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Syracuse lacrosse: Orange tabbed in Top 10 of men’s and women’s preseason polls

How close are we to lacrosse season? We’re preseason polls close!

2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

That’s right lacrosse fans, we’re officially staring down the barrel of the impending, new season.

The calendar flipping to 2024 was the perfect time for the release of the first major preseason polls. On Wednesday, USA Lacrosse Magazine revealed their Division I Men’s Preseason Top 20 and their Division I Women’s Preseason Top 20. The rankings are put together by the USA Lacrosse Magazine staff along with input from coaches around the country.

The rankings were very positive from a Syracuse Orange perspective with both teams coming in inside their respective Top 10s. The men were slotted just inside at No.9, while the women came in at No. 5.

The main takeaway from these rankings outside of ‘Cuse’s placement is the very high rankings of the Orange’s opponents, which seemingly confirms the intense difficulty of both teams schedules.

The men have an almost-unbelievable task on their slate this season. Of the eight teams ranked ahead of them in this poll, the Orange are playing seven of them. Yowza.

Unsurprisingly, the top three teams in the poll are all ACC opponents. The defending national champion Notre Dame starts the season at No. 1, followed by last year’s national runners-up Duke at No. 2. Virginia completes the top-of-the-poll ACC triumvirate at No. 3.

Penn State at No. 4 is the only team in the top eight not on SU’s schedule, and they’re followed by a flurry of non-conference opponents starting with Maryland at No. 5. Johns Hopkins checks in at No. 6 ahead of Cornell at No. 7 and Army at No. 8. After SU, Yale rounds out the Top 10.

In total, the Orange men are playing seven of the top eight, nine of the Top 20 (Delaware at No. 16 and North Carolina at No. 19) and 10 in total (out of 15 games) with Utah in the “also considered” category just outside the rankings. They’ve certainly got their work cut out for them.

The women are in a very similar spot with their schedule, also playing the top three teams in their poll and seven of the Top 10 overall.

Defending champion and ‘Cuse’s first opponent of the season Northwestern tops the poll at No. 1. They’re followed by last year’s runner-up Boston College at No. 2 and North Carolina at No. 3. Last year’s surprise breakout team Denver takes the No. 4 spot ahead of the Orange rounding out the Top 5.

SU is followed by two more of their opponents with Maryland at No. 6 and Notre Dame at No. 7. James Madison slots in at No. 8 ahead of two more ‘Cuse non-conference opponents to round out the Top 10 with Loyola at No. 9 and Stony Brook at No. 10.

Other SU opponents include Army at No. 13, Virginia at No. 20, and Clemson and Duke in the “also considered” category. Overall, the Orange play seven of the Top 10, nine of the Top 20 and 11 total (out of 16 games) including the teams just outside the poll. It’s going to be another fun, intense spring in CNY.

So, with that, we are off and running with the preseason rankings and accolades. Keep checking back here for much more season preview content as we move through the month of January and early February. We’re just over four weeks away from the men’s first game and five weeks for the women. It’s going to be here before we know it!