04/15/2013 10:24 AM ET
SNY college lacrosse power rankings
Denver's OT win over Loyola has them on the upswing
By Eamon McAnaney
Denver celebrates Cam Flint's OT goal against Loyola. (Dan Scott, Denver athletics)

If the esteemed philosopher Rowdy Roddy Piper covered lacrosse in 2013 he would say "Just when you thought you had all the answers, I changed the questions."  It was a tremendous week chock full of more one-goal nail biters, furious comebacks and, of course, upsets. When the dust settled the biggest winners were Denver and Johns Hopkins, the biggest losers were the Ivy League and St. John's. Here is how I see the top 20.

1. Notre Dame (9-2): The Irish had to dig out of an early hole to knock off Georgetown, 10-8.  I know you're rolling your eyes and thinking the Homer store must be having a blowout sale on McAnaney bobble head dolls but check the facts. Notre Dame has three wins over teams in this top 5, four over teams in this top 10 and five over teams in this top 20. You want to argue that Notre Dame isn't looking like the best team in the country? That's fine, but you can't argue against the resume.

Up next: No. 19 Villanova Saturday 2 p.m.

2. Denver (10-2): Cam Flint scored 16 seconds into overtime as the Pioneers turned the tables on Loyola in more ways than one, 13-12. It was Flint's fourth goal of the game and this was a tremendous win for a Denver team that appeared to be limping into this matchup. It didn't hurt to get a career-high 18 saves from Ryan LaPlante.

Up next: Fairfield, Saturday 3 p.m.

3. Maryland (8-2): The Terps were upset at home by No. 8 Johns Hopkins, 7-4, in what can only be seen as a lost opportunity. Maryland failed to take a step closer to securing the No. 1 overall seed and also failed to put another nail in the coffin of a rival and potential championship threat. 

Up next: No. 12 Yale, Saturday 1 p.m.

4. Duke (10-4): The Blue Devils put their shooting shoes on in the fourth quarter Friday to beat Virginia, 19-16, in a battle.  Mountain Lakes product Jake Tripucka had a career night with three goals and four assists. Duke has now won 12 of the last 13 against the Cavaliers, but more importantly it extended the nation's longest winning streak to eight.

Up next: at Rutgers, Saturday night 7 p.m.

5. UNC (9-3): The Tar Heels simply laughed at the notion that the trip to Hofstra was a trap game by rolling the Pride 14-5. North Carolina scored the last 11 goals of the game including all 10 in the second half. Marcus Holman had seven points and is emerging as a serious contender for the Tewaaraton Trophy.

Up next: High Point, Friday 7 p.m.

6. Syracuse (9-2): The Orange took a step to securing a first-round home game with two completely different one-goal wins at the Carrier Dome. First on Wednesday, Luke Cometti had four goals and Dominic Lamolinara had 12 saves and received some help from the crossbar against Connor English in a 13-12 win over Cornell. Then on Saturday, the Orange rallied from a five-goal fourth-quarter deficit against Rutgers, with Derek Maltz scoring with 10 seconds left to avoid the upset, 12-11.

Up next: Hobart, Tuesday 7 p.m.

7. Cornell (10-2): It was a game of inches for the Big Red at Syracuse as the Orange scored a rebound goal off a shot that hit the post before Connor English hit the crossbar on a last second shot that would have forced overtime. Cornell fans originally cheered Dartmouth's win over Princeton because it helps their chances at an Ivy title but in the long run it could hurt Cornell's RPI.

Up next: Brown, Saturday 3 p.m.

8. Johns Hopkins (7-4): The Blue Jays started the way they wanted as Yorktown Heights resident John Ranagan scored the first two goals of the game and then Pierce Bassett and the defense did the rest for Hopkins to get a 7-4 upset win at then No. 1 Maryland.  You cannot downplay the significance of this victory as Hopkins tries to extend its postseason streak to 42 straight seasons.

Up next: Navy, Saturday 4 p.m.

9. Loyola (9-3): The Greyhounds had all the momentum heading into overtime against Denver but could not stop Cam Flint from going in for the game winner. This game was an instant classic and it's a shame it wasn't on national TV because we would still be buzzing about it. Conventional wisdom says they will meet again in the ECAC tournament.

Up next: at Hobart, Saturday 1 p.m.

10. Penn State (9-3): The Nittany Lions won their seventh straight beating Towson 10-8 as freshman TJ Sanders led the way with five goals. Austin Kaut helped his chances for First-team All-American goalie with nine saves.

Up next: at Delaware, Saturday 7 p.m.

11. Princeton 12. Yale 13. Albany 14. Ohio State 15. Lehigh 16. Bucknell 17. Drexel 18. Penn

19. Villanova 20. St. John's

Eamon McAnaney is an on-air host for SNY and a contributor to SNY.tv. Follow him on Twitter @EamonMcAnaney.
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