We had a very feisty weekend to close out Week 3. To help provide some perspective on the post-weekend aftermath, please check out our Week 3 Poll Aggregation table directly below. Moreover, you can find our Week 3 Top 20 post here, and here are the links for the Week 3 USILA Coaches Poll, the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, & the US Lacrosse Magazine Top 20. Since we believe in transparency here at College Crosse, here’s the ballot I submitted for the College Crosse Top 20 and the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.
Week 3 Poll Aggregation
|Rank||College Crosse||USILA||IL Media Poll||US Lacrosse Mag||Rank|
|Rank||College Crosse||USILA||IL Media Poll||US Lacrosse Mag||Rank|
|2||Notre Dame||Penn State||Penn State||Penn State||2|
|3||Penn State||Syracuse||Syracuse||Notre Dame||3|
|4||North Carolina||North Carolina||North Carolina||Syracuse||4|
|5||Syracuse||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Princeton||5|
|18||Hobart||Johns Hopkins||Ohio State||Ohio State||18|
|20||Johns Hopkins||Richmond||Richmond||Saint Joseph's||20|
Yale’s mental toughness: My biggest takeaway from this past weekend was Yale’s ability to overcome a hostile environment and a ton of turnovers to defeat Penn State 12-10 in Happy Valley. While it certainly wasn’t the prettiest victory of coach Shay’s tenure at New Haven (23 turnovers and 11 failed clears), this game definitely demonstrated how resilient the Bulldogs are as a team.
An away game against the #1 team in the nation is always going to be difficult, but when you add in the packed stands at Panzer Stadium and the two defeats the Nittany Lions had to endure last year to the Bulldogs, it was clear from the start that Yale was walking into a very unfriendly environment.
Nevertheless, Shay’s boys were able to overcome the crowd noise, lots of sloppy plays, a hot Penn State goalie (Colby Kneese finished with 16 saves), and a spirited 4th quarter comeback by the Nittany Lions to walk away with the win. Despite all these obstacles and the many early wasted possessions Yale made it out of the first quarter with a 2-1 lead.
After the early storm Yale started hitting their shots and then went on a 4-0 run through much of the second quarter to go up 6-1 and from then on always seemed to have an answer for Penn State. The Nittany Lions scored two late first half goals to go into halftime only down 6-3, but the early damage had been done and it wasn’t until 6:27 in the third quarter before PSU got their fourth goal of the game.
You have to give Yale’s defense a ton of credit. The Bulldogs held Penn State’s vaunted offense to one goal (off of a failed clear) for the first 27 minutes of the game and held Grant Ament without a point for the first 39 minutes of the contest. Ament got rolling late and finished with 1 goal and 5 assists in the last quarter and a half of the game, but Yale’s defense deserves a lot of respect for keeping him from really having an impact through much of the afternoon.
Moreover, you can’t talk about Yale without talking about TD Ierlan, who was fantastic out of the gate, winning 9 of 11 faceoffs in the first half, including all six in the first quarter, to help suffocate Penn State’s ability to get rolling early on in the game. Penn State got the better of TD in the second half, winning 8 of 15 faceoffs, but TD’s ability to stifle PSU early on in the contest definitely had an effect on the Nittany Lions and contributed to their early deficit.
This was not Yale’s best game by any stretch of the imagination. But an ugly loss is always better than a pretty defeat. Yale was able to get it done, in a hostile environment, when things were not going their way, and that’s what’s separate the best teams in the country from everyone else. The Ivy League looks really deep this year, but my money is still on the Bulldogs until someone knocks them off.
Buy & Sell
- Michael Sowers: If you know anyone looking to sell Michael Sowers stock, let us know at College Crosse, because we’ll gladly take it off their hands. The senior attackman is breaking records at Princeton at a scary rate and helped lead the Tigers to their best victory in years when they took down Virginia on Saturday. Judging by the polls it looks like Princeton’s back and Sowers merits much of the credit for 2020 rebound.
- The Ivy League: It’s still Week 3, but the Ivy is looking very good so far. Indeed, four Ivy teams are in the top 10 of all four polls and even Dartmouth’s running around with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2012. Look out for Cornell, the Big Red are 2nd in the country in scoring offense and have outscored their first three opponents by a combined score of 57-31. Cornell’s next four opponents are Ohio State, Penn State, Yale, and then Penn. If they can go 3-1 during that run, or better, they’ll have a good case to be ranked in the top 3 in the country, if not #1.
- North Carolina: The Tar Heels raced past JHU this past weekend and I’m starting to get those early-to-mid 2010s vibes from this team, back when coach Breschi was routinely dropping 13-14 regular season wins every year. Chris Gray is the best player in the country not named Grant Ament or Michael Sowers and if UNC continues to play like they have in their first four games, don’t be surprised if they take the ACC regular season crown this year.
- Notre Dame: After an impressive 13-5 victory over Richmond, the Fighting Irish have rocketed up the polls. They are 2nd on our poll, 5th on both the USILA Coaches Poll & the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, and 3rd on the US Lacrosse Magazine Top 20. Things are definitely on the upswing in South Bend.
- Johns Hopkins: Things have not gone well these last couple of weeks for Hopkins. Indeed, the Jays dropped out of the IL Media Poll & the US Lacrosse Magazine Top 20 and their lone win of the season against Towson doesn’t look as impressive as we get ready to enter March given Towson’s 0-3 start to the season. They are still in the College Crosse Top 20 and the USILA Coaches Poll, but they are clinging to the bottom rungs of both of them. I’m not ready to dump my JHU stock for the 2020 season, but a bad loss to Princeton this weekend and Hopkins could definitely find itself completely outside of the Top 20 by next Monday.
- The Big Ten: It pains me to put the GAWD Conference in here, but last weekend was not ideal for the B1G, as Ohio State was the only team in the conference to come away with a victory last Saturday (Maryland didn’t play last weekend due to their scheduled game versus Navy being postponed, but they did lose their game last Tuesday to Villanova). Indeed, Saturday did not go as planned for the conference, as Penn State caught another L to Yale, Joe Breschi won another game at Homewood versus the Jays, Rutgers lost another winnable game against a top 20 team, and Michigan lost a home game to Merrimack, giving the former Division II team its first victory in its inaugural season in Division I. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, last weekend was a bit of a disaster for the Big Ten and continues a slow start for the conference which now has 9 combined losses in 2020.
That’s it for me. Let us know you’re Top 20 or who you are buying or selling in the comments.