Kessenich: Princeton starts fast

It was a high scoring weekend for Maryland and Princeton, who proved they have the engine to rev fast -- while Denver, Drexel, Duke and Delaware all bounced back from initial setbacks.

The weeks biggest upset may have been Fairfield besting Bryant or Lafayette topping Binghamton, you make the call. The slate of action gets serious Saturday with a triple-header in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium in the Konica Minolta Face-off Classic. That's where I'll be before heading down to Syracuse at Virginia on Sunday.

1. Virginia


The Wahoos held serve against Stony Brook 13-8 as Chris Bocklet and Steele Stanwick each scored three goals, while freshman midfielder Chris LaPierre notched two. Adam Ghitelman made 12 first half saves for UVA, a team averaging 46 shots per contest. Shamel Bratton is just 2 of 14 from the field, shooting a mere 14 percent. Big game alert: March 7 when UVA hosts Syracuse (ESPN360.com, 4 p.m. ET).

2. Syracuse


Staff at Syracuse worked around the clock to clear the basketball court off the Carrier Dome floor and re-set the field for Sunday lacrosse against Army, a game the Orange won 12-7. Stephen Keough and Chris Daniello each buried four in the game as the Orange pulled away in the second half to stay unbeaten.

3. Notre Dame

Notre Dame Irish got hat-tricks from Neal Hicks and Grant Krebs in a 12-8 triumph over Penn State on Sunday. The game was played indoors. Middie Zach Brenneman is averaging nine shots per game and the Irish are just 1-for-8 with the extra man after two games. ND plays Loyola on March 6 as part of the Konica Minolta Face-off Classic.

4. Johns Hopkins


JHU destroyed the chirpy Delaware Blue Hens on a cold Tuesday night, but barely got past Siena on Sunday, 8-7. Hopkins riddled Delaware's defense, as Michael Kimmel put up seven points and Steven Boyle scored four times. On Sunday, the Jays needed an extra man goal by Michael Kimmel with :48 seconds to go to escape a Siena upset. It was a sloppy game as Hopkins had 29 turnovers. JHU is shooting 36 percent so far after three games, Steven Boyle has 17 points and Kimmel has 11. Senior goalie Michael Gvozden is saving 65 percent after making only 50 percent in 2009. JHU faces Princeton on Saturday (ESPNU, 1:30 p.m. ET) .

5. Maryland


A 7-0 run completed a remarkable comeback against Georgetown in Saturday's 15-13 win. Maryland's roster is a potpourri of states, reflecting Dave Cottle's expansive reach around the high school game nationwide. On Saturday, the Terps got three goals from players who played their high school ball in Florida, three from California and one from Washington. LSM Brian Farrell had 10 ground balls in the Georgetown game, and looked like his old self. Duke is up next for Maryland on Saturday (ESPNU, 11 a.m. ET).

6. North Carolina


I found out this week that UNC received a verbal committment from a high school sophomore in Baltimore. The student-athlete has never played a second of varsity lacrosse. All I can do is shake my head. Heels forced Navy into 24 turnovers, and all 11 UNC goals were assisted in the lopsided 11-4 win on a bitter Thursday night in Annapolis. Chalk up win No. 400 for the program. Joe Breschi's defense is playing well right now and the longterm concern in Chapel Hill should be face-offs. ACC is 11-1 out of conference so far, the Big East is 6-4.

7. Princeton


The Chris Bates era started with a bang as the Tigers beat Hofstra 17-14. Chris McBride matched a career-high with four goals, Jeff Froccaro finished off an explosive NCAA debut with a hat trick, while Jack McBride, Mike Chanenchuk and Tyler Moni added two goals apiece. Nine different players scored for Princeton, which faces Johns Hopkins on Saturday (ESPNU, 1:30 p.m. ET).

8. Duke


Blue Devils were tied with Penn 11-11, but went on to win 16-11 behind eight points from Max Quinzani. I got an interesting note this week from a fan (obviously not Duke) from New Jersey who said that if Duke couldn't win the national title with Matt Danowski, Zach Greer and the cast of characters they had in 2005, 2007 and 2008, there's no way they can win with this bunch. Food for thought.

9. Georgetown


The Hoyas ran out of gas in a 15-13 loss at home versus Maryland. Georgetown relied on only four poles and a few short sticks and paid the price in the fourth quarter, as the Terps beat them to all of the 50-50 balls when it mattered most. Hoyas flat out ran out of gas. Self inflicted wounds were painful too, as the Terps scored four EMO goals. Hoya defender Barney Ehrmann played thorugh a severe ankle injury and his status is up-in-the-air for the rest of the season.

10. Loyola

Loyola (Md.)

Hounds struggled with Quinnipiac early, but won 11-5. 17 teams have won a playoff game in the last five years, Loyola hasn't won a post-season contest since 2001. Will this be the year? Greyhounds and Notre Dame square off in Baltimore on Saturday.

11. Bucknell


Senior Tim Brandau scored a career-high six goals, including four in the fourth quarter, and added two assists as the Bison overcame a two-goal deficit to earn a 13-9 win over Towson. Mike Danylyshyn found the net three times for Bucknell. The Tigers played 45 minutes, of a lacrosse game that lasts 60. Bison will travel to Navy next Saturday for a key Patriot League game.

12. Cornell


Big Red opened up on Sunday night at Hobart, taking a 10-7 win behind a big performance from Rob Pannell. Cornell continues its opening run against New York squads with games against Canisius, Army and Binghamton before Virginia rolls in next week.

13. Hofstra


Jamie Lincoln had four goals in his Hofstra debut and Jay Card chalked up four points in a 17-14 loss to Princeton. The Pride may have the biggest locker room in Division I, having inherited the gridiron quarters when the school dropped football this fall. Hofstra hosts Brown Saturday.

14. Delaware


Blue Hen defense was exposed against Hopkins, ruitinely botching 2nd and 3rd slides. Midfielders Martin Kahill and Kevin Kaminski were bright spots. Cahill reminds me of former Syracuse midfielder Steven Brooks, and if Kaminski can string up a stick he likes, lookout, because he's extremely fast. Blue Hens got back to their winning ways on Saturday with a 11-9 decision over Hartford. This team has talent, they just have to play a style that fits their roster.

15. Harvard


Crimson beat Canisius 16-6 this weekend to open their schedule.

16. Brown


60 teams play Division I lacrosse and Brown is the only one that hasn't played a game yet. Bears hit Long Island for a date with Hofstra on Saturday.

17. Stony Brook

Stony Brook

Jordan McBride was shut out in the Seawolves' loss to UVA. Stony Brook won 10 of the first 14 faceoffs, took 25 shots in the first half, yet only scored four times before the break.

18. UMBC


Retrievers scratched past Rutgers on Sunday 6-5. Midfielder Bobby Stockton found the net three times, the kid can really rip it right handed. I'm an inch away from replacing either UMBC or Navy with Drexel in my top 20. UMBC hosts UNC on Saturday.

19. Navy


As much as I enjoy watching Navy football run the option with Ricky Dobbs, the Mids right now, on the lacrosse field are tough on the eyes. It was turnover city on Thursday night in a discouraging loss to North Carolina. I sat and watched, grimacing everytime the ball was heaved out fo bounds. Ace Tim paul is done for the year with a torn ACL, who's going to be the leader?

20. UMass


Minutemen have beaten Sacred Heart 15-12 and Hartford 20-10. I'm sliding them into #20 because I couldn't even fathom what these guys must go through practicing outdoors in 20 degree weather.

Quint Kessenich covers lacrosse for the ESPN family of networks and welcomes your opinions at quint@insidelacrosse.com.