Round Trip for TCNJ to No. 1 in Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Women's Top 20


Kathleen Jaeger moves against Anna Wehland in TCNJ's 10-1 win over Salisbury April 20. That proved a factor in the Lions' return to No. 1 in this week's top 20.

The College of New Jersey and Middlebury started the season 1-2 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Women's Top 20, and that's where they return today in the final edition of this ranking until after the NCAA championship game May 27 in Salem, Va.

The NCAA announced last night the 42 teams participating in its championship tournament, which begins Saturday with 10 first-round games to be played at the site of 10 teams that earned byes. Winners will turn around quickly for Sunday's second round. Weekend doubleheaders May 19-20 will give us the final four May 26 at Kerr Stadium.

TCNJ finished off its run through the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament, hammering then-No. 18 Rowan, 20-9, Saturday in the final. The Panthers, meanwhile, took advantage of hosting duties for the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament to defeat then-No. 10 Trinity and then-No. 14 Bowdoin over the weekend. The latter stunned then-No. 1 Amherst, 11-9, in the semifinals Saturday.

Salisbury and Gettysburg powered through their respective league tournaments. The Bullets avenged an earlier loss to Franklin & Marshall by winning the Centennial Conference championship on the Diplomats' home turf.

In this division, 29 leagues sponsor women's lacrosse and meet the NCAA requirements for an automatic berth for the conference champion. The NCAA awarded bids to two teams that compete in conferences not eligible for an automatic qualifier, meaning the selection committee made some tough decisions on teams to invite for just 11 at-large spots in the tournament.

Those 11, as they'll likely generate the most discussion: Amherst, Bowdoin, F&M, Mary Washington, Rowan, Springfield, Stevens, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan and York.

Six teams from the NESCAC got in — a testament to the strength of the league in the committee's eyes. That includes a couple six-loss squads in Trinity and Wesleyan. Ithaca enjoys a No. 16 ranking this week and challenged the Bantams earlier in a four-goal loss, but a couple other losses likely meant the Bombers needed to win the Liberty League tournament, which they didn't.

Springfield lost the NEWMAC final at Babson to fall to 14-6 overall, but the Pride earned an at-large bid and will play Elms at Trinity. Trinity defeated the Pride earlier this season, 16-7. Springfield did not appear in the top 20 this season.

Geneseo started 11-0 and climbed to No. 8, but the Blue Knights finished 2-4 down the stretch. Had they advanced to the SUNYAC final, they may have warranted an at-large berth. But a .500 Brockport squad dispatched Geneseo in the semifinals, 16-8, to help keep the Blue Knights out.

The NCAA offers a printable bracket and an interactive bracket for the tournament.

May 7, 2018




1 TCNJ 17-2 2 5/13 No. 12 Wm. Smith/Endicott winner
2 Middlebury 16-2 3 5/13 Babson/Castleton winner
3 Salisbury 18-1 4 5/13 Meredith/Merchant Marine winner
4 Gettysburg 15-2 6 5/13 Westfield St./Morrisville St. winner
5 Amherst 15-2 1 5/13 No. 11 Cortland/Plymouth St. winner
6 Mary Washington 16-4 7 5/13 Mount Union
7 Washington & Lee 15-4 8 5/13 Mount Union
8 St. John Fisher 17-2 11 5/13 Wesleyan/No. 18 Messiah winner
9 York 13-4 5 5/13 W&L/Cabrini winner
10 Franklin & Marshall 16-4 9 5/13 No. 15 Tufts/FDU-Florham winner
11 Cortland 15-4 12 5/12 vs. Plymouth St. in Amherst, Mass.
12 William Smith 14-4 13 5/12 vs. Endicott in Ewing, N.J.
13 Bowdoin 13-5 14 5/13 No. 20 Stevens
14 Trinity 11-6 10 5/13 Springfield/Elms winner
15 Tufts 12-4 15 5/12 vs. FDU-Florham in Lancaster, Pa.
16 Ithaca 14-5 17 Season complete
17 Rowan 14-3 18 5/2 vs. Montclair State
18 Messiah 15-3 NR 5/12 vs. Wesleyan in Rochester, N.J.
19 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 18-1 19 5/13 at Colorado College
20 Stevens 14-5 NR 5/13 at No. 13 Bowdoin
Also considered (alphabetical order): Catholic, Clarkson, Colorado College, Denison, Framingham State, Haverford, Meredith, Mount Union, Nazareth, Washington College, Wesleyan

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


St. John Fisher (+3)

The Cardinals got revenge in a sweet way, ala Gettysburg. St. John Fisher won the Empire 8 Conference tournament final at Stevens, 14-6, Sunday, avenging an 11-4 loss to the Ducks in Hoboken March 31. The Cardinals have ripped off 12 straight wins to earn a first-round by and date with the winner of the Wesleyan/Messiah matchup.


York (-4)

By ranking only, the Spartans' loss at home to Mary Washington in the CAC semifinals hurt, but they've served notice with another strong season. They'll host the winner of W&L and Cabrini.



The Falcons debut at No. 18 thanks to an 11-game winning streak that included the MAC Commonwealth tournament championship. An early win over York boosted their profile, though they struggled significantly in a 15-3 loss to Gettysburg and 13-3 loss to F&M. Messiah's offense runs through junior Courtney Wagner, who boasts team-highs with 47 goals and 36 assists. The Falcons draw against Wesleyan Saturday at St. John Fisher.



The Blue Knights talked passionately early on about breaking into the NCAA tournament this season, and their 11-0 start reflected the focus of that mission. They didn't get over the Cortland hump, but perhaps more damaging was an 11-9 loss at Oswego in their next game. With St. John Fisher (a loss) on deck, Geneseo would've benefitted from a rebound victory. The Blue Knights halted the skid at three games, but in a must-win SUNYAC semifinal against an 8-9 Brockport team, they surrendered 11 first-half goals in the 16-8 defeat.

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