'Scary Good' Middlebury No. 1 in Nike/USA Lacrosse D-III Women's Preseason Top 20


Jamee Numan scored six times as a freshman in 2022.

Middlebury is No. 1 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division III Women’s Preseason Top 20, USA Lacrosse Magazine announced Thursday.

Middlebury had to wait two years to re-stake its claim as the top team in Division III college women’s lacrosse, but the Panthers successfully defended their title from 2019 in their return to competition last season following COVID-19 cancelations.

They did that with a lot of players who had never played college lacrosse, and now, after minimal graduation impacts on the roster, the Panthers are expected to be what one coach described as “scary good.”

Led by Jane Earley, Middlebury remains the favorite heading into 2023, but Tufts, ranked No. 2 going into the season, looks to make another run despite graduating standout goalkeeper Molly Laliberty and midfielder Anna Clarke. The Jumbos have finished as the Division III runner-up the past two seasons.

TCNJ, coming off a Final Four appearance, checks in at No. 3, while 2021 champion Salisbury and 2022 semifinalist Gettysburg are Nos. 4 and 5, respectively.

Continue below to see the full Nike/USA Lacrosse Division III Women’s Preseason Top 20.


1. Middlebury
2. Tufts
4. Salisbury
5. Gettysburg
6. Franklin & Marshall
7. Colby
8. William Smith
9. Washington and Lee
10. Wesleyan
11. Ithaca
12. York
13. Cortland
14. St. Lawrence
15. Bowdoin
16. Denison
17. Catholic
18. Geneseo
19. University of Chicago
20. Hamilton

Also considered (alphabetical order): Amherst, FDU-Florham, Haverford, Kenyon, Messiah, Pomona-Pitzer, Roger Williams, St. John Fisher, Trinity.


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