First Bid Thief Emerges in Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

PHOTO BY GAVIN BAKER / SIDELINE PHOTOS


The first automatic bid has been earned, and with it, things have gotten even murkier on the bubble.

This isn’t the space for an in-depth look at a potential bracket. That’ll come tomorrow from bracketology expert Jeremy Fallis. But with Saint Joseph’s jumping into the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women’s Top 20 for the first time this season at No. 19, it’s worth examining the implications of the Hawks’ sudden relevance.

In winning the first Atlantic 10 championship in program history, the Hawks took down second-seeded Richmond and top-seeded UMass — two teams that not only had hopes of earning the AQ, but also of falling back on an at-large if necessary.

But Richmond’s loss to the Hawks has essentially eliminated the Spiders. It’s highly unlikely the A-10 would get three NCAA tournament teams, after all. And although UMass’ overall resume still looks strong, the Minutewomen are now firmly on the bubble.

Beware of bid thieves, friends. Now’s the time they come for those AQs.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOP 20

 
May 2, 2022

W/L

Prev

Next

1

North Carolina

17-0

1

5/7 vs. No. 2 Boston College (ACC championship)

2

Boston College

15-2

2

5/7 vs. North Carolina (ACC championship)

3

Maryland

15-1

3

5/6 vs. Johns Hopkins (Big Ten semifinal)

4

Northwestern

13-3

4

5/6 vs. No. 14 Rutgers (Big Ten semifinal)

5

Stony Brook

14-2

7

Regular season complete

6

Loyola

16-1

8

5/5 vs. Lehigh (Patriot League semifinal)

7

Florida

13-4

9

5/5 vs. East Carolina (AAC semifinal)

8

Syracuse

13-5

5

Regular season complete

9

Duke

15-3

5

Regular season complete

10

James Madison

13-4

11

Regular season complete

11

Princeton

12-3

12

5/6 vs. Harvard (Ivy League semifinal)

12

Denver

15-2

10

5/5 vs. No. 18 UConn (Big East semifinal)

13

USC

13-3

13

5/5 vs. Arizona State/Cal (Pac-12 semifinal)

14

Rutgers

14-3

14

5/6 vs. No. 4 Northwestern (Big Ten semifinal)

15

Virginia

9-9

18

Regular season complete

16

Notre Dame

9-9

NR

Regular season complete

17

Stanford

10-6

15

5/5 vs. Colorado/Oregon (Pac-12 semifinal)

18

UConn

13-3

16

5/5 vs. No. 12 Denver (Big East semifinal)

19

Saint Joseph's

14-6

NR

Atlantic 10 champion

20

Michigan

10-6

19

Regular season complete

Also considered (alphabetical order): Army, Arizona State, Colorado, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Temple





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

HOT

Virginia (+3)

Two ACC teams quite literally saved their seasons. We’ll get to another one of them later. Right now, the focus is on a Virginia team that upset Syracuse in the ACC quarterfinals and then hung around with Boston College in the semifinals before ultimately falling. At 9-9, the Cavaliers are still NCAA tournament eligible.

The Cavaliers have wins over Stanford and now Syracuse to lean on when touting its NCAA tournament chops. Will that be enough to get into the dance? In last week’s bracketology, Jeremy Fallis wrote that a win over the Orange would essentially secure UVA’s bid.

NOT

Syracuse (-3)

Syracuse’s season will continue after Selection Sunday, but just where the Orange find themselves seeded (if at all) is now a question after losing to Virginia. Issues defensively and in goal have overshadowed an offense that has enough options to contend with just about anyone.

Duke (-3)

The Blue Devils own the best win on the board (a win over Boston College a few weeks back) that will ultimately carry them comfortably into Selection Sunday. But they’re crawling into the dance coming off a blowout loss to North Carolina and a less-than-ideal effort against Notre Dame in an ACC quarterfinal loss.

UConn (-2)

UConn was unexpectedly blasted 22-12 by Georgetown in the regular season finale for both teams, forcing the Huskies into a three-way tie for No. 2 in the Big East with Marquette and the Hoyas. Those teams went 1-1 against each other, so the next tiebreaker was goal differential — a category in which the Huskies came in last.

So, as the fourth seed in the Big East tournament, UConn faces an uphill battle against Denver in the conference semifinals.

Michigan (-1)

One of spring’s early darlings has sputtered since the end of March, closing the regular season with one win in its last seven games and missing the Big Ten tournament as a result. To make the NCAA tournament, the Wolverines are hoping their wins over Notre Dame (which suddenly looks better) and Arizona State can do enough to bolster their resume.

IN

Notre Dame (No. 16)

Needing a win to stay eligible for the NCAA tournament, Notre Dame put together one of its best efforts of the season to beat Duke. Then it very nearly clipped No. 1 North Carolina, but after going ahead 5-0, the Irish watched as UNC awakened during an 11-1 run. The Tar Heels ultimately won 14-13.

Notre Dame, impossible to predict this season, can lean on wins over Virginia and Duke on Selection Sunday.

Saint Joseph’s (No. 19)

Welcome to the Top 20 and the NCAA tournament, Saint Joseph’s. Under the radar for the past three months, the Hawks are led by Lauren Figura and her 71 goals, which ranks in the top 10 nationally. They have a two-headed monster on the draw (Sophia Kolkka, 94 DCs, and Riley Evans, 88 DCs) and have a defense that allowed 29 goals combined to George Washington, Richmond and UMass in the A-10 tournament. Talk about peaking at the right time.

OUT

UMass (was No. 17)

Losing to Saint Joseph’s is enough at this point in the season to fall out of the Top 20, especially without a spot in the NCAA tournament guaranteed. If they make the tournament, the Minutewomen have enough offense to hang around with some of the nation’s best.

Richmond (was No. 20)

Both teams falling out of the Top 20 have SJU to thank. The Spiders’ season is effectively over after losing in the A-10 semifinals.

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