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Syracuse Men's Lacrosse: Orange No. 5 in LaxMagazine's Preseason Poll

Lacrosse Magazine released its preseason rankings on Tuesday, featuring the Syracuse Orange at the #5 position. Let's take a quick look at the differences between the IL and LaxMagazine polls.

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Lacrosse Magazine released its Nike/LM Division I Top 20 on Tuesday. I have listed the side-by-side comparison between the Lax Magazine and Inside Lacrosse polls, and there are certainly some differences between the two.

The Orange fair better in the LM poll, which places SU at 5th. The teams with the biggest disparity between the polls are Georgetown, Navy, Albany, and Harvard. I find it a little puzzling that #17/11 Albany is listed so low in the LM poll. The Great Danes still have Blaze Riorden in net, and will return significant firepower on offense with the return of Connor Fields. I believe that Albany is likely to settle between the #9 and #13 slots.

The Big East Coaches picked #11/18 Georgetown to finish second in the Conference, behind Denver. It's hard to believe that the Hoyas will finish in the bottom of the top 20. The big name for Georgetown is junior midfielder Peter Conley, who will hopefully be able to stay healthy after a midseason injury cut his 2015 season short. Conley put up 19 goals and 3 assists through seven games, and he could have a huge 2016. The Hoyas will have Preseason All-Big East selection Nick Marrocco between the pipes. The sophomore put up great numbers in his freshman year, landing third in the nation for saves per game and 14th in the nation for save percentage. The Hoyas won ten games for the first time since 2007, and I have high expectations for this team.

2015 was a crazy year in the Patriot League, and it was a lot of fun to watch. The #15/NR Naval Academy will bring back a strong defense led by 2015 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Chris Fennell and defensive midfielder John Trainor. Fennell enters his junior year with the 7th most career caused turnovers at Navy. The midshipmen had the 13th best scoring defense in the country last year and I think we will see much of the same on that side of the field. Brady Dove ended the 2015 campaign as the 8th best faceoff player in the country with a .626 winning percentage. Named to the 2015 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, Brady has been extremely consistent in his two years on the field. I don't think this is the 15th best team in the nation, but I also don't think they shouldn't be in the rankings.

Aside from the ACC, there may be no tougher conference in the land than the Ivy League. #20/14 Harvard lands at third in the Preseason Coaches' Poll behind Brown and Yale. The stud on this team is senior attackman Devin Dwyer. The Garden City, NY native put up 20 goals and 29 assists last year, including a 12-point performance versus Holy Cross. Dwyer has put up over 40 points in each of his three years, totaling 139 career points. The Crimson have a tough road ahead in league play, and this team will have to perform because the out-of-conference schedule is pretty weak so an at-large bid will require numerous Ivy League wins.

Team

LM

IL

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

1

1

Denver Pioneers

2

2

Duke Blue Devils

3

3

Maryland Terrapins

4

4

Syracuse Orange

5

8

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

6

6

North Carolina Tar Heels

7

5

Yale Bulldogs

8

10

Virginia Cavaliers

9

7

Brown Bears

10

9

Georgetown Hoyas

11

18

Loyola Greyhounds

12

12

Ohio State Buckeyes

13

13

Cornell Big Red

14

15

Navy Midshipmen

15

NR

Towson Tigers

16

19

Albany Great Danes

17

11

Marquette Golden Eagles

18

16

Stony Brook Seawolves

19

NR

Harvard Crimson

20

14

Villanova Wildcats

NR

17

Colgate Raiders

NR

20