Syracuse, USC Climb in Nike/USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

PHOTO BY MIKAELA CARROLL

Kelsey Huff and USC climb four spots to No. 13.


And then there was one.

Top-ranked North Carolina is the last undefeated team in Division I women’s lacrosse, as the Tar Heels improved to 12-0 last week with an easy 15-7 win over Notre Dame. Although UNC is the clear-cut No. 1, its remaining ACC schedule brings forth a few worthy challengers in Syracuse (up four spots this week) and Duke (a nation-leading 13 wins). That Syracuse matchup comes Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome, and nobody would be surprised if the offensively loaded Orange gave the Tar Heels a run.

Syracuse’s win over Loyola last week represented one of the most ranking-altering results, with the Orange supplanting the Greyhounds at No. 4 and the Greyhounds dropping to No. 7. USC also found itself up four spots, as the Women of Troy topped Michigan in a battle of two of the nation's top midfield units.

Conference races are heating up as the regular-season schedule enters its final month. Given the way this season has gone, more shakeups are on the way.

NIKE/USA LACROSSE
DIVISION I WOMEN’S TOP 20

 
April 4, 2022

W/L

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1

North Carolina

12-0

1

4/9 at No. 4 Syracuse

2

Boston College

11-1

2

4/9 vs. Notre Dame

3

Northwestern

10-2

3

4/7 vs. No. 14 Rutgers

4

Syracuse

10-2

8

4/9 vs. No. 1 North Carolina

5

Maryland

10-1

5

4/7 vs. Penn State

6

Stony Brook

8-2

6

4/9 vs. New Hampshire

7

Loyola

10-1

4

4/9 vs. Colgate

8

Florida

7-4

7

4/4 at Cincinnati

9

Duke

13-1

9

4/7 at Virginia Tech

10

Denver

11-1

11

4/9 vs. No. 19 UConn

11

James Madison

8-4

12

4/9 vs. Elon

12

Princeton

6-2

10

4/9 at Brown

13

USC

8-2

17

4/8 vs. Cal

14

Rutgers

10-2

13

4/7 at No. 3 Northwestern

15

Michigan

9-4

14

4/8 vs. Ohio State

16

Virginia

6-7

15

4/6 vs. VCU

17

Richmond

10-2

16

4/8 at VCU

18

Stanford

8-5

19

4/8 at Arizona State

19

UConn

10-1

20

4/9 at No. 10 Denver

20

Colorado

9-3

18

4/15 vs. No. 13 USC

Also considered (alphabetical order): Arizona State (5-6), Army (10-2), Jacksonville (7-3), Johns Hopkins (6-6), Navy (10-2), Notre Dame (4-7), Temple (8-4), UMass (10-2), Virginia Tech (8-6)





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

HOT

Syracuse (+4)

The Orange had fallen to No. 8 a few weeks back after a surprising loss to Florida, and although they’ve looked fine since then, they hadn’t climbed back up the Top 20 without a signature win. They got that victory last week, a 14-13 Tuesday night result over Loyola in the Dome. They followed with an 18-6 thumping of Pitt.

Syracuse has thus far been excellent offensively — a shock to no one — but has had an up and down season as it pertains to defense. The Orange play North Carolina on Saturday and then Boston College to close the regular season.

USC (+4)

USC’s resume got a boost in two ways. For one, the Women of Troy took care of business against Michigan. The 14-10 win was never in doubt once USC took a 6-5 lead, as it never looked back. from there. Arizona State provided another boost to the resume by beating Rutgers. Because USC downed ASU 17-10 on March 25, the Women of Troy have even more to boast about.

NOT

Loyola (-3)

The Greyhounds were one iffy call away from at least going to overtime against Syracuse, so it might seem extreme to see them tumble three spots for that loss. But when factoring in other results — their own slim win over Princeton versus Stony Brook’s thorough win over those same Tigers last weekend — Loyola takes a bit of a slide here.

Rutgers (-1)

A bigger slide would have certainly been warranted after losing in overtime to an unpredictable (but talented) Arizona State team, but given the teams below them in the standings, putting the Scarlet Knights only lower than No. 14 would not have been fair. The Scarlet Knights’ biggest test of the year comes Thursday in Evanston against No. 3 Northwestern.

Michigan (-1)

Like Rutgers, Michigan could have fallen farther after losing its third straight game. The Wolverines’ saving grace is that each loss was to a ranked team, and two of them were ranked higher at the time of defeat. Michigan closes the regular season with three Big Ten contests, culminating in a marquee matchup against Maryland.

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