Villanova knocked off the Syracuse Orange for the first time in program history yesterday, in time for the new USILA and Nike polls to be released today. Villanova was ranked 14/15 last week, but the win at the Carrier Dome has moved them up slightly, to #13 in the Nike Poll and #12 in the USILA Poll. Syracuse dropped from #8 to a spot below Villanova in both polls.
The 'Cats are ranked 11th in the LaxPower.com computer ratings as well, with a strength of schedule ranking third in the nation after a stacked non-conference slate.
Villanova's next opponent is Penn State, ranked at #18 in both polls. The 'Cats will play away at State College, and will host two more ranked opponents in #18/19 Georgetown and #6 Notre Dame before the end of the season. The 'Cats will also host St. John's, who received votes in the Nike Poll, but were not ranked.
Villanova will host the inaugural Big East lacrosse tournament this Spring, with the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line. That home field advantage may be helpful, but it might not be necessary.
The NCAA hosts a 16-team lacrosse tournament and the Big East was able to get 3 teams into the field last season. If the 'Cats can stay near the top of the Big East standings, an at-large selection to the tournament is still within reach. To that end, they have been given a "tournament selection index" of 19.56 by LaxPower.com, good for 9th in the nation.