a force. Getting Brad Smith back to full strength will be huge for them as well. After a strong second half to knock off a pesky Jacksonville team, Blue Devil Nation can take a deep breath.
#13 High Point: Speaking of the Panthers, let’s give them the credit they deserve. Too much of the narrative following Tuesday’s upset was centered around Duke. Even the ref tried to steal High Point’s spotlight!
Our focus should be on Asher Nolting, who will be in the Tewaaraton conversation for years to come, on Davis Sampere, who won some clutch faceoffs to preserve their lead, and on Tim Troutner Jr., who had the best performance between the pipes of any keeper so far this season. I’m excited to see the Panthers push for a postseason berth.
#4 Penn State: A healthy Grant Ament and company are showing no mercy. Beating an overrated Villanova team wasn’t fully convincing, but after running up the score on Robert Morris, it’s clear they belong in the top 5. Penn State has a hell of a schedule coming up, but they look ready to take it on.
Some other notes:
#2 Loyola looks to be in midseason form. A huge portion of early season results can be chalked up to which teams have a firm grasp on their new roles. Loyola is there already.
#11 Virginia and #17 Johns Hopkins are not.
Colgate sits at 18 after marching into the Dome and posting a stunning 12-9 win. With Lehigh’s loss, strong starts by Army and Navy, and good bounce-back wins by Bucknell and Boston, it looks like the Patriot League is headed for another log jam of parity behind Loyola.
And don’t get me started on what a beautiful mess the B1G will be this year.