Commentary

Upsets shakeup Quint's ballot

Originally Published: March 7, 2011
By Quint Kessenich | InsideLacrosse.com

14,340 fans in the Carrier Dome watched another thriller in the Syracuse-Virginia rivalry. The Orange were among the weekend's biggest winners. Princeton, Duke and Army bounced back from defeats to post wins over ranked teams. Here's a look at my top 20:

1. Syracuse -- Syracuse downed Virginia 12-10 on Friday night. After trailing 8-7, the Orange defense tightened up in the second half. John Lade, Brian Megill and Kevin Drew were terrific, while Tim Desko found he net five times. SU was 0-8 with the extra man. SU will take on Georgetown on Saturday (ESPNU, 11 a.m. ET) as part of the fifth annual Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.

2. Virginia -- Shamel Bratton put on a show, but Virginia committed 10 second-half turnovers and made too many mistakes on defense in its loss to SU. The Cavs must improve their slides, discipline and overall team defensive strategy if they are going to win the NCAA title. Chris LaPierre, Rhamel Bratton and goalie Adam Ghitelman played well in defeat. The Wahoos tussle with Cornell on Saturday (ESPNU, 1:30 p.m. ET) in the second game of the Face-Off Classic.

3. Notre Dame -- The Irish took care of business Sunday, beating Drexel 11-7 indoors.

4. Hofstra -- The Pride's résumé includes wins over Colgate, Sacred Heart, Princeton and Harvard. Jay Card, Jamie Lincoln and Stephen Bentz each have recorded 12 points.

5. UMass -- The Minutemen broke open a close game with Brown, winning 9-6 and now can say they've beaten Ohio State, Hartford, Army and the Bears. Ryan Hantverk, Connor Mooney and Anthony Biscardi scored momentum-building third-quarter goals. UMass is at Albany on Tuesday.

6. Princeton -- The Tigers were relentless on ground balls, a step ahead of Johns Hopkins in all situations, opportunistic on offense and scored a front-running victory at Homewood Field. Defenseman Chad Wiedmaier, goalie Tyler Fiorito and midfielder Thomas Schreiber starred. If coach Chris Bates' squad plays with that type of toughness and smarts, it can beat anyone. Princeton hosts North Carolina on Friday (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET).

7. Stony Brook -- The Canadian connection -- Jordan McBride and Kevin Crowley -- combined for seven goals in a 13-7 win over Marist. Attackman Tom Compitello was back in the lineup, after missing the Virginia game. Stony Brook hosts Delaware on Saturday and only faces one top 20 opponent the rest of the year.

8. Army -- The Cadets beat Cornell in a rematch of the 2010 NCAA quarterfinals. Devin Lynch scored four times, Tim Henderson scooped up six groundballs and scored a goal, and Tom Palesky made 17 saves. Army shot 41 percent and Cornell shot 21 percent. Black Knights face-off against Bryant on Friday.

9. Cornell -- The Big Red took 16 shots in the fourth quarter, only scoring twice in the loss to Army, 11-9. Jason Noble was a bright spot in the loss, picking up nine ground balls. Rob Pannell scored three times on 13 shots, but had no assists. The Inside Lacrosse Magazine cover jinx is becoming folklore. Up next: Virginia on Saturday in Baltimore. You can get tickets here.

10. Denver -- The Pioneers pounded Jacksonville 20-8 on Saturday and Manhattan 17-6 on Sunday.

11. Ohio State -- The Scarlet and Gray needed three overtimes to get past Penn State. The Buckeyes face Lehigh and Albany this week.

12. North Carolina -- The Heels relied on a seven-goal spurt to beat UMBC 13-9. Marcus Holman and Nicky Galasso put up big stats, R.G. Keenan scooped up 12 groundballs and goalie Chris Madalon made 13 stops. Carolina plays Penn, Princeton, Duke, Maryland and Hopkins over the next four weeks. UNC is allowing 10.3 goals against per game.

13. Penn --- The Quakers are at North Carolina on Tuesday. They're 3-0 with wins over Duke, Bucknell and Lafayette while surrendering only 4.5 goals per game.

14. Duke -- Freshman Jordan Wolf scored his third goal of the game as Duke shocked Maryland 9-8 in overtime. Zach Howell had tied the game up with :03 to go. Goalie Dan Wigrizer was outstanding with 17 saves while defenders Tom Montelli and Chris Hipps shut down the Terps attack. It was a vital win for coach John Danowski and Duke, which plays Loyola on Friday.

15. Maryland -- The loss to Duke shows illustrates that Maryland still has lots to learn. Their next four are against Bellarmine, Towson, UMBC and St Joseph's, which gives them the opportunity to clean things up. With only a Georgetown win in their pocket, it's impossible to rank the Terps ahead of Duke. Maryland travels to Towson on Saturday (ESPN3.com, noon ET).

16. Johns Hopkins -- The Blue Jays manufactured three goals, their fewest since 1966, in Saturday's lopsided loss to Princeton. The offense sputtered as only John Ranagan and Rob Guida could get a step on their defenders. Shot selection was poor, especially early in the game. The half-field offense made no in-roads, and the Jays weren't interested in pushing the ball when given the opportunity.

But the primary area of concern is ground balls. The Blue Jays were down 21-8 in that department at half. They are a step slow to react to the ball, they were outmanned in many of the skirmishes, and often got their sticks on the ball but couldn't finish the play. The trio of starting defenders scooped up zero ground balls, leading to extra Tiger possessions. JHU plays Manhattan on Wednesday (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET) and UMBC on Saturday (ESPN3.com, 4 p.m. ET).

17. Bucknell -- Their loss to Penn hurts because the Bison have an anticipated low strength of schedule. Bucknell welcomes Navy to Lewisburg, Pa. on Monday.

18. Georgetown -- Hoyas have a critical midweek game against Harvard and then play Syracuse in Baltimore on Saturday in what should be a high-scoring fan pleaser.

19. Villanova -- Kevin Cunningham has 16 points after four games. Wildcats have wins over Lehigh, Drexel and Fairfield and a loss to Bucknell.

20. Loyola -- Greyhounds are grossly overrated in the coaches' poll with wins over unranked Navy, Towson and Bellarmine by a combined five goals. The next two weeks should give us a better indication as they play Duke and Denver.

Quint Kessenich covers lacrosse for the ESPN family of networks and Insidelacrosse.com.

Quint Kessenich covers college and professional lacrosse for ESPN.