RPI, F&M Advance in Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Men’s Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF RPI ATHLETICS

Zach Lukas has scored 29 goals on 46.8-percent shooting for No. 16 RPI. which has won four straight and is in second place in the Liberty League.


There’s little shakeup in this week’s Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Men’s Top 20, largely because the nation’s top teams continue to solidify their respective places. It comes at an optimal time, too, as conference tournaments are nearing and the NCAA tournament picture is starting to take shape. We have some regular season conference champions, too.

RIT, on the verge of a perfect regular season, has clinched the Liberty League regular season title for the seventh consecutive year. The North Coast Athletic Conference’s top seed belongs to Ohio Wesleyan, thanks to nine straight wins and fending off Denison.

Meanwhile, various conference favorites include Gettysburg (Centennial), York (Capital Athletic), Stevens (Empire 8) and Washington and Lee (ODAC). Those aren’t locks by any means, though, especially in a 2018 season where upsets have been commonplace.

The most interesting race to watch should be the NESCAC, with Amherst, Tufts and Wesleyan all 8-1 in conference play. They’ve all been dominant for stretches this year.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division III Men’s Top 20

 
April 23, 2018

W/L

Prev

Next

1 RIT 15-0 1 4/25 vs. Union
2 York 15-1 2 4/24 at Marymount
3 Gettysburg 13-1 3 4/25 vs. McDaniel
4 Tufts 12-1 4 4/25 vs. Bowdoin
5 Wesleyan 11-2 5 4/25 vs. No. 20 Connecticut College
6 Amherst 12-2 6 4/25 vs. Trinity
7 Ohio Wesleyan 14-2 7 4/25 vs. Depauw
8 Salisbury 13-3 8 4/24 vs. St. Mary's
9 Denison 13-3 9 4/25 vs. Kenyon
10 Dickinson 11-3 10 4/25 vs. No. 12 Franklin & Marshall
11 Cabrini 13-2 11 4/25 vs. Immaculata
12 Franklin & Marshall 11-2 14 4/25 vs. No. 10 Dickinson
13 Washington and Lee 12-3 13 4/25 at Guilford
14 Ithaca 12-2 12 4/25 vs. Clarkson
15 Stevens 13-2 15 4/25 vs. Montclair State
16 RPI 12-2 19 4/25 vs. St. Lawrence
17 Christopher Newport 13-3 17 4/28 vs. TBD (CAC Tournament)
18 Roanoke 12-4 18 Regular season complete
19 Colorado College 12-1 NR 4/28 vs. Whittier
20 Connecticut College 10-4 NR 4/25 at No. 5 Wesleyan
Also considered: Aurora, Babson, Bowdoin, Coast Guard, Hampden-Sydney, Keene State, Lynchburg, Stevenson, Union, Williams





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

HOT

RPI (+3)

After Saturday’s 12-11 win over Clarkson, the good times keep on rolling for the Engineers. They’ve won four straight, and largely have the trio of Cliff Kigar, Zach Lukas and JT Miller to thank for that. They’re all averaging roughly four points per game.

Perhaps most remarkably, RPI has arrived at its 12-2 record and second place in the Liberty League without any dominant faceoff specialist. They’ve leaned heavily upon three different players at that spot, operating at a respectable 54.3 success rate. Despite that, the Engineers keep on finding new ways to win and are surging as postseason play nears.

Franklin & Marshall (+2)

All year long, the Diplomats have duked it out with No. 3 Gettysburg for bragging rights atop the Centennial Conference. After last Saturday’s 20-13 win over Washington College, F&M’s hopes of catching the Bullets atop the standings came into sharper focus. Harry Rice and Kevin Mollihan each put up five goals and one assist in taking down Washington.

To win the Centennial Conference outright, F&M will have to earn results in closing the regular season against No. 10 Dickinson and Muhlenberg. Some luck will also have to fall its way.

Not

Ithaca (-2)

The Bombers have won six of their last seven games – including Wednesday’s 13-9 victory over SUNYAC favorite Cortland – but their place in the Liberty League spells concern. They’re firmly behind No. 1 RIT and No. 16 RPI in third place, while St. Lawrence and Union trail by just one game and could easily make up ground as the regular season wraps up.

Such is life, though, for an Ithaca program that spent nearly four decades in the Empire 8 conference, switching over to the Liberty League this past fall. The former is run by No. 15 Stevens, while the latter has three teams in the top 20.

In

Colorado College

Since the Tigers don’t have a conference to call home, they fly under the radar some in Division III lacrosse. Despite that, they’ve stormed to a 12-1 record, including impressive wins over Williams out of the NESCAC and NEWMAC top dog Babson.

From that, all eyes for Colorado College are on the NCAA tournament now. They’ve earned a berth in the big dance every season since 2013, but haven’t advanced past the second round in that span. To make a deep run, the Tigers will likely lean upon senior attackman Robbie Stern (45 goals, 21 assists).

Connecticut College

The Camels are peaking as the NESCAC tournament nears, having won their last two games over Hamilton and Stockton. A tall task awaits against No. 5 Wesleyan. Win against the Cardinals, and Connecticut College become that team nobody wants to play in the postseason.

Out

St. Lawrence

Teams want to start hitting their stride come playoff time, but the Saints are slumping. After last weekend’s 15-13 loss to No. 1 RIT, they’re now 1-2 in their last three games, with the other defeat coming against Union in overtime.

Now, going blow-for-blow with RIT offers a nice moral victory, but odds are head coach Mike Mahoney won’t settle for such platitudes. Matters could turn even further south come Wednesday’s clash against Liberty League rival RPI, a side that’s won its last four games.

Coast Guard

The Bears emerged with a convincing 13-0 win on Saturday over Massachusetts Maritime, but their 11-8 loss on Wednesday to Springfield now complicates the bid for a NEWMAC title. Heading into the last week of conference play, Babson sits atop the standings, while the Bears are locked in second with Springfield at 4-1 in NEWMAC games.

Coincidentally, Coast Guard battles with Babson next weekend to close out the regular season. The conference title could very well be up for grabs at that point.

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