PHOTO BY GREGORY A. SHEMITZ

Rising sophomore Jamie Ortega will be one of the key offensive leaders for North Carolina in 2019 after gaining valuable experience as the team's leading scorer as a freshman.

Way-Early 2019 Rankings: No. 5-No. 1 (Division I Women)


2019 has a tough act to follow.

The 2018 college lacrosse season sent us on a wild ride, a journey that on Memorial Day ended with first-time champions in five of six divisions, men and women. It’s entirely too early to predict what’s in store for next spring. We’ll try, anyway. 

Way-Early 2019 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
Division III Men
Top 10
Division III Women
Top 10
Division II Men’s Top 10
Thursday, June 14
Division II Women’s Top 10
Thursday, June 14

Boston College will be lethal in 2019 and could be primed for its first NCAA title with Sam Apuzzo, Dempsey Arsenault and Kenzie Kent leading the way.


5. PRINCETON

2018 record: 13-6 (6-1 Ivy League)

Last seen: Falling by six to national finalist Boston College in the second round of the NCAA.

Senior starts lost: 51 of 228 (22.4 percent)

Senior scoring departing: 90 of 375 (24.0 percent)

Initial forecast: It took a while for Princeton to get moving in 2018, but narrow losses to Syracuse and Maryland kickstarted the Tigers' drive to the Ivy title. With nearly 80 percent of its starting corps and over 75 percent of its scoring returning, Princeton is ready for a return to the NCAA quarterfinals and possibly a semifinal appearance. The Ivy League will be difficult sledding in 2019 with resurgent teams like Dartmouth, Columbia and Brown adding to the depth of Penn’s excellence and an expected bounce back of Cornell. The Tigers return Kyla Sears, who had 83 points leading the offense in 2018. Sam Fish’s improvement during the season aided the Tigers’ success behind the strength of eight games with at least 10 saves.

4. FLORIDA

2018 record: 17-4 (9-0 Big East)

Last seen: Falling by three goals to eventual national champion James Madison in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Senior starts lost: 43 of 252 (17.1 percent)

Senior scoring departing: 105 of 471 (22.3 percent)

Initial forecast: The Gators are seemingly knocking on the championship weekend door every year, yet falling short. In 2019, the fortunes should change. Florida will be able to absorb the loss of Shayna Pirreca because her sister Sydney and Lindsey Ronbeck return to anchor the powerful offense. Defensively, only one contributor will be lost in Aniya Flanagan. It will be curious to see how Florida’s transition to the new American Athletic Conference will affect the season. All the opponents (Connecticut, Cincinnati, Temple and Vanderbilt) will be familiar save for newbie East Carolina. It will be Florida’s third conference in six years, and will the competition test them enough? The Gators’ performance in non-conference play will hold the keys to their success.








3. NORTH CAROLINA

2018 record: 17-4 (6-1 ACC)

Last seen: Losing to eventual champion James Madison by three in the NCAA semifinals.

Senior starts lost: 76 of 252 (30.1 percent)

Senior scoring departing: 210 of 511 (41.1 percent)

Initial forecast: North Carolina took a while to find its stride this season, starting 3-2 before rolling and winning the ACC Tournament. Two major point scorers will be gone (Marie McCool and Ela Hazar), but UNC’s strength is its wealth of scoring options. Katie Hoeg and Jamie Ortega will return as the Tar Heels’ top two threats. The biggest question mark is who will be in the draw circle as McCool’s 295 career controls will depart. The defense will get another year to solidify as only Naomi Lerner’s absence needs to be filled.

2. MARYLAND

2018 record: 20-2 (7-0 Big Ten)

Last seen: Failing to reach the NCAA final for the first time since 2012 after losing to Boston College in the NCAA semifinals.

Senior starts lost: 73 of 264 (27.7 percent)

Senior scoring departing: 65 of 476 (13.7 percent)

Initial forecast: In 2018, the Terps played like a veteran team, yet had the youngest team at championship weekend. The loss of Whittle’s 99 points and Hensh’s 44 will be difficult to replace, but playmakers like Caroline Steele, Jen Giles and Kali Hartshorn will pick up the scoring slack. Defensively, goalie Megan Taylor will reprise her role as the nation’s best shot stopper. Expect Maryland to roll through the Big Ten again and into championship weekend for the 11th straight season.




PHOTO BY LEE WEISSMAN

The 2018 Tewaaraton winner Sam Apuzzo will be back for a lethal Boston College squad in 2019, which will also return Kenzie Kent, the 2017 NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player.


1. BOSTON COLLEGE

2018 record: 22-2 (7-0 ACC)

Last seen: Falling by a goal to James Madison in the NCAA championship game.

Senior starts lost: 95 of 288 (33.0 percent)

Senior scoring departing: 198 of 530 (37.4 percent)

Initial forecast: The national finalists the past two seasons, the Eagles are primed for a return trip to the championship game and their first title. Boston College will return its top two scorers from this season in Sam Apuzzo and Dempsey Arsenault, who combined for 232 points and 274 draw controls. Kenzie Kent (77 points in 2017) is expected to return to the team next season after missing 2018 to concentrate on hockey. With Lauren Daly in net for a third straight year and a staunch defense in front of her, the Eagles will be the favorites to win the ACC once again.