In one of the rare instances in which I made a prediction that came true, Pete sent out the email to the writers group asking for someone to write a story on Maryland's mens lacrosse team reaching the top spot in the lacrosse polls. No one else responded and I'm sitting at my Chromebook grumbling about having to write this story but writing it nonetheless.
Don't get me wrong. Given the preseason predictions, The Terps have clearly earned this distinction. Duke is the defending National Chapion and was pretty much the consensus preseason number one. Syracuse is another returning power. So there's little question Maryland has had two wins, make that two convincing wins, over teams of great quality and that share high expectations not only for this season but as lacrosse programs.
And Maryland is playing exceptionally well right now. They have shown great balance on offense and their defense has been as solid as everyone anticipated. And the truth is that if Niko Amato maintains the same level of play in goal that he's shown thus far, The Terps will be a very difficult team to beat. Still, they've only played four games.
So those of you who like to savor these moments,. go ahead and beat your collective chests, raise a beer if you want, and celebrate. When you're done, please just move along. Eight games remain on the Terrapins regular season schedule including trips to North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Johns Hopkins. There's also a visit from Virginia which oh by the way, also beat Syracuse albeit not on the road. Then, the Terps will get to do it all over again facing some of those ACC squads in the conference tournament. And all of that happens before the NCAA Tournament.
Testudo Times' other lacrosse writer, Jake Nazar and I engaged in a bit of back and forth regarding the importance and value of gaining the number one spot during the season. While I agree that it can have some impact on post season seedings - which can be important - it still comes down to what happens on the field. I wrote that the men's 2002 basketball champions never reached number one in the AP poll. The same is true for the women's 2006 basketball champs. Last season the women's lacrosse team was undefeated and raked number one for all or most of the season until they lost their final game. And that, to me, is the one time that number one in the polls has meaning.