Northwestern Moves into Top 10 in Nike/US Lacrosse Rankings

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Northwestern won three games in a span of seven days, including one-goal wins over Johns Hopkins and Penn, to move into the Top 20 in the Nike/US Lacrosse weekly rankings.


A three-game week that could have swung Northwestern's season in either direction was nothing but positive for the Wildcats. Northwestern downed Syracuse 14-10 on Monday and then went on the road to pick up a pair of impressive wins, beating Johns Hopkins on Friday and then surviving a Penn comeback to win in overtime on Sunday. That vaulted Northwestern into the Top 10 of this week's rankings.

Northwestern's first victim of the week, Syracuse, saw the opposite effect of multiple challenging games in a confined time period. Syracuse played Notre Dame, Northwestern, Princeton and Duke in a span of just eight days, and the Orange won just one of them, a 17-16 win at Princeton on Thursday.

At the top of the standings, Stony Brook and Boston College continue to roll along. Stony Brook appears ready to steamroll through the America East this year and has one of its few remaining testers of the regular season this week when it hosts Cornell on Tuesday.

Boston College has won 13 straight games and pulled away in the second half for a 15-12 win against Virginia. The Eagles go on the road to face a surging Duke team this weekend.

 
April 2, 2018

W/L

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1 Stony Brook 9-0 1 4/3 vs. Cornell
2 Boston College 13-0 2 4/7 at No. 16 Duke
3 Maryland 10-1 3 4/4 vs. No. 11 Virginia
4 James Madison 9-1 4 4/6 vs. Delaware
5 North Carolina 8-3 8 4/7 vs Louisville
6 Loyola 8-2 5 4/5 vs. No. 17 Syracuse
7 Florida 8-3 7 4/4 vs. Temple
8 Towson 8-2 6 4/6 at Drexel
9 Northwestern 9-3 12 4/6 vs. Ohio State
10 Penn 8-2 10 4/7 at Dartmouth
11 Virginia 8-3 9 4/4 at No. 3 Maryland
12 Navy 9-2 11 4/7 vs. No. 6 Loyola
13 Stanford 9-3 16 4/5 vs. UC Davis
14 USC 7-5 14 4/6 at No. 20 Colorado
15 Virginia Tech 10-4 18 4/7 vs. No. 17 Syracuse
16 Duke 7-4 NR 4/7 vs. No. 2 Boston College
17 Syracuse 7-5 13 4/5 at No. 6 Loyola
18 Penn State 8-4 17 4/7 at No. 11 Virginia
19 Denver 7-2 NR 4/4 vs. Georgetown
20 Colorado 7-4 15 4/6 vs. No. 14 USC
Also considered: Cornell, Dartmouth, High Point, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Princeton






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

HOT

Northwestern (+3)

Northwestern spent most of the 2017 season with no Selena Lasota, and her importance to the program was on full display on Sunday. Lasota had a team-high five goals and after Northwestern had let a five-goal lead against Penn slip away, Lasota scored the game-winner in overtime. That's a game the Wildcats may easily have lost a year ago when they suffered three one-goal setbacks. Lasota leads Northwestern with 30 goals and 37 points.

Stanford (+3)

The Cardinal took down USC for the second straight weekend, this time winning 14-11 on the road behind four goals and two assists from freshman Ali Baiocco. Since starting the season 0-2, Stanford has won nine of its last 10 games and has vaulted seven spots in the rankings over the last two weeks. Stanford now leads the Pac-12 with a 6-1 record and has an April 13 game looming with Colorado, the one team it lost to in the league this season.

North Carolina (+3)

The Tar Heels found a way to win one-goal games over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame by identical 13-12 scores last week, but their rise has more to do with the quality of their body of work. North Carolina's 8-3 record includes a 6-3 mark against Top 25 caliber teams. Nobody in the country has played more high level competition to this point in the season and the Tar Heels have held their own, highlighted by wins over Maryland, Northwestern and Virginia.

NOT

Colorado (-5)

A 10-8 loss to previously unranked Denver pushed Colorado down in the rankings, but the Buffs can start to make that a distant memory with Friday's home game against USC. Colorado lost to the Trojans 8-7 in Los Angeles earlier in the season, but controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 regular season race. Finishing No. 1 is crucial in the league as none of the top three - Colorado, Stanford and USC - want to face each other in the semifinals of the league tournament.

Syracuse (-4)

As mentioned above, Syracuse went 1-3 against a slate of four tough opponents in an eight-day stretch. Time for the Orange to take a break? Not a chance. Syracuse plays at No. 6 Loyola on Thursday and then plays at No. 15 Virginia Tech on Saturday. With games against Boston College and North Carolina looming after those two games, the 7-5 Orange are getting dangerously close to the .500 mark needed to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

IN

Duke

The Blue Devils are back in the rankings at No. 16 thanks to three key factors: a convincing 17-10 victory over Syracuse, their early-season win over Northwestern looking more impressive and their loss to Stanford looking a little less troubling, even though it was by 10 goals. Duke's defense has struggled this season, giving up an average of 14.8 goals in its four losses, but holding Syracuse's No. 5 ranked offense to just 10 goals was an impressive showing.

Denver

The westernmost team in the Big East is having a field day against the Pac-12 this season. Denver upset Colorado 10-8 last Thursday, following up on an early season win over Stanford. A midweek tester against a solid Georgetown team will be an interesting challenge for the Pioneers.

OUT

Dartmouth (previously 19)

The Big Green have won seven straight games since a season-opening loss to Massachusetts, but a combination of their win over Princeton taking a hit with the Tigers loss to Syracuse, and a relatively weak nonconference schedules moves Dartmouth out for now.

Princeton (previously 20)

Princeton has plenty of opportunities to move back into the standings, but a combination of just one Top 20 win (Penn State) and last week's loss to a struggling Syracuse team knocks the Tigers from the rankings.

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