So, I haven’t updated you guys on our B1G Little Lacrosse League in quite a few weeks! Sorry about that, I have no excuses except for being a PhD student. Anyway, I’m here now to give you the lacrosse content you’ve been craving, and my gosh so much has happened in just a few short weeks. We’re in Week 8 overall and officially one week into conference play.
Rankings and Summaries
The Big Ten has six lacrosse teams and four are comfortably in the Top 20 for Inside Lacrosse’s rankings as of today and you’re never going to believe one of the teams that’s out if you haven’t been paying attention.
Not ranked or receiving votes: Michigan Wolverines
This isn’t the surprise non-ranked B1G team. So I was really rooting for Michigan to be good this year and thought that they would have been, but they can’t translate their genuine talent into wins. They started our their season with a win over Cleveland State, but then a heartbreaking double overtime loss to Drexel in week 2 was pretty demoralizing. Still though they bounced back with two wins in a row against Jacksonville (a close game, only won 11-10) and St. John’s respectively, but hasn’t won a game since facing some rough scheduling with Yale, Notre Dame and the rising Delaware. Michigan currently sits at 3-6 overall, 0-1 in conference with a loss to Johns Hopkins this past weekend. Still though I think Michigan CAN maybe upset one B1G team this year. Can. Up next for the Wolverines in conference play is at Maryland this Saturday at 2pm.
Receiving votes: Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
SURPRISE! Ouch. Given what the Blue Jays, the 2018 B1G Champions, were projected to do this season this is unfortunate. Johns Hopkins had a rough start with a season opening loss, then another loss to highly ranked rival, Loyola. Back to back wins at North Carolina and Princeton made it seem like things were maybe starting to look up for the Blue Jays, but top 10 ranked Syracuse delivered a smack followed a few weeks later by a home loss to Virginia and, well, the Blue Jays are quite blue this year indeed. I predicted that “they’d take a little step back this year,” in my season preview, but this is way more than a little step back . Big Ten play began last weekend for the Blue Jays and at least they started off conference play with a win against Michigan. Johns Hopkins sits at a record of 5-4 overall, 1-0 in conference, and faces Rutgers this Saturday, April 6th, at 2pm. Blue Jay turf.
#18. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Not where I would have liked to see the Scarlet Knights at this point in the season as Rutgers is trying hard to get to the 16 team NCAA Tournament this year. Still though, ranked is ranked and we’re only back in it thanks to a dominating in-conference upset this past weekend over previously #4 Ohio State, beating the Buckeyes 14-6. Prior to this though, Rutgers has had quite the fluctuation in wins and losses. Started off the season 2-0 with comfortable wins over Lafayette and St. John’s, but then a really painful 1 point loss to a ranked Army team, then a consecutive loss to #1 ranked at the time Loyola. The Scarlet Knights answered with two wins against Fairfield, a very defense driven game, and a win against old school rival, Princeton. But then two losses to ranked Lehigh and Syracuse knocked the Scarlet Knights down and eventually out. Here’s hoping we only had a problem with out of conference ranked teams as we move forward in conference play. Rutgers currently sits at 6-4 overall and 1-0 in conference. The Scarlet Knights are away at Johns Hopkins this Saturday, April 6th at 2pm.
#9. Ohio State
Quite the five point knock down after the Rutgers loss, their only loss of the season, but still, being in the Top 10 is impressive always. Prior to this past weekend, Ohio State has, for the most part, confidently beaten every team that came their and had an overtime thriller against ranked Notre Dame. I expect Ohio State to not take the Rutgers loss lightly, but I personally don’t see them getting past Maryland and Penn State and that the conference is settling in final standings that pretty much reflect the order of the rankings now, but I’m rooting for chaos. The Buckeyes currently sit at 7-1, and 0-1 in conference play. They face Penn State in State College this Sunday, April 8th, at 7pm. Should be a great game and I’d recommend it to anyone.
#3. Maryland Terrapins
Maryland has had a dominating season with two “quality losses” against to Notre Dame and just this past weekend vs Penn State. This is still an excellent season hence Maryland’s #3 ranking. At this point since, however, since Maryland and Penn State are the conference’s top teams and we’re in conference play, the only way Maryland can ascend in the rankings before the B1G Championship is if Penn State loses to a B1G team that Maryland beats and I certainly see that as a possibility. I think this weekend will set that in motion if this were to happen (looking at that Ohio State Penn State game). The Terrapins currently sit at 8-2 overall, 0-1 in conference play. The Terps face Michigan this Saturday, April 6, at 2pm.
#1. Penn State Nittany Lions
Ugh. Do I seriously have to root for Penn State now? Well, I did, but now we’re in conference play, so I can root for chaos. In all seriousness though, Penn State lacrosse is hard not to respect. While projected to do well this season (like most B1G teams), I don’t think anyone saw this coming for the Nittany Lions. However, they are clearly capitalizing on their seniority which I did predict they would. The Nits have maintained the #1 ranking into Week 8 after surging to #1 in Week 5, and just scored their first ever win over Maryland in program history. Penn State only has one loss so far this season, to Yale, currently ranked #5 after dropping from #2. So I’d call that a quality loss and does not reflect poorly on the Nittany Lions at all. If chaos doesn’t happen, then Penn State will continue to dominate, having already knocked off their greatest in-conference threat, Maryland, early. The Nittany Lions currently sit at 8-1 overall, and are 1-0 in conference. Penn State faces Ohio State, this Sunday April 7th, at 7pm. Home game. Prime lacrosse time.
And that’s your Lacrosse update you’ve all been dying for!