With the new Inside Lacrosse rankings released on Monday, there shouldn’t be much surprise as to who the No. 1 team (still) is.
It’d be hard to have a much better start to the season than Duke has put together this year.
The Blue Devils won their first three games by 14, 12, and 11, giving them the top offense and scoring margin of teams with more than one game under the belt.
Got a case of the Mondays?? Reliving the 19-8 win over Jacksonville will change that! pic.twitter.com/sRs9i01xNJ— Duke Men's Lacrosse (@DukeMLAX) February 12, 2018
The rest of the Top 5 stayed virtually the same, the lone mix-up coming via Denver leapfrogging Albany for the No. 3 spot.
The Pioneers didn’t disappoint in their first game of the year knocking off Air Force 11-5 in a rematch of last year’s first-round NCAA tournament game. Junior goalie Alex Ready held a shutout through halftime, and finished with nine saves in the win.
Friday, those two freight trains meet head on in Durham, as Duke hosts Denver in one of the most exciting matchups of the early season.
Further down, three new teams cracked the Top 10 this week. Syracuse jumped to No. 7 after an impressive 21-4 win over Binghamton; Johns Hopkins first game of the year was a 14-6 win over No. 14 Towson; and Virginia moved up five spots with a 13-12 double overtime win against No. 10 Loyola.
Villanova cracked the rankings at No. 15 after one of the most thrilling games of the season so far — a 17-16 overtime win over No. 12 Penn State that saw the Wildcats come back from five down in the fourth quarter.
And North Carolina may have gotten in the win column after its first matchup, but the near-upset by Furman was enough to drop the Tar Heels five spots from No. 9 to No. 14.
Five ranked teams start their seasons this week, highlighted by No. 4 Albany heading to Syracuse on Saturday, and No. 5 Yale taking on Villanova in Frisco at the Patriot Cup.