Commentary

Georgetown's strong showing has Hoyas challenging UVA, Cuse

Updated: March 2, 2009, 1:17 PM ET
By Quint Kessenich | Inside Lacrosse

Georgetown delivered the week's top lacrosse performance with a 13-10 win over Maryland, while Harvard announced it's a serious threat in the Ivy League. Close games will be a theme this spring -- there were nine one-goal games this past weekend. Scoring is up from a year ago -- that's a great sign for fans who appreciate action. The Ivy League went 7-0 while the Patriot League got skunked.

Quint's Power Rankings

1. Virginia Virginia
Last week: 1
The Cavs pasted Stony Brook for 20 goals Saturday with improved offensive ball movement. They took 62 shots. The Wahoos face Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday before the showdown with Syracuse on Friday night in the Carrier Dome. UVA is only 2-for-10 with the extra man.

2. Syracuse Syracuse
Last week: 2
SU beat Army 17-6 and now hosts Virginia on Friday. How will Syracuse match up with UVA's attack? Which team will control faceoffs? The undisputed No. 1 ranking is at stake.

3. Georgetown Georgetown
Last week: 6
A 5-1 third quarter spearheaded a 13-10 win over Maryland in what was the most encouraging Hoyas performance I've seen since 1999. The offense shared the ball while the defense (especially Barney Ehrmann) won the matchup with the Terps' hyped attack. Craig Dowd is my new favorite player.

4. North Carolina UNC
Last week: 5
The Tar Heels nipped Navy by a goal Friday night in Chapel Hill and then came back Sunday in a workmanlike win over Colgate. UNC beat Navy behind two key facets: faceoffs (Shane Walterhoefer) and goaltending (Grant Zimmerman). The Heels will be favored in their first eight games.

5. Princeton Princeton
Last week: 8
Tigers tuned up for Saturday's showdown with Johns Hopkins by beating Canisius 14-6. Coach Bill Tierney played two goalies in the win -- freshman Tyler Fiorito started and Nikhil Ashra played the second half.

6. Johns Hopkins JHU
Last week: 7
The Blue Jays' defense shut out Siena for the last 45 minutes on a cold Friday night. Defenders Matt Drenan and Michael Evans were terrific in front of goalie Michael Gvozden. The breakthrough player on offense was lefty shooter Kyle Wharton (3 goals).

7. Cornell Cornell
Last week: 9
The Big Red hammered Binghamton 18-6 this weekend. Cornell travels to Army on Saturday.

8. Maryland Maryland
Last week: 3
The Terps lost to Georgetown at home, 13-10. Maryland's defense looked a step slow and threw the ball away six times on clears. If not for the steady play of the Terps' first midfield line (Dan Groot, Jeremy Sieverts and Jeff Reynolds) this game would have been over early.

9. UMBC UMBC
Last week: 11
The more teams I see, the more I like UMBC. The Retrievers put up 17 goals on Rutgers. They host Colgate on Saturday.

10. Hofstra Hofstra
Last week: 10
The Pride took down UMass by one on Saturday without their best midfielder. Hofstra scored six times in the fourth quarter including the game winner from Jay Card with four seconds remaining. Hofstra is the chalk in the CAA -- Drexel, Stony Brook, Delaware and Towson were all losers this weekend.

11. Harvard Harvard
Last week: Not ranked
Harvard hit my radar last year but couldn't get over the hump. On Sunday, the Crimson beat Duke 9-6. They rode well by dropping their heels to the midfield line and swarming the clearing ball carrier. Year No. 2 for coach John Tillman is all of a sudden looking very promising.

12. Duke Duke
Last week: 4
The Blue Devils survived a scare by Colgate on Friday, winning 9-8, but weren't so fortunate Sunday afternoon in falling to Harvard 9-6. Duke's 29 shots and six goals were its fewest since 2005.

13. Navy Navy
Last week: 15
The Midshipmen lost a one-goal game to North Carolina on Friday night in Chapel Hill. When you don't win faceoffs and don't make saves, the margin for victory shrinks.

14. Denver Denver
Last week: 13
The Pioneers bounced back from a UNC loss by beating Albany 10-9 in a key nonconference game. Peter Lowell started in goal for Denver and made 13 saves in the win.

15. Notre Dame Notre Dame
Last week: 14
I trust the Fighting Irish to win games on their schedule they are "supposed" to win. They are as emotionally consistent as any team in the land. Notre Dame downed Penn State on Sunday 13-8 on a 3-for-4 extra-man offense performance.

16. Loyola Loyola (Md.)
Last week: 17
The Greyhounds beat Towson 11-8 on Saturday. Colin Finnerty has become the target for all of their feeders and Shane Koppens returns to the lineup this week.

17. Albany Albany
Last week: 12
The Great Danes lost a one-goal squeaker to Denver.


18. Ohio State OSU
Last week: Not ranked
The Buckeyes topped Bucknell 10-9 in OT. Joel Dalgarno scored the game winner and now has more than 180 career points.

19. Bucknell Bucknell
Last week: 16
The Bison have lost to Duke and Ohio State.

20. Colgate Colgate
Last week: Not ranked
The Red Raiders lost to Carolina and Duke by a combined three goals, but are looking more and more like a one-man team.

Quint Kessenich covers college and professional lacrosse for ESPN. He can be reached at quint@insidelacrosse.com.

Quint Kessenich covers college and professional lacrosse for ESPN.