Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, and it graced us with some unforgettable lacrosse. It drew to an end a wild DI men’s tournament that had plenty of overtimes, insane goals, games determined in the final seconds and more. It also had tons of outstanding helmets, so we’re ranking the lacrosse buckets that were showcased throughout the tournament’s return.
There were no bad helmets in this college lacrosse tournament, but some were absolutely better than others, and you’ll see that in my rankings of all 16 squads. Let’s together remember the buckets of the 2021 tourney:
Rankings NCAA DI Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Helmets
There isn’t a whole lot to say about these helmets. While the all-white Rival helmet is clean in principle, the ancient Drexel numbers and font really kill the entire vibe. There is a reason it’s very difficult to find a high-quality image of their helmet.
This isn’t a bad lacrosse helmet, but it just feels very boring, so it’s reflected in my rankings. It feels like we’ve seen this exact Maryland helmet countless times in the past, except this time it’s the new XRS. They could’ve at least made the new XRS chin piece white or changed up the decals a little bit. Everyone would have loved to see an actual Terrapin on the side of the helmet or even the Maryland flag. I would’ve loved to see more from the Terps as this is by far the weakest helmet they’ve worn all year.
This is a phenomenal helmet given Denver’s jerseys and color scheme. The colors match up perfectly, and it remains clean while adding their own level of flair. The gold chrome face mask is a subtle but noticeable touch and just makes sense for the crimson and gold Pioneers. However, when compared to the other lacrosse helmets in this rankings, the Pioneer helmets just can’t keep up. But that’s more a function of others being amazing and theirs being bad.
The platinum chrome Cascade S truly is a piece of art to be admired. The helmet goes nicely with Bryant’s current jersey set and really brings out a new level of flare to the program. I would have loved to see the Bulldog on the side of the helmet instead of the B but I can’t complain too much. There is not a lot to hate about this helmet but without the platinum element the helmet isn’t doing anything extra to elevate it above the competition.
12 High Point
You can’t really go wrong with a matte black helmet. The Panthers have a phenomenal logo to slap on the side of a lid, but I just wish the XRS had more room for decals. High Point easily could have messed this helmet up by giving it a generic face mask, but the Panthers decided to go with purple this time around. As much as I enjoy this helmet, I can’t understand why they would make the chin piece gray. It doesn’t make sense as gray isn’t anywhere to be found in High Point’s color scheme, equipment, or jerseys.
The Duke Blue Devils have notoriously kept their jerseys simple, and rightfully so. When you’re one of the most historic programs in college lacrosse history, it just makes sense to keep that tradition going. The matte white Rival looks its best with the Duke “D” on the side of it and a beautiful silhouette of the university on the back. Also on the back of the Blue Devils’ helmets lies a small black rectangular box with white font bearing the text “JR 10”. This decal honors late Sgt. James John Regan, a former Blue Devil who was killed in action back in 2007.
Man, do I miss when Syracuse wore Cascade helmets, but it was only a matter of time before it switched over to STX. While the Rival isn’t the most appealing of helmets at times, some teams really can pull it off. It has a huge area for decals on the side, which Syracuse utilizes very well as it rocks its block S as large as possible. The shade of orange matches the team’s jerseys and gloves perfectly, and the white face mask is just a nice touch. My only gripe with this helmet is that decal manufactures cannot add stripes down the middle of the Rival for the life of them. It always gets broken up by all the edges and cuts in the helmet.
Rutgers understood the assignment of showing off the new Cascade XRS helmet off as they absolutely nailed this look. The all red lid and white facemask compliments each other so well especially with the all white chin piece. The mask and the chin piece blend together seamlessly making you forget that these are two separate pieces. The classica Rutgers “R” on one side and the script “Knights” on the other was a nice change of pace for the Scarlet Knights.
I want to make this clear, I don’t hate this helmet, but I feel the helmets above it are just better. This truly is a gorgeous helmet and matches Georgetown perfectly. The matte blue lid matches up nicely with Georgetown’s uniforms, which is a luxury not all teams have. The chrome “G” on the side is the perfect decal for this bucket, but the reason this lacrosse helmet sits at No. 8 in my rankings is it just feels like there is too much going on with its lower half. The Hoyas are using a new feature of the XRS chin piece and rocking both white and gray in a blended combination, especially at the chin of the helmet. The combo of the white mask with the gray chin piece just doesn’t blend as nicely as I would have wanted it to.
This is one of my favorite XRS helmets revealed during the tournament for a couple of reasons. Monmouth brought out the icy white domes with the matte white facemask for this new look, and I’m a sucker for an all-white helmet. But they certainly added some flair with the gray chine piece with blue decals on it. Monmouth was the only team to add a chin decal to the XRS, and it’s gorgeous. It’s very subtle – you’d have to know what you were looking for to find it. The decals on the side and mohawk aren’t overpowering in any way but rather compliment the helmet overall.
6 Notre Dame
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this helmet. It sticks well to Notre Dame tradition. You can’t really hate on this bucket. It’s truly gorgeous and screams Fighting Irish from the second you look at it.
The coloring on this helmet is gorgeous. Every separate part, from the lid itself to the facemask and chin piece, is the exact same shade of textured green. The Vermont “V” on the side is huge and fits nicely on the helmet. They have a clean stripe combination coming down the middle, which is the finishing piece to this bucket. This lid is truly a statement piece as you will find no other helmet like it anywhere around.
Lehigh deserves so much credit for making this helmet work. With such an awkward shade of gold, it seemed nearly impossible to pull it off in a helmet. Somehow, Lehigh does so beautifully and unveils a helmet that has never been seen before. This look is unique to the program. These are some of the best decals I have ever seen on a helmet. Having the mountain range on the back in two separate colors is a super clean look and blends perfectly with the team aesthetics. I can’t give enough credit to Lehigh for pulling this off, and I hope this is a helmet we see for a very long time.
Loyola revealed a brand-new helmet and somehow made it feel timeless. The Greyhounds stuck to an all-white theme, which you can never really go wrong with. They made the “L” decal on the side appear larger than it is, mostly due to the fact they used a light-colored chin piece instead of a dark one. Speaking of chin pieces, Loyola decided to whip out a gray chin piece and made it work. Even if gray isn’t in Loyola’s color scheme, the gray on white truly stands out as it hasn’t really been done on a helmet before. You could look at this helmet in 20 years and still feel like it’s fresh and new.
Even though the Cavaliers wore two helmets this tournament, we will only be focusing on the team’s new all-orange look. This helmet is just jaw dropping and stands out against the crowd. The Burn helmet was already appealing as is, but Virginia was able to utilize the team’s color scheme and brand elements to make it even better. The crossed swords on the front is a unique trend, and I was happy to see the Cavaliers bring out their newer logo on the side. This is a helmet I will be talking about when I’m in my 80s sipping coffee reminiscing on the good ol’ days.
1 North Carolina
How does one even start to put this helmet into words? This helmet is the definition of flashy and belongs in a museum. Enough said.