After a shocking 13-12 overtime loss to Villanova this weekend, Maryland men’s lacrosse has dropped to No. 10 in the national Inside Lacrosse rankings.
Some type of drop was to be expected, as the Wildcats came into the game with a 2-4 record and had never beaten the Terps in program history. It was a rough week for all the traditional lacrosse powerhouses, as Virginia, North Carolina and No. 1 Denver all dropped in the rankings as well.
Ultimately, Maryland is still in good shape. The team has struggled offensively the last couple of games, but a valiant fourth-quarter effort leaves a lot to be optimistic about.
A changing of the guard
At the moment, it looks like the power hierarchy of Big Ten lacrosse has inverted.
Here’s the updated top five by Inside Lacrosse, with three Big Ten teams highlighting the bunch:
Rutgers, which finished 5-10 in 2015, is the No. 1 team in the country. Rutgers’ lacrosse program has been on the rise for quite some time, but nobody anticipated them to be the best team in the country at any point during this season. Thanks to an 8-0 start, the Scarlet Knights have their best start since 1955.
Penn State and Ohio State are undefeated on the season as well, and received first place votes on good merit. The Nittany Lions boast the fourth-best scoring offense in the country, led by freshman phenom Mac O’Keefe, who leads the country with a staggering 30 goals. The Buckeyes took down top-ranked Denver, and jumped 13 spots in the rankings because of that.
The Terps haven’t started conference play, which is a double-edged sword of sorts. On one hand, beating conference opponents within the top five would catapult Maryland up the rankings. On the other hand, taking down a top-five opponent isn’t exactly a walk in the park.