Big Ten Chaos Shakes Up Nike / US Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Aurora Cordingley leads Johns Hopkins with 33 points.


Big Ten schools should begin offering a course in which students (and media members) learn how to break down the conference’s women’s lacrosse results.

Another week of B1G chaos has come and gone, and this time, the back half of the rankings undergo a significant facelift. Penn State’s win over Maryland (a convincing one, too) would have had given the Nittany Lions a major boost had it not been for a Wednesday loss to Johns Hopkins, which suddenly looks to be every bit the threat.

For the most part, records can be thrown out the window in the Big Ten. Conference-only play is an anomaly, and while winning teams generally get rewarded, it’s important to acknowledge just how closely packed these teams are in terms of talent.

While Northwestern sits firmly atop the Big Ten (and at No. 2 in the Nike / US Lacrosse Women’s Top 20), the rest of the conference is a dart throw.

Nike / US Lacrosse
Division I Women’s Top 20

 
April 12, 2021

W/L

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1 North Carolina 12-0 1 4/16 vs. No. 7 Virginia
2 Northwestern 10-0 2 4/18 vs. No. 18 Michigan
3 Syracuse 8-1 3 4/13 at Albany
4 Notre Dame 6-3 4 4/15 at No. 5 Boston College
5 Boston College 9-1 5 4/15 vs. No. 4 Notre Dame
6 Stony Brook 9-2 6 4/16 vs. Binghamton
7 Virginia 8-4 7 4/16 at No. 1 North Carolina
8 Duke 7-5 8 4/13 vs. Liberty
Jacksonville 6-0 10 4/16 at Furman
10 Florida 9-2 11 4/16 vs. Vanderbilt
11 Loyola 7-2 12 4/17 vs. Bucknell
12 Maryland 6-4 9 4/14 vs. No. 14 Johns Hopkins
13 Richmond 6-1 14 4/16 at VCU
14 Johns Hopkins 4-4 NR 4/14 at No. 12 Maryland
15 Drexel 9-1 15 4/13 at No. 19 Towson
16 Penn State 4-6 19 4/15 at Rutgers
17 Stanford 6-0 16 4/16 at Arizona State
18 Michigan 3-4 12 4/16 at No. 20 Ohio State
19 Towson 8-2 17 4/13 vs. No. 15 Drexel
20 Ohio State 3-8 NR 4/16 vs. No. 18 Michigan
Also considered (alphabetical order): Colorado, Denver, Elon, Rutgers, Temple, UMass, Vanderbilt






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

HOT

Penn State (+3)

The Nittany Lions are both “hot” and “not” at the same time. Beating Maryland means a jump in the rankings, but they could have ascended much higher had it not been for the aforementioned midweek loss to Johns Hopkins.

NOT

Michigan (-6)

The Wolverines are victims of other results this week. They lost once to Ohio State (No. 20), twice to Maryland (No. 12) and split the season series with Penn State (No. 16). Their last four games — Ohio State, at Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins — will say a lot about where the Wolverines stand.

Maryland (-3)

Losing to Penn State in the manner in which it did (16-9 with running time in the second half) is a clear sign that Penn State is a matchup problem for Maryland. For now, it looks like the Terps are still the No. 2 team in the conference, but Wednesday’s game against Johns Hopkins in College Park will help provide more clarity.

IN

Johns Hopkins (No. 14)

A month-long layoff might have put Johns Hopkins on the backburner, but the Blue Jays appear to be a threat. They beat Penn State 13-10 on Wednesday and then avenged a season-opening loss to Rutgers on Sunday. Aurora Cordingley has been on fire, leading the team with 33 points and 24 goals.

Ohio State (No. 20)

By virtue of sweeping Penn State twice and Michigan once, Ohio State finds itself as the last team in despite a 3-8 record. Its final two regular season games are at the Shoe against Northwestern and Michigan.

OUT

Louisville (No. 18)

The Cardinals hung tight with Duke but ultimately fell 12-10. Louisville is 5-7 (1-6 ACC), and a three-game slate to close the season against Syracuse (twice) and Notre Dame doesn’t bode well for its chances. That said, a win in either game could be a much-needed resume booster.

Navy (was No. 20)

A three-game losing streak is enough to bump the Mids from the Top 20, and it looks like their only chance to make a return would be by defeating Loyola on April 24. Without a quality victory this spring, it’s hard to justify Navy’s inclusion.

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