Denver Enters Top 10 of Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

PHOTO VIA TWITTER / @DU_WLAX

Emilia Bohi made four second-half saves in Denver's 9-8 win over Michigan.


Ever since the preseason — ever since June 7, when Charlotte North announced her return to Boston College, really — penciling in the Eagles at No. 1 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women’s Top 20 required little thought.

Likewise for positioning North Carolina at No. 2. The two ACC powerhouses both possess a potent mixture of veterans and young difference-makers, and their depth is almost laughable. (Sam Geiersbach, who scored 162 goals in four years at Richmond, comes off the bench for UNC. Seriously?)

Unsurprisingly, both teams have essentially run roughshod over their opponents thus far. Both enter another week with pristine 8-0 records, and both put 21 goals on the scoreboard on Sunday.

Unstoppable forces collide next weekend, as the Tar Heels will travel to Chestnut Hill for a 1-v-2 clash on Sunday at 2 p.m.

For the first time all season, No. 1 is at stake. This is how the Top 20 looks heading into one of the most anticipated weekends of the spring, as other conferences join the ACC in taking part in conference play.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOP 20

 
March 14, 2022

W/L

Prev

Next

1

Boston College

8-0

1

3/20 vs. No. 2 North Carolina

2

North Carolina

8-0

2

3/20 at No. 1 Boston College

3

Maryland

6-0

3

3/20 vs. No. 12 Rutgers

4

Northwestern

5-2

4

3/19 vs. Ohio State

5

Syracuse

6-1

5

3/16 at No. 16 Florida

6

Stony Brook

3-2

6

3/18 at Hofstra

7

Duke

8-1

7

3/17 vs. Louisville

8

Loyola

6-0

9

3/18 at Lehigh

9

Princeton

5-0

10

3/19 at Penn State

10

Denver

7-1

11

3/15 vs. Fairfield

11

Michigan

7-1

8

3/18 at Johns Hopkins

12

Rutgers

8-0

12

3/20 at No. 3 Maryland

13

USC

5-1

17

3/18 at Cal

14

Virginia

4-5

15

3/18 vs. Pitt

15

Richmond

5-1

16

3/16 at James Madison

16

Florida

2-4

14

3/16 vs. No. 5 Syracuse

17

Navy

6-1

NR

3/19 vs. Bucknell

18

Virginia Tech

6-3

NR

3/15 at Furman

19

Notre Dame

3-5

13

3/20 vs. Yale (in Naples, Fla.)

20

UConn

6-1

NR

3/22 at Albany

Also considered (alphabetical order): Arizona State (3-2), Colorado (5-2), Drexel (4-3), Jacksonville (3-3), Stanford (3-4), Temple (5-3), UMass (4-2)





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

HOT

USC (+4)

A win over former No. 19 Colorado added a ranked win to the Women of Troy’s resume (a win made less significant by Arizona State’s bashing of the Buffaloes, but a ranked win all the same), but USC’s climb this week is more so attributed to consistency.

Teams at the back end of the Top 20 have been anything but consistent. But outside of an 18-13 hiccup against No. 9 Princeton, USC has taken care of business. That helps its stock this week.

Denver (+1)

Denver’s 7-1, and the Pios earned their best win to date with a 9-8 comeback win over Michigan on Sunday. The offense is doing just enough with the defense continuing to be the story. Denver has held every team its played (including Boston College through three quarters in a shortened game) to fewer than 10 goals. That’s an accomplishment, especially with the high scores we’ve seen thus far this spring.

NOT

Notre Dame (-6)

What exactly are we supposed to make of the Irish. Are they a team that has lapses and underperforms, or are they one of those “get-out-of-our-way-when-we’re-hot” teams? Take this week as Exhibit A. Notre Dame lost to a Virginia Tech team that has experienced a similar rollercoaster of a season, and then it absolutely throttled Jacksonville 20-5.

Michigan (-3)

The Wolverines take a short tumble to No. 11, the same spot they entered the Top 20 after the season’s first weekend. The one-goal loss to Denver is certainly disappointing, but not enough to burst the Michigan bubble. Hannah Nielsen’s team looks like every bit the contender in the Big Ten.

Florida (-2)

The Gators continue to drop, and now they fall beyond No. 15 for the first time this season. At 2-4, a case could be made for them to fall even farther than No. 16, but each of their losses was to a team ranked in the top 10. They have another tough game on Wednesday against Syracuse.

IN

Navy (No. 17)

The Mids took on former No. 20 Johns Hopkins in a midweek matchup, effectively a game to decide who would be in the Top 20 this week. But then there were even more shakeups across the nation, allowing Navy to enter at No. 17. Navy has quality wins over Drexel and Hopkins and has seven players with at least 13 points. Not to mention five players with at least 10 goals.

Virginia Tech (No. 18)

The Hokies’ last two wins are respectable. On March 5, they beat a Pitt team in triple-overtime just before Pitt took Duke down to the wire. The Hokies then pulled off a 13-12 win against Notre Dame. Losses to Louisville and Liberty will continue to dampen their resume, but it’s impossible to deny the quality wins — including against James Madison on February 16.

UConn (No. 20)

At 6-1, UConn re-enters the mix largely because it hasn’t done much to harm itself. That 13-7 loss to James Madison on February 19 is what knocked the Huskies out of the Top 20 in the first place, but they have won five straight. A win over UMass is by no means a season-defining one, but it’s still a good win over a team on the cusp of the Top 20 itself.

OUT

Johns Hopkins (was No. 20)

The Blue Jays dropped that aforementioned game to Navy then got handled by Stony Brook 16-5, so sticking in the Top 20 wasn’t in the cards. With Big Ten play looming, Janine Tucker’s team will have plenty of opportunities to earn its way back in.

Colorado (was No. 19)

Another ranked team that went 0-2 this week, Colorado fell hard. Losing to USC could have been written off, but the Buffaloes got torched by an Arizona State team that had not to find its groove this season.

Jacksonville (was No. 18)

The Dolphins’ season-opening win over Virginia Tech still carries weight, but a lopsided loss to Notre Dame was enough to remove them from the Top 20. At 3-3, Jacksonville is far from out of the discussion, but its next chance to prove itself doesn’t come until April 27 at Florida.

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