March 3, 2004
With eight starters back from last year’s team and a 17-7 victory against #17 Penn State to open the season on Sunday, the University of Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team was tied for eighth in the first United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll, released Monday. Next up, the Irish will have back-to-back games against top-five opponents, making their first-ever trip to #3 Syracuse on Thursday, March 11 for a 7 p.m. (EST) game prior to playing host to #4 North Carolina on Sunday, March 14 at 1 p.m.
In other polls, Notre Dame currently stands 12th in the Inside Lacrosse magazine media poll. The Irish are 11th in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason rankings, and were 16th in the Inside Lacrosse magazine preseason coaches’ poll.
The ranking is the highest for Notre Dame since it finished the 2001 season fourth following its first-ever Final Four appearance. In 2003, the Irish peaked at ninth in the USILA rankings before finishing 18th.
Nine of Notre Dame’s 12 opponents are listed in the USILA top 20, with another — Dartmouth (April 4, home) — receiving votes. Maryland (May 1, away) leads the trio of Irish foes in the top five, coming in at No. 2, while Loyola (March 20, away) is seventh.
For the first time ever, there are four teams from the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) in the national rankings, as ’03 tri-champion Denver (April 11, away) is 11th, Air Force (April 9, away) is 14th, and ’03 tri-champion Ohio State (March 31, home) is 15th.
Hofstra (March 24, home) is 19th in the current listing, while Penn State is 20th.
Johns Hopkins holds the top spot in the poll, while Princeton (5th) and Duke (6th) are also ahead of the Irish, who are tied with Rutgers.
The USILA does not release a preseason poll.