It’s almost here! The 2020 season begins in less than two weeks and everyone at the site is really excited to get this party started. To kick off the new season, Jake, Ryan, Adam, & I got together over the weekend to tape our 2020 College Crosse Preseason Top 20 podcast.
The Preseason Top 20 Crossecast is always one of my favorite shows of the year and this year’s episode certainly didn’t disappoint. For your convenience, here’s a link to our 2020 NCAA men’s lacrosse Matrix, which has everything you need to follow along with us.
For anyone new to the site, Jake, Ryan, Adam, Chris & I will also participate in a weekly College Crosse Top 20 Poll as well. So make sure to not miss those posts which go up every Monday once the season begins. Chris & I also vote in the weekly Media Top 20 Poll run by Inside Lacrosse.
Directly below you can find each of our Top 20 ballots for this year’s College Crosse Preseason Top 20. Below our ballots you can find the site’s official poll and below the poll you can also find some comments from Adam about his ballot. You can find the podcast player and links for this Crossecast at the bottom of the page.
2020 College Crosse Preseason Top 20 Ballots
|1||Penn State||Penn State||Penn State||Penn State||Penn State||1|
|7||Syracuse||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Duke||Syracuse||7|
|8||Ohio State||Syracuse||Ohio State||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||8|
|9||Notre Dame||Johns Hopkins||Syracuse||Cornell||Ohio State||9|
|10||Johns Hopkins||Ohio State||Johns Hopkins||Ohio State||Johns Hopkins||10|
|11||Cornell||Cornell||Army||Johns Hopkins||North Carolina||11|
|12||High Point||North Carolina||North Carolina||North Carolina||Cornell||12|
|16||Rutgers||Georgetown||Loyola||Army West Point||High Point||16|
|20||Robert Morris||Towson||Villanova||UMass||Robert Morris||20|
2020 College Crosse Preseason Top 20 Poll
|Rank||College Crosse Top 20|
|Rank||College Crosse Top 20|
- Penn State - The most explosive offense I’ve ever seen masks all other deficiencies, if there are any. Solid FOGO, solid in goal. Only TD Ierlan can stop this team. I’m not a believer in automatically ranking the previous champion as #1.
- Virginia - Ryan Conrad did so many things for this team, and now he’s gone. But they bring pretty much every else back from the title run last year, plus the #1 ranked freshman in the country as part of another loaded recruiting class. Lars has the pieces to run it back in 2020.
- Yale - I feel like I’ve said this a million times but as long as they have TD Ierlan, they will be a title contender. He masked what was a mediocre defense in 2019. They lose some guys at the midfield, but they’ve still got plenty of firepower, led by that extremely balanced attack unit.
- Duke - I’m a little higher on Duke than most. They’re just so solid on all phases, year in and year out. The defense will be good again, led by 1st team preseason All-American JT Giles-Harris. They need a true QB on offense but bring in another insane recruiting class. I’m a big believer in incoming freshman Dyson Williams.
- Maryland - The defense was suspect last year but the Terps bring back all the important pieces on offense. And my hunch is Tillman gets that D buttoned up a bit in 2020. They need to identify an alpha on that unit. Maybe it’ll be Makar but he’s unproven as a #1 guy.
- Penn - It’s a shame they were forced into a matchup with Yale in the quarterfinals. They were a Final Four caliber team last year. They might be again, but Matthias, Dunn, and Junkin are big losses. Even with that, the Quakers still have one of the better rosters top to bottom in D1.
- Notre Dame - I think I might regret this pick, but I’ll give the Golden Domers the benefit of the doubt based on how they looked toward the end of the year (winning 4 of their last 5, with convincing wins over Duke and Hopkins). I have no idea what the defense looks like without Byrne running the show. On the bright side, they finally look like they have some real depth on offense.
- Syracuse - Losing their two top scorers is quickly neutralized with the addition of Scanlan and Dordevic returning from injury. They’re solid in goal and have the deepest stable of middies in the country. They’ll be improved. This is an appropriate ranking. They should not be much higher than this. Stop.
- Johns Hopkins - The Jays finally have a Tewaaraton caliber attackman in Joey Epstein. Losing Foley on D hurts but there’s pretty much nowhere to go but up for that unit. The same can be said for goaltending. They’ve got a quality FOGO tandem and have plenty of fun pieces to move around on offense next to Epstein. The two wins over Maryland and taking Penn State to overtime is reason for some optimism.
- Ohio State - The Buckeyes are due for a big year. Outside of Jasinski, they bring back pretty much everybody. They beat Hopkins and Notre Dame last year and probably should have beaten Maryland. Maybe the deepest offense Myers has had in awhile and the best SSDM in the country in Ryan Terefenko.
- Cornell - Teat loses his partner in crime in Clarke Petterson but there’s more than enough on offense for the best team that missed the playoffs last year. If only they could hang with Yale. Chayse Ierlan is going to be an excellent goalie. Actually, he already is.
- North Carolina - The Tar Heels have been doodoo since the title win in 2016. But that was before Chris Gray came to town. He drastically changes the equation. They also get former #1 defensive recruit Will Bowen back from injury. Still not sure how high the ceiling is for this team but I think it’s reasonable to expect real improvement in 2020.
- Denver - The Pios are hit hard by graduation, losing two big pieces on offense in Colton Jackson and Austin French, as well as the Dylans (Gaines and Johnson) on defense (and Matt Neufeldt!). But quite frankly I’m not sure who else should be ranked here. It’s usually not wise to doubt Tierney, and now they’re bringing in the #1 FOGO recruit in the country.
- Loyola - Goodbye Pat Spencer, the best player in program history. Goodbye Jacob Stover, their best goalie in a decade. And goodbye Chase Scanlan, one of the best freshmen in the counry last year. Those are three colossal losses. They also lose John Duffy and a few other middie contributors. Not sure there’s a team hit harder by graduation than the Greyhounds in 2020. But they still have a lot of talent on defense, to go along with Olmstead and Lindley on O. I still think they win the Patriot League even in a rebuilding year.
- Delaware - I am deathly afraid of the Blue Hens in 2020 and not afraid to rank them this high. They were a sneaky good team last year. Tye Kurtz is the best Canadian no one is talking about. They’ve got the best goalie in the country in Matt DeLuca. Coach Ben DeLuca (no relation) has this team on the upswing.
- Georgetown - The Hoyas lose a lot of production on offense, but I think Kevin Warne has this team here to stay as a perennial top 20 contender. Jake Carraway and Gibson Smith are great pieces to build around. They also have two top 10 recruits on the way. They could surprise despite losing Dan Bucaro and Lucas Wittenberg.
- Lehigh - They lose their top four scorers from last season, but they do get Andrew Pettit back from injury. The defense and faceoffs were excellent in 2019. Even with the loss of Craig Chick, both those units should be solid again. If they find some depth on offense, they’ll be a factor.
- Rutgers - The D might be a bit of a mess after losing two starters along with goalie Max Edelmann, but the Scarlet Knights return most of the offense for a team that tends to play with a chip on its shoulder. Charalambides and Mullins are always dangerous.
- Villanova - They bring the entire offense back from a team that beat Yale and Denver last year. Why not. This is what the back half of the top 20 is for.
- Towson - Shawn Nadelen is one of the best coaches in the country, so he should still field a solid squad even after losing crucial pieces in Zach Goodrich, Brendan Sunday, and Alex Woodall. Koby Smith returns to lead what should be another stout defense. Never doubt the Nadelen Death Grip.
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Thank you for listening to the podcast and supporting the site. We greatly appreciate it. Please let us know your thoughts about our picks and who you’d choose for your Top 20 in the comments section.