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Syracuse Lacrosse: New York State Division I programs making strides in 2017

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While Syracuse has improved on its 2016 performance during the same period, the Orange are not alone as the overall state winning percentage is up this year and we have one or two more programs in the polls depending on which one you look at compared to last season.

NCAA Lacrosse: Quarterfinals - Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Albany Great Danes Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

How about New York State lacrosse this year, eh? The improvement is worth noting as the state has 15 division I programs and at this moment four of those 15 are ranked with a fifth being ranked only in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Compare that to last season at the same time when only three programs from the state were ranked. Not only that but the average RPI this year is up five spots from 42 to 37. What that means is that more teams in the state are playing tougher schedules and are putting up more wins. Finally, the overall winning percentage has improved from .460 to .514.

Obviously the Syracuse Orange has improved slightly, but the two biggest improvements are the Hofstra Pride and Binghamton Bearcats. The Pride are one of two undefeated teams in the country right now at 9-0. At the same time in 2016 Hofstra was 6-4. While the wins have been a big difference in the RPI, Hofstra’s opponents have had a significantly better RPI in 2017 meaning that their opponents are playing tougher opponents and winning more. The Pride have a very good opportunity to go undefeated in the regular season this year with only two of its remaining games against teams with winning records.

Binghamton is currently 8-1 while last season at the same time the Bearcats had a 2-6 record. The 2016 Bearcats actually had played teams with stronger RPIs at this time last year so it is basically its winning percentage that has made the biggest difference in 2017. Nevertheless, Kevin McKeown is a first year head coach for BU and has done a tremendous job thus far but Binghamton has five games remaining two of which against teams in the top 10 of the polls (Syracuse, Albany).

The Army Black Knights have two more wins right now than it did at this time in 2016. However it is mostly the win over Syracuse that has boosted Army into the top 10 of the polls. In fact, of its 10 opponents only two have winning records and are 1-1 in those games. Otherwise, Army’s wins have not been very impressive. Still though, it’s hard to ignore the nine wins.

Check out the year-over-year comparisons below.

Year-Over-Year NYS Program Comparison

School RPI 4.3.17/4.3.16 Media ‘17/’16 US Lax ‘17/’16 USILA ‘17/’16 Record ‘17/’16
School RPI 4.3.17/4.3.16 Media ‘17/’16 US Lax ‘17/’16 USILA ‘17/’16 Record ‘17/’16
Albany 8/6 7/7 8/7 7/6 8-1/7-2
Army 14/39 6/NR 4/NR 8/NR 9-1/7-3
Binghamton 27/57 20/NR 8-1/2-6
Canisius 44/54 4-5/2-4
Colgate 53/46 3-7/3-7
Cornell 49/29 2-6/4-4
Hobart 50/48 4-5/5-4
Hofstra 6/42 3/NR 3/NR 4/NR 9-0/6-4
Manhattan 66/64 2-8/2-9
Marist 37/44 5-5/4-5
Siena 69/68 0-10/2-6
St. John’s 61/55 1-8/1-9
Stony Brook 18/8 NR/8 NR/16 NR/8 5-4/8-2
Syracuse 2/13 2/9 2/10 2/10 7-1/5-3
Wagner 64/63 5-6/5-6
Total 72-68/63-74