The 2021 season was anything but normal. Coming off the heels of an abruptly canceled 2020 spring season, COVID-19 protocols, restricted scheduling and other factors forced the lacrosse community to expect the unexpected — or maybe expect nothing at all.

"> Early 2022 Rankings: Nos. 10-6 (Division I Women) | USA Lacrosse Magazine

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS

Hannah Leubecker was a breakout star in 2021.

Early 2022 Rankings: Nos. 10-6 (Division I Women)


The 2021 season was anything but normal. Coming off the heels of an abruptly canceled 2020 spring season, COVID-19 protocols, restricted scheduling and other factors forced the lacrosse community to expect the unexpected — or maybe expect nothing at all.

Heading into 2022 and with fall ball in full swing for many teams, the hope is that lacrosse will look a little closer to normal. Conference-only scheduling should be a thing of the past, meaning it will be easier to discern who the top teams are and why in the rankings.

Speaking of rankings, USA Lacrosse Magazine is back to its annual exercise — the Early Top 25. Every day this week, we'll break down a five-team segment, determining where the power lies in lacrosse.

Up today: Nos. 10-6.

Early 2022 Rankings

Division I Men
No. 25 - No. 21
No. 20 - No. 16
No. 15 - No. 11
No. 10 - No. 6
No. 5 - No. 1
Division I Women
No. 25 - No. 21
No. 20 - No. 16
No. 15 - No. 11
No. 10 - No. 6
No. 5 - No. 1

"Duke does an incredible job spreading the ball around once it gets possession, evidenced by the goals totals of their returning top scorers."


10. FLORIDA

2021 record: 18-3 (10-0 AAC)

Last seen: Falling short against an offensively potent Syracuse in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Initial forecast: Florida always seems to be on the cusp of a Final Four run. It was there last year, as the Gators ran roughshod over their AAC foes. Outside of losses to North Carolina and Jacksonville, the Gators were rarely challenged last spring — and perhaps that was part of the problem as the NCAA tournament progressed. Much of what comprised the most recent Florida core are gone, like program staples Shannon Kavanagh and Brianna Harris. That young core that’s been honing its craft in their shadow is now firmly in the spotlight, ready for the challenge. Danielle Pavinelli, Emily Heller, Ashley Gonzalez and Paisley Eagan are the likely starters in the midfield, with Maggi Hall leading the attack as a sophomore. Defensively, the conversation centers on Sarah Reznick, arguably the top keeper in the nation. The redshirt-sophomore saved 56.7 percent of shots faced last season and will be a key to the Gators’ season.

9. DUKE

2021 record: 11-8 (4-6 ACC)

Last seen: Two NCAA tournament wins were potentially overshadowed by a 22-10 throttling at the hands of Northwestern in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Initial forecast: The Blue Devils re-established themselves as an ACC team capable of doing some damage last spring, even taking North Carolina and Boston College to the brink on separate occasions. There’s a lot of continuity in Durham, though one notable loss is Gabby Rosenzweig, who transferred in as a grad in 2021 and brought leadership and a game-breaking ability to the attack. But now there’s leadership ready to take her place, as five graduate students, eight seniors and two redshirt-juniors bring plenty of experience. Even without Rosenzweig and Catherine Cordrey (both 20-plus goal scorers), Duke will have plenty of firepower. All of it starts with Maddie Jenner (187 draw controls) on the draw, where it’s rare to see her lose a 1-v-1 battle. Duke does an incredible job spreading the ball around once it gets possession, evidenced by the goals totals of their returning top scorers — Katie Cronin (30 goals), Katie DeSimone (25 goals), Catriona Barry (27 goals), Olivia Carner (30 goals), Caroline DeBellis (24 goals) and Abby Landry (21 goals).








8. LOYOLA

2021 record: 12-3 (5-0 Patriot League)

Last seen: Entering the second round of the NCAA tournament on a 12-game winning streak, the Greyhounds fell to Syracuse 20-8.

Initial forecast: Livy Rosenzweig is back. That alone speaks volumes for Loyola’s 2022 outlook. The graduate student has 144 goals and 184 assists in 62 career games and is coming off a season in which she started slowly but still scored four game-winning goals for the Greyhounds. Ellie Kluegel and Sam Fiedler join Rosenzweig as graduate students on offense, forming an experienced trio on that end. Add senior Jillian Wilson into that mix, too. Defensively, All-American candidate Katie Detwiler will stabilize things in front of graduate student Kaitlyn Larsson, who started all 15 games last season but posted a career-worst 49.1 save percentage. The team Loyola was at the end of the season (that loss to Syracuse notwithstanding) is the type of team to expect this spring. Avoiding a slow start would be nice, but much of that could be attributed to shaking off some rust after the COVID-shortened 2020 season.




PHOTO BY KEVIN P. TUCKER

Back for a fifth year, Livy Rosenzweig alone makes Loyola dangerous.


7. MARYLAND

2021 record: 10-7 (6-5 Big Ten)

Last seen: Sophia LeRose’s clutch save sent Maryland home with a 13-12 loss to Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Initial forecast: Cathy Reese crushed the transfer portal. Recognizing needs on her team — a young one that at times lacked veteran leadership last spring — she brought in graduate students on both ends of the field. Attacker Aurora Cordingley, a Johns Hopkins grad, was a spark plug last year. Defender Abby Bosco, a Penn grad, hasn’t played much since the 2019 season but has excelled when on the field. Clancy Rheude, Shannon Smith and Natalie Pansini also come in as transfers. They join a team that although inconsistent, had bright spots. Hannah Leubecker firmly established herself as a future star (if she isn’t one already), scoring 58 goals on 116 shots. Leubecker, Cordingley and Libby May form a dangerous triple-threat on offense, and one that can certainly get Maryland back into contention.

6. STONY BROOK

2021 record: 16-3 (8-0 America East)

Last seen: Giving North Carolina a run for its money in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Initial forecast: For the first time in a long time, it appears as if Stony Brook doesn’t have a go-to player on the offensive end. For years it was Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy, followed closely by Taryn Ohlmiller and Ally Kennedy. Now, it looks like a collective needs to come together to keep Stony Brook in the hierarchy of the national ranks. That isn’t to say the roster lacks talent. Quite the opposite, as Joe Spallina’s Seawolves team boasts a handful of promising players like Ellie Masera (17 goals) and Kailyn Hart (27 goals, 14 assists). Jaden Hampel (17 goals, eight assists) could be ready for the next step in her career, as could Kira Accettella (11 goals). Siobhan Rafferty and Sarah Pulis are established veterans in the midfield who can provide some scoring punch, and Kyla Zapolski (50 goals, 10 assists at Albany) has transferred in. While an individual star could certainly emerge, it looks like Stony Brook’s next romp through the America East could be fueled by the sum of its parts.