It’s only the first week of the new year, but if you think that’s going to stop brand new college lacrosse content from coming your way, then you might have forgotten how early this spring sport starts.
On Tuesday, USA Lacrosse Magazine released the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I preseason polls for the 2023 season to mixed results for the Syracuse Orange lacrosse teams.
The women retained their spot amongst the elite of the sport coming in at No. 6 in the women’s Top 20, while the men found out that their young roster has some things to prove as they were unranked in the men’s Top 20.
The women come in at No. 6 behind a Top 5 of North Carolina (No. 1), Maryland (No. 2), Boston College (No. 3), Stony Brook (No. 4) and Northwestern (No. 5). In my opinion, sixth is too low a ranking for the Orange. I don’t understand us being behind Stony Brook and Northwestern, although the latter is slightly more understandable given how the Wildcats dispatched ‘Cuse out of the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals last spring.
Probably the most notable aspect of the women’s rankings is the staggering number of teams in the Top 20 that are on SU’s schedule for 2023. The Orange will play nine of the ranked preseason teams this year, including the entire Top 5. In addition, ‘Cuse will also face Duke (No. 11), Virginia (No. 13), Notre Dame (No. 14) and Loyola (No. 15). It’s going to be a fun year on the women’s side!
NEWS: @UVAMensLax is No. 1 in the @Nike / @USA_Lacrosse Division I Men's Preseason Top 20, announced today.— USA Lacrosse Magazine (@USALacrosseMag) January 3, 2023
5. @TigerLacrosse https://t.co/e6T8SWwV3E
The men were placed in the “also considered” category along with four other teams in no particular order, so they’re just outside the Top 20.
While SU didn’t quite make the cut of the rankings, plenty of their opponents not only did but find themselves at or near the top of the list. Six of the Orange’s foes made the Top 20, including five in the top seven.
Virginia came in at the top spot, followed by defending undefeated national champion Maryland at No. 2. Georgetown and Cornell are third and fourth, while Princeton rounds out the Top 5. Notre Dame (No. 6) and Duke (No. 7) make it five SU opponents in the top seven, and North Carolina is the sixth team down at No. 17. Johns Hopkins is another Orange opponent in the “also considered” section.
Despite the lack of a ranking, there’s a lot to be excited about for this very young Orange group. After bottoming out (we hope) at 4-10 last season, Gary Gait and his new-look team will attempt to start the climb back up the mountain for this program.
It’s kind of crazy to think that we’re only a month away from the start of the men’s season, with the women being just a week behind that.
Keep checking back with us for much more season preview content in the coming weeks as we get ready for an exciting 2023 lacrosse season!