Red-Hot Northwestern is No. 4 in Nike/USL Division I Women's Rankings

Lauren Gilbert is one of four 60-point scorers for Northwestern, which climbs to No. 4 in this week's rankings after upsetting Maryland to win the Big Ten championship.

Editor’s Note: This is the last in-season update of the Nike/US Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20. The final rankings will be posted Tuesday, May 28, following the conclusion of the NCAA tournaments.

The NCAA selections have been made and we’ll take one final look at the rankings before the tournament begins.

The committee seeded Maryland No.1 and it’s a razor thin margin between the Terps and Boston College. We thought Boston College was the best team in the country heading into the season, and following Maryland’s loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game yesterday, the resumes look extremely similar, so BC moves back to our No. 1 spot.

Another variation from the committee is for the final host team.

The committee ranked Michigan as the No. 8 seed. We have the Wolverines as the No. 9 ranked team heading into the tournament. Michigan has only three losses, but was pretty well handled by Northwestern in the Big 10 semifinals, losing 19-9, and both of Michigan’s best wins, Dartmouth and Denver, were knocked off in conference tournament games they were expected to win.

James Madison is our No. 7 team this week, but they did not receive a seed and home-field advantage from the committee. The reigning NCAA champs are a difficult team to gauge. The Dukes have no bad losses (North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland), but just one win against a tournament team (High Point).

The other big differentiator from the committee’s selections and our rankings is Duke checking in at No. 19 this week.

The Blue Devils were the last team left out of the field with Colorado, Denver, Johns Hopkins and Stanford grabbing the last at-large spots according to selection committee chair Amy Foster.

We have Denver ahead of the Blue Devils, but felt Duke has one of the best victories (Notre Dame) of the remaining group. Playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules, Duke also had no bad losses and showed its strength against some of the tournament’s best teams with one-goal losses to Northwestern, Syracuse and Penn.

We’ll do a final ranking at the end of the NCAA tournament. Let the games begin.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division I Women’s Top 20

May 6, 2019




1 Boston College 19-1 2 5/12 vs. Dartmouth/Colorado
2 Maryland 18-1 1 5/12 vs. James Madison/Stony Brook
3 North Carolina 15-3 3 5/12 vs. Florida/Johns Hopkins
4 Northwestern 14-4 5 5/12 vs. Notre Dame/Stanford
5 Syracuse 15-4 4 5/12 vs. Penn Georgetown
6 Virginia 12-6 7 5/12 vs. Navy/High Point
7 James Madison 16-3 8 5/10 vs. Stony Brook
8 Princeton 14-3 9 5/10 vs. Fairfield/Wagner
9 Michigan 15-3 6 5/10 vs. Mercer/Jacksonville
10 Loyola 15-4 11 5/10 vs. Richmond
11 Notre Dame 13-4 10 5/10 vs. Stanford
12 Penn 12-5 14 5/10 vs. Georgetown
13 Dartmouth 11-5 12 5/10 vs. Colorado
14 Florida 13-6 16 5/10 vs. Johns Hopkins
15 Stony Brook 15-4 17 5/10 vs. James Madison
16 USC 16-3 18 5/10 vs. Denver
17 Navy 15-4 13 5/10 vs. High Point
18 Denver 14-3 15 5/10 vs. USC
19 Duke 11-8 19 Season complete
20 High Point 15-4 20 5/10 vs. Navy
Also considered: Colorado, Georgetown, Hofstra, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Stanford, Virginia Tech

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


Penn (+2)

The Quakers couldn’t get past rival Princeton in the Ivy League championship game, but a semifinal win over Dartmouth jumps Penn up two spots this week.

Penn has an intriguing first round matchup with Georgetown on Friday. Penn has won six one-goal games this season, including an 8-7 win over Georgetown on March 9. Georgetown was held scoreless for the final 15:50 of the game.

If the Quakers win, they’ll face Syracuse for the first time since falling to the Orange in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2015.

Northwestern (+1)

Perhaps no team has more momentum heading into the NCAA tournament than Northwestern. The Wildcats beat Maryland 16-11 on Sunday, its first win over the Terps since 2012 and claimed their first conference championship since winning the American Lacrosse Conference in 2013.

They say that defense wins championship and Mallory Weisse has given a boost to Northwestern’s defense since taking over as the starter. Weisse has registered six straight double-digit save games, with five of those games coming against tournament teams, and has a 50.0 save percentage for the season.

But the story of this team is the offense, which ranks second nationally with an average of 18.0 goals per game. Northwestern has four 60-point scorers — Selena Lasota (89), Izzy Scane (67), Lindsey McKone (63) and Lauren Gilbert(61).


Michigan (-3)

The Wolverines are flying high after being selected to their first NCAA tournament, and getting picked to host.

But Michigan needs to right the ship. After starting the season 13-0, the Wolverines have lost three of their last five games — twice to Northwestern and once to Maryland. Michigan gave up a combined 47 goals in those three losses and its likely first-round opponent is the nation’s No. 1 offense, Jacksonville (18.3 goals/game).

If Michigan gets past that round, either USC or Denver awaits. Michigan edged Denver 12-10 early in the season and has not played USC since 2016 (a 13-4 loss).

Denver (-3)

Denver’s seven-game winning streak came to an end with a 9-8 double overtime loss to Georgetown in the Big East championship game. Denver did not score in the second half or in more than seven minutes of overtime in its lowest scoring effort of the season.

Denver looks to get back on track against former Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival USC in a first round NCAA tournament game at Michigan. The two schools played seven times between 2013 and 2016, but have not played since Denver joined the Big East in 2017.

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