W&L Up to No. 15 in Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Men's Top 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON AND LEE ATHLETICS

Reigning ODAC Player of the Year A.J. Witherell has led Washington and Lee to eight straight wins with a team-high 54 points this season.


As April comes around, it’s become increasingly clear who the top Division III teams are through roughly 10 games of the 2018 season.

RIT, one year removed from the national title game, still holds pole position thanks to a 10-0 slate and early dominance in the Liberty League. York, meanwhile, has put an early-season loss to Gettysburg in the past, storming out to a 9-1 record with seven Capital Athletic Conference games still remaining. Then, out of the NESCAC, Tufts, Wesleyan and Amherst continue to lead the way, setting up a tantalizing end to what’s arguably the nation’s toughest conference from top to bottom. Cabrini, meanwhile, has cemented itself as the CSAC’s top program. So on and so forth.

Such rigidity could easily change by next weekend, though, especially with three top-20 games on the horizon and upsets a constant theme in the season’s first half. York, Salisbury, Denison and Cabrini are just some of the programs that have been humbled at various points, lending credence to how it really can be anyone’s game in Division III lacrosse.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division III Men’s Top 20

 
April 2, 2018

W/L

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1 RIT 10-0 1 4/4 vs. No. 16 Cortland
2 York 9-1 2 4/4 at Wesley
3 Tufts 7-0 3 4/4 at Williams
4 Gettysburg 10-1 4 4/7 at Swarthmore
5 Wesleyan 7-1 5 4/4 vs. No. 6 Amherst
6 Amherst 8-1 6 4/4 at No. 5 Wesleyan
7 Cabrini 9-1 8 4/4 at Rosemont
8 Ithaca 8-1 9 4/4 vs. Nazareth
9 Denison 8-2 10 4/3 vs. Hiram
10 Franklin & Marshall 8-2 7 4/11 vs. McDaniel
11 Stevens 9-1 11 4/3 vs. Stevenson
12 Dickinson 8-2 12 4/7 at Haverford
13 Ohio Wesleyan 9-2 13 4/3 vs. Wittenburg
14 Salisbury 8-3 16 4/4 at No. 17 Christopher Newport
15 Washington and Lee 6-3 18 4/4 at Randolph
16 Cortland 6-3 17 4/4 at No. 1 RIT
17 Christopher Newport 10-1 14 4/4 vs. No. 14 Salisbury
18 St. Lawrence 6-2 15 4/4 vs. Plattsburgh
19 Roanoke 8-3 NR 4/4 vs. Guilford
20 Connecticut College 7-2 20 4/4 vs. Trinity
Also considered: Bowdoin, Coast Guard, Colorado College, Muhlenberg, RPI, Stevenson, Union, Williams





z

Hot

Gettysburg

The Bullets stay put at No. 4, but their run this past week is one that’s entirely shifted the complexion of the Centennial Conference. First, on Wednesday, they knocked off then-No. 7 Franklin & Marshall 16-12, only to knock off Muhlenberg 18-11 over the weekend, all after the Mules started the season off 8-0.

Across both contests, the Bullets got key contributions from attackmen Tommy Heller (six goals, one assist) and Brian Kollen (seven goals, one assist). Their efforts were helped by Geoff Fulgione winning a combined 28 of 48 faceoffs, while Mitch Wykoff snagged a combined 10 ground balls to add to his team-leading 50 on the year.

Salisbury (+2)

After being upset twice in the season’s early goings and losing two weekends ago to No. 2 York, the Sea Gulls have bounced back with two commanding wins. They first beat Wesley 25-3 on Wednesday, then knocked off Southern Virginia 22-9 on Friday, setting a new season-high for goals scored against the Wolverines.

Salisbury’s key performer last week was Pierre Amstrong, a sophomore attackman from Horsham, Pa., who exploded for 13 points (five goals, eight assists) after notching just one point in each of his three prior games. Then, the Sea Gulls were dominant from the faceoff X, going a combined 51-for-65 across their two games, plus completed a near-perfect 29 of 30 clears.

That all bodes particularly well ahead of a tough midweek conference tilt against No. 17 Christopher Newport.

Washington and Lee (+3)

The good times kept on rolling for the Generals, as they won their eighth straight game after losing their first three contests of the 2018 season. Their latest result was a 15-10 triumph over Hampden-Sydney, their fourth Old Dominion Athletic Conference win of the year.

Junior attackman A.J. Witherell put up four goals and three assists, putting him at a conference-leading 54 points on the season. The reigning ODAC Player of the Year has now amassed 197 points in 48 career games.

The remaining game to watch for Washington Lee is an April 21 clash at Lynchburg, a program which has made six consecutive NCAA tournaments.

Not

Franklin & Marshall (-3)

The Diplomats ended the week with a 13-9 win over Haverford, but it’s their fortunes earlier in the week which spells some trouble. That’s when, on Wednesday, F&M fell 16-12 to No. 4 Gettysburg in a tilt which should have major implications on who could take home the Centennial Conference regular season title. Mind you, one year ago the Diplomats took home said title and advanced to the NCAA tournament’s third round.

Christopher Newport (-4)

Save for an early-season win over Washington and Lee, the Captains hadn’t been truly tested before last Wednesday’s matchup with No. 19 Roanoke. That test ultimately proved too much, as they fell 9-8 despite leading by three goals early in the third quarter. Namely, Christopher Newport had no answer for Jason Sarro, a Roanoke attackman who posted two goals and three assists.

Looking ahead, Christopher Newport will encounter even tougher games than their one against Roanoke, with matchups against No. 14 Salisbury and No. 2 York left on the docket.

St. Lawrence (-4)

The Saints stormed past Nazareth 16-8 on Saturday, but suffered a tough midweek setback against Ithaca, dropping an 8-5 decision. St. Lawrence lost despite outshooting Ithaca 39-25 and winning 10 of 17 faceoffs. Notable Liberty League games against RIT, Union and Rensselaer remain for head coach Mike Mahoney’s group.

In

Roanoke

After back-to-back losses to Wesleyan and Washington and Lee, the Maroons confidently bounced back with a 9-8 win over Christopher Newport and a 13-11 win over Lynchburg. That four-game spell ends a grueling stretch for the Maroons, who are now 3-1 in ODAC play and are in prime position to challenge for their conference title. They’ll have to likely fend off Washington and Lee, Hampden-Sydney and Guilford to capture that crown, a height Roanoke hasn’t reached since 2013.

Out

Muhlenberg

After storming out to a 8-0 start to the 2018 season, the Mules were dealt consecutive losses this past week. That’s when they fell 11-9 to Haverford and 18-11 to Gettysburg, dropping their program to 0-2 in Centennial Conference play. It’s a steep hole to climb out of now, especially with conference games against top programs Dickinson and Franklin & Marshall still on the horizon.

To bounce out of this rut, the Mules will likely lean on freshman attack Ethan Grossman, who has 46 points (29 goals, 17 assists) on the year. Frankie Feaster has been reliable from the faceoff X, too, operating at a 62.8-percent success rate through nine games.

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