There is a new number one team in the women’s power rankings this week, and it’s the Stony Brook Seawolves, who won their home opener last weekend in a 13-goal rout of Denver. All three wins by Stony Brook so far this season are over teams that were ranked in at least one major poll at the time of the game, and in all three wins, the Seawolves won quite easily.
Following Maryland’s overtime loss to North Carolina last Saturday, the decision to make Stony Brook the first overall team was easy. But after the Seawolves, it’s a dog fight. Five or six teams have legitimate claims to the second-overall place in the rankings.
Let’s sort that out.
College Crosse Women’s Lacrosse Power Rankings
|Rank||March 8||March 1||February 22|
|Rank||March 8||March 1||February 22|
|1||Stony Brook||Stony Brook||Maryland|
|2||Boston College||Boston College||Stony Brook|
|3||James Madison||North Carolina||Syracuse|
|15||Colorado||Penn State||Penn State|
|17||Loyola||Virginia Tech||Notre Dame|
No. 1 — Stony Brook Seawolves (3-0) ... Last week: 2
Dating back to 2014, Stony Brook has allowed five or fewer goals in 27 of its last 47 home games, a stunning rate. Maryland, for comparison, has allowed five or fewer at home nine times over that span.
They did exactly that in the season opener, holding Denver to just three goals. Brooke Gubitosi has the look of one of the best defenders in the country in the middle of the Seawolves hybrid zone defense.
On offense, Courtney Murphy is closing in on the NCAA’s all-time goals record.
Given the Seawolves’ upcoming schedule, she may get the record before March finishes.
No. 2 — Boston College Eagles (6-0) ... Last week: 4
Speaking of goal-scoring, Sam Apuzzo is on another planet right now for the Eagles. On Monday against Navy, she scored a program-record nine goals, giving her 30 on the season already.
The rest of the Eagles offense has been just as impressive, with Dempsey Arsenault already having scored 20 goals herself. Arsenault started her NCAA career as a defender, believe it or not, but she seems perfectly comfortable in her offensive role now.
No. 3 — North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1) ... Last week: 9
The win of the week came from the Tar Heels, who knocked off Maryland in overtime. The Tar Heels roster has plenty of offensive talent — Ela Hazar, Marie McCool and freshman Jamie Ortega — but defense is still a bit of a question mark.
Sophomore goalie Elise Hennessey allowed seven goals on seven shots against Maryland before being relieved for the rest of the match. We’ll see in the Tar Heels next game whether or not the change in net is permanent.
No. 4 — Maryland Terrapins (3-1) ... Last week: 1
Breathe, Terps fans. Everything is going to be okay. Maryland was uncharacteristically sloppy in the loss to North Carolina, but followed it up on Wednesday with a 21–12 win over UMBC. Megan Whittle scored seven goals, including going 6-for-6 on free-position attempts.
The 8-meter line has been the bread and butter for the Terps all season long, and as a team, they went 9-for-12 on the FPS.
No. 5 — Syracuse Orange (3-0) ... Last week: 3
Syracuse has not played since last Thursday, a dominant victory against a depleted Albany roster. But while the scoreboard was in the Orange’s favor, the medical examination after the game was not.
Syracuse draw specialist Morgan Widner suffered a torn ACL on a non-contact play win the win, meaning she will miss the rest of the season. The NCAA is likely to grant her a redshirt, as early in the year as it came, but for the Orange, they will be missing the talents of one of the nation’s best in the faceoff circle.
No. 6 — Florida Gators (3-1) ... Last week: 5
Florida followed up a tight win over Loyola over the weekend with a dominant performance against Jacksonville on Wednesday night.
Sydney and Shayna Pirreca each had a hat trick for the Gators. They’ll have a major tester this weekend against North Carolina.
No. 7 — James Madison Dukes (4-0) ... Last week: 6
Senior attacker Elena Romesburg had never recorded a five-goal game in her career before this season; she now has three in four games. The Dukes fell in the rankings this week, due in most part to North Carolina’s huge win.
James Madison stayed perfect this season by winning at High Point by a score of 13–11.
No. 8 — Towson Tigers (3-0) ... Last week: 10
The Tigers finally played their first game in 10 days on Wednesday night over the Michigan Wolverines. After the game opened with a 2–2 score, Towson put it away on a 7–0 run .
Kaitlyn Mantalbano recorded the 100th goal of her career in that one.
In case you missed it, here is a how Kaitlyn Montalbano's 100th career goal looked in today's 14-7 win over Michigan. Montalbano now has 149 career points with 100 goals and 49 assists.— TU Women's Lacrosse (@Towson_WLAX) March 1, 2018
Video courtesy of @Towson_TSN. @BenRosenbaum1 with the call.#WinTheDay pic.twitter.com/FKMwem2dxP
No. 9 — Northwestern Wildcats (4-1) ... Last week: 13
The Wildcats welcomed Shelby Fredericks back to the lineup over the weekend in their win over the USC Trojans after missing the team’s first four games of the season due to injury. Fredericks, the team’s draw specialist, was nabbed Inside Lacrosse’s preseason first-team All-American at the position. She’ll have to be on top of her game this Saturday against the No. 1 Stony Brook Seawolves.
No. 10 — Virginia Cavaliers (4-0) ... Last week: 14
One of three ACC teams still undefeated, the Cavaliers opened Wednesday night’s win against William and Mary on a 9–0 run.
The Cavs have only given up 26 goals in four games, an average of 6.5. Rachel Vander Kolk has been on fire in net, posting a save percentage of just .577.
No. 11 — Navy Midshipsmen (3-1) ... Last week: 7
Navy lost big at Boston College on Monday in a rematch of last season’s Final Four meeting. The Eagles are a legitimate national title contender. It happens.
For Navy, the schedule will soften for a couple games before a huge matchup with Florida in Gainesville on March 13.
No. 12 — Penn Quakers (3-0) ... Last week: 18
Penn has a conference game this weekend!
Penn heads to Ithaca on Saturday in the Ivy League opener. In the Quakers’ 19–9 win over Rutgers on Wednesday, 15 of their goals were assisted.
No. 13 — USC Trojans (2-2) ... Last week: 8
USC only scored five goals against Northwestern over the weekend, the team’s fewest since scoring five in a 2016 win against Notre Dame.
Offense is a worry across the board for the Trojans right now; the team is generating only 9.25 goals per game overall after being 10th in the nation with 15.23 goals per game in 2017.
No. 14 — Duke Blue Devils (3-1) ... Last week: 12
Duke allowed 17 goals in its loss against Virginia Tech on Saturday but the Blue Devils had success on the draw. Junior draw specialist Olivia Jenner already has 41 draw controls in four games this season, including 12 against the Hokies.
No. 15 — Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1) ... Last week: 15
Penn State has three straight wins against unranked opponents since losing in the season opener to Towson. The Nittany Lions were led by senior star Katie O’Donnell on Saturday. She scored six goals to help her team beat Cornell.
The Lions will have a pair of golden chances to move up the rankings over the next week, playing against Loyola at Saturday then on the road against James Madison next Wednesday.
No. 16 — Princeton Tigers (2-1) ... Last week: 11
The offense came through in a big way for the Tigers on Tuesday against Lehigh, putting up 18 goals on 38 shots. Princeton opened the game on an 8–0 run. Freshman sensation Kyla Sears already has netted 10 in her first three career games.
No. 17 — Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2) ... Last week: NR
The Hokies are new to the rankings this week after the aforementioned win against Duke. The Hokies held off George Mason in overtime on Wednesday. Senior Tristan McGinley leads her team with 14 goals and 33 draw controls.
No. 18 — Loyola Greyhounds (0-2) ... Last week: NR
It might seem unusual for a team to be added to the rankings after losing its first two teams of the season, but the Greyhounds have shown in those two contests that they are a legitimate squad. On the road against Florida, Loyola led for over 50 minutes before the Gators made a run right at the end. If they can clean up some of the late-game miscues, the Greyhounds have a chance to knock off Navy in the Patriot League.
No. 19 — Denver Pioneers (3-1) ... Last week: 16
It also might seem unusual to keep a team on the rankings after losing by 13 over the weekend, but consider it an extenuating circumstance. Denver’s win over Louisville earlier in the season is looking better and better as the Cardinals continue to win.
No. 20 — Louisville Cardinals (5-1) ... Last week: NR
Speaking of Louisville, the team won its fifth game of the season on Tuesday night against Vanderbilt. The Cardinals still do not have a marquee win on the resume, but their next two games will be against two marquee conference opponents.
Other teams considered:
I really liked the look of Bryant in a dominant win of Albany in their opener... Johns Hopkins would have been ranked if not for a loss on Tuesday to Georgetown... Speaking of Georgetown, the Hoyas could crack the rankings soon if they keep up their win streak... Marist and Niagara are both 3-0, we’ll see if either team can show off their skills against stronger opponents... Notre Dame dropped from the rankings, but could make it back with a win against Louisville.