Conference Tournaments Loom Large in Nike/USL Division III Men's Top 20

PHOTO BY EVELYN DOW/ST. LAWRENCE ATHLETICS

Junior attackman Connor Caffrey leads St. Lawrence with 44 goals and 24 assists. The Saints are back in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Men's Top 20 after downing RPI and Union.


With postseason play officially here, there’s little movement in the week’s Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Men’s Top 20. The nation’s top teams are set in stone, but there are several conference tournaments worth watching ahead of the NCAA tournament field getting set on the evening of May 6.

Chief among them is in the NESCAC, where three top 10 teams – Tufts, Wesleyan and Amherst – will duke it out for bragging rights in what’s arguably the nation’s toughest contest. They’ll be joined by Williams, a bubble team.

Another conference tournament to keep an eye out for is the Liberty League. RIT is the undoubted favorite, but the likes of St. Lawrence, Ithaca and RPI are also in contention.

The same could be said for the Centennial Conference, with top-20 teams Gettysburg, Dickinson and Franklin & Marshall all vying for hardware. And last but not least, another high-profile title hunt is on in the Capital Athletic Conference, given the red-hot form of favorites Salisbury, York and Christopher Newport.

Long story short: Wherever you look around, plenty of tantalizing playoff games are on tap.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division III Men’s Top 20

 
April 30, 2018

W/L

Prev

Next

1 RIT 16-0 1 5/2 vs. No. 18 St. Lawrence
2 York 16-1 2 5/1 vs. Frostburg State
3 Gettysburg 15-1 3 5/2 vs. Haverford
4 Tufts 14-1 4 5/5 vs. No. 6 Amherst
5 Wesleyan 13-2 5 5/5 vs. Williams
6 Amherst 14-2 6 5/5 vs. No. 4 Tufts
7 Salisbury 14-3 8 5/1 vs. No. 16 Christopher Newport
8 Cabrini 13-3 11 5/5 vs. Gwynedd Mercy
9 Denison 15-3 9 TBD
10 Dickinson 13-3 10 5/2 vs. No. 13 Franklin & Marshall
11 Ohio Wesleyan 15-3 7 TBD
12 Washington and Lee 11-2 13 TBD
13 Franklin & Marshall 12-3 12 5/2 vs. No. 10 Dickinson
14 Stevens 15-2 15 5/2 vs. Hartwick
15 Ithaca 14-2 14 5/2 at No. 19 RPI
16 Christopher Newport 12-2 17 5/1 vs. No. 7 Salisbury
17 Roanoke 12-4 18 5/1 vs. Bridgewater
18 St. Lawrence 12-4 NR 5/2 vs. No. 1 RIT
19 RPI 12-3 16 5/2 vs. No. 15 Ithaca
20 Coast Guard 13-3 NR 5/2 vs. MIT
Also considered: Aurora, Colorado College, Hampden-Sydney, Lynchburg, Springfield, Stevenson, Williams






Nike/US Lacrosse Rankings
Division I Men | Division I Women
Division II Men | Division II Women
Division III Men | Division III Women

Hot

Salisbury (+1)

The Sea Gulls beat St. Mary’s 17-4 early last week, their eighth consecutive win. It’s been quite the turnaround for Salisbury after losing two early overtime games early in the season, then getting nearly tripled up by No. 2 York on March 24. Salisbury, the two-time defending NCAA champion, is peaking as May comes into focus.

Cabrini (+3)

Since losing in early April to Salisbury, the Cavaliers have rattled off five straight wins, including last Saturday’s 24-2 shellacking of Centenary. That booked a spot in this coming weekend’s CSAC tournament final vs. Gwynedd Mercy. Cabrini won the regular season matchup 16-6.

RIT (0)

Firmly cemented as the nation’s No. 1 team, RIT amassed a 16-0 regular season. That level of perfection deserves plaudits abound, namely for a program that lost in the national title game in 2017. The Tigers still have to progress through the Liberty League tournament, but nobody’s figured them out yet. Their top threat is senior midfielder Kyle Killen, who has 63 goals and 10 assists.

Not

Ohio Wesleyan (-4)

After rattling off 10 straight wins, the Bishops finally hit a wall against Denison on Saturday, falling 14-7 in the NCAC championship game. Back on April 15, Ohio Wesleyan knocked off the Big Red 13-8, so they were dealt a heavy dose of revenge when the stakes were highest. All attention now turns to the NCAA tournament, which the Bishops haven’t reached since 2015.

RPI (-3)

The Engineers, coming off four straight wins, were dealt a setback by St. Lawrence on Wednesday, losing 11-9. They were up 6-3 midway through the second quarter. Now a must-win Liberty League tournament game against No. 15 Ithaca awaits. The Engineers handily beat the Bombers 16-7 on March 24.

In

St. Lawrence

The Saints notched two impressive wins this past week, first topping No. 19 RPI 11-9 and then knocking off Union 14-6. That’s launched St. Lawrence back into the conversation for the NCAA tournament, though a tough contest against No. 1 RIT is up next. Life has not been easy in the Liberty League this season.

Coast Guard

Thanks to a 13-3 regular season, the Bears have locked down the NEWMAC tournament’s top seed. That secures a semifinal bout with MIT, which Coast Guard beat 7-2 on April 4. With dangerman Riley McNulty (42 goals, 25 assists), the Bears have enough firepower to flex their muscle on any day.

Out

Colorado College

The Tigers have been on the bubble all throughout the 2018 season, and are no slouch at 13-1. However, without any conference to call home, they lack any notable wins. That could change come the NCAA tournament, which CC has reached every year since 2013.

Connecticut College

After a 10-4 loss to Williams in the NESCAC tournament quarterfinals, the Camels have dropped to 10-6. They’re now a long shot to make the NCAA tournament, all after starting the year 7-1 but finishing 3-5 down the stretch.

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