Rutgers Up 2 Spots in Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


Alas, the finale regular season update to the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women’s Top 20 is here.

This isn’t the end of the line — the final update of the spring comes June 6 after an NCAA champion is crowned — but it does mark the finish line for a regular season that had no shortage of surprises.

Of the teams ranked at this point, only four were not ranked in the preseason Top 20 — USC, Arizona State, Saint Joseph’s and Michigan. In their stead were Drexel, Jacksonville and UConn (all three receiving “also considered” distinction this week) and a Penn team that proved to be in a down year. The full preseason Top 20 is linked below.

These seasons (and rankings) always have their ebbs and flows, and even though North Carolina enters the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 seed and clear favorite to win the whole thing, there are still a handful of teams with legit chances to end the season atop the Nike/USA Lacrosse Top 20.

We’ll know which team gets that honor in just a few weeks.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOP 20

 
May 9, 2022

W/L

Prev

Next

1

North Carolina

18-0

1

5/15 vs. No. 17 USC/No. 14 Virginia

2

Maryland

17-1

3

5/15 vs. No. 9 Duke/Johns Hopkins

3

Boston College

16-3

2

5/15 vs. No. 13 Denver/Vermont

4

Stony Brook

14-2

5

5/13 vs. Drexel

5

Loyola

18-1

6

5/13 vs. Mount St. Mary's

6

Northwestern

13-4

4

5/13 vs. Central Michigan

7

Florida

15-4

7

5/13 vs. Mercer

8

Syracuse

13-5

8

5/13 vs. Fairfield

9

Duke

15-3

9

5/13 vs. Johns Hopkins

10

James Madison

13-4

10

5/13 vs. UConn

11

Princeton

14-3

11

5/13 vs. UMass

12

Rutgers

15-4

14

5/13 vs. No. 19 Saint Joseph's

13

Denver

17-2

12

5/13 vs. Vermont

14

Virginia

9-9

15

5/13 vs. No. 17 USC

15

Notre Dame

9-9

16

5/13 vs. No. 20 Michigan

16

Stanford

12-6

17

5/13 vs. Jacksonville

17

USC

13-4

13

5/13 vs. No. 14 Virginia

18

Arizona State

11-8

NR

Season complete.

19

Saint Joseph's

14-6

19

5/13 vs. No. 12 Rutgers

20

Michigan

10-6

20

5/13 vs. No. 15 Notre Dame

Also considered (alphabetical order): Drexel, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, UConn, UMass





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

HOT

Rutgers (+2)

The Scarlet Knights got a massive resume boost by beating Northwestern — handily — in a Big Ten semifinal. The high of that win was overshadowed by an 18-8 loss to Maryland in the conference title game two days later.

Rutgers remains a contender entering the NCAA tournament, especially with a defense that looks to be improving. The Scarlet Knights fell to Northwestern 21-13 on April 7. They won 13-5 against the Wildcats last weekend.

NOT

USC (-4)

A four-spot drop might seem harsh for a team that only fell by a goal to Arizona State in the conference tournament, but when assessing the rest of the Pac-12, it makes sense to have the Women of Troy one spot behind Stanford, the conference champion that beat USC twice this year and also dispatched Arizona State in the title game.

Northwestern (-2)

It’s too extreme to say that Northwestern is limping into the NCAA tournament, but it’s important to acknowledge that the Wildcats have dropped their last two games by a combined 28-14 margin. Northwestern remains a potent offense despite the past two performances, and if the Wildcats can get hot, a deep tournament run is certainly a possibility.

IN

Arizona State (No. 18)

The Sun Devils’ eight losses are the third-most of any team in this week’s Top 20, but the quality wins (Rutgers, Stanford and USC chief among them) are major boosters to the resume. And all eight losses have come to teams currently ranked.

Their Pac-12 semifinal win over USC was enough to get them into the Top 20 for the first time this spring.

OUT

UConn (was No. 18)

The Huskies looked like they were peaking entering the season’s final game. Then they got blasted by Georgetown 22-12, a bad loss because it also meant UConn would be the Big East’s No. 4 seed, setting up a semifinal date with Denver. The Pioneers went on to beat the Huskies 16-6.

But UConn is still alive, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Sunday night.

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