The Big Ten had a great week. All five teams that played this week won and none of the games were close. Johns Hopkins’ five-goal win over 18th-placed Jacksonville was the closest win of any team in the conference this week, and the average win for teams playing this week was nearly nine goals. Michigan opens its season next week. Continue with this week’s IMS Big Ten Lacrosse Rankings.
1. Maryland Terrapins (1-0, last week: 1)
The king remains king for another week. The Terrapins beat 20th place Richmond 15-4. Although all eyes were on Maryland’s offensive end to see how they would replace the 300+ points they completed or lost to injury with the 2022 National Championship team, the Terps defense staged a clinical. Goaltender Logan McNaney made 12 saves against just three goals. Brett Makar led a defense that kept the Spiders scoreless for 43 minutes. Offensively, Owen Murphy and Daniel Maltz led the way. Ten terps found the web and 13 points recorded. As it always has been. The Terps travel to Baltimore next week to face Loyola, a team they embarrassed last season but want to prove they belong in the national conversation.
2. Ohio State (1-0, last week: 2)
If Jack Myers isn’t on your short list of Tewaaraton favorites, you don’t need to watch enough lacrosse. Myers helped usher in Ohio State’s new lacrosse facility by scoring nine runs against a consistently strong Air Force team. His melee companion Scott White four goals down. Drew Blanchard won 22 of 26 faceoffs and 12 grounded. Ohio State’s solid defense allowed just 15 shots on goal and Skylar Wahland made eight saves. If the Buckeyes continue to win faceoffs and have an above-average goalie, they’ll outperform every team in the country. They will face public enemy Cleveland State next week in a game that is unlikely to be close.
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3. Rutgers (1-0, last week: 3)
The Scarlett Knights quell any idea that Marist might start an upset. The red foxes couldn’t even keep him close. The Scarlett Knights led 12-2 at halftime, fueled by an 8-0 second-quarter breakout en route to a 20-8 victory. What should scare the rest of the league is the reappearance of Dante Kulas, who scored eight points against the Red Foxes. With Ross Scott and Brian Cameron scoring three goals each, Rutgers might have the strongest offensive unit in the conference. Harvard transfer Kyle Mullin made 10 saves for seven goals and, perhaps most importantly for Rutgers, FOGO’s Jonathan Dugenio won 16 of 24 faceoffs and had an assist. Defender Bobby Russo had a goal and an assist, but he also conceded three turnovers to trigger the transition. When the Rutgers can run, they’re hard to stop. Rutgers will face a deviously good team from Stony Brook on the shores of Raritan next week.
4. Penn State (1-0, last week: 4)
The Nittany Lions moved their game against Lafayette to Holuba Hall due to cold weather that had settled over most of the East Coast last week. Former Penn State players flooded Twitter to let everyone know that goaltenders are having trouble seeing the ball inside and there are plenty of goals to come. The Nitts actually scored many goals against the Leopards. They led 12-6 at halftime and nearly doubled Lafayette’s final score of 21-11. Penn State brought back several veteran players who had to sit out part or all of last season due to injuries. Well-known names entered the scorebook on Saturday. TJ Malone (5 points), Jack Traynor (3 points) and Mark Sickler (1g) dominated the game. However, it was a newcomer who caught the eye. Division 3 transfer Chris Jordan had six points starting on offense. Leading returners Mac Costin (2 points) and Will Peden (no points) played lesser roles; Maybe it’s a sign of more talent and depth in the squad. Jack Fracyon made 13 saves for eight goals and FOGO Hudson Bohn won 22 of 30 faceoffs. The Nitts head to the main line for an endurance game against Villanova next weekend.
5. Johns Hopkins (1-0, last week: 5)
The Blue Jays traveled to Florida to face Jacksonville, which was actually a home favorite with 1.5 goals going into the game. The first half of the game felt like a repeat of several Blue Jays games over the past two seasons. The offense lacked fluidity and turned the ball around. Hopkins players struggled to win one-on-one duels in the half court. The defense absorbed possession after possession when the offense turned the ball over or the defense failed to clear the ball. The Jays got great goaltending from Tim Marcille, who made 15 saves for seven goals. Logan Callahan and Tyler Dunn have won 15 of 23 meetings together. Excellent goaltending and face-off work finally allowed the Blue Jays to find their marks on offense in the second half. The Blue Jays converted a sloppy, hero-ball-filled 6-5 halftime lead into a comfortable 12-7 victory. Jacob Angelus used his speed to lead the attack (4 points) and powerful offensive players Brendan Grimes (2g), Garrett Degnon (1g) and Jonathan Peshko (1g, 1a) led the rest of the attack. Georgetown transfer Alex Mazzone scored a long pole goal to give the Blue Jays some juice and he is now cleared to face his former team at Homewood Field in Baltimore next Saturday.
6. Michigan (Last Week: 6)
Last season, the Wolverines played a soft fabric non-conference schedule. That won’t be the case this season. They open in Charlottesville next week against top-ranked Virginia, who also didn’t play this week.
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