Stony Brook took care of business this week with two wins on the road over Northwestern and Michigan to retain the No. 1 ranking. Past the Seawolves, however, the results were wild. Florida beat North Carolina last weekend, and Virginia beat Syracuse, then yesterday, Syracuse beat Florida!
Boston College scored a clutch overtime victory on the road against USC to maintain the No. 2 ranking, but James Madison is undefeated too, knocking on the door.
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 (5-0) ... Last week: 1
Anna Tesoriero is having a spectacular season in cage for the Seawolves so far. The junior goalie has a save percentage of .547 for Stony Brook this year, including making 7 out of 9 saves in Monday’s win over Michigan.
The passing has excelled for the Seawolves on offense. Stony Brook is assisting on 69.7 percent of all scores this season. (For comparison: Boston College is assisting on 39.7 percent, James Madison is assisting on 40.8 percent and Maryland is assisting on just 29.9 percent of its goals.)
No. 2 — Boston College Eagles (8-0) ... Last week: 2
The Eagles stayed perfect on Wednesday after facing a tough test on the road against the USC Trojans. Boston College’s star, Sam Apuzzo, was held pointless in the first half, being slowed down by a USC faceguard, but she exploded in the second half for four goals, before assisting on Tess Chandler’s overtime winner.
Boston College is worthy of top-ranking consideration by many measures, but do not have the strength of schedule that Stony Brook has played so far. That will change once the two teams start their respective conference seasons.
No. 3 — James Madison Dukes (6-0) ... Last week: 7
James Madison is now 6-0 for the first time since 2011, but Wednesday’s game against Penn State begged some questions about JMU’s ability to close games. After leading 13-5 with just over 13 minutes left, the Dukes allowed the Nittany Lions to pull within 14-12 with 3:38 to go, before sweating out the victory.
Two dates to circle on the calendar? March 21 and March 24. The Dukes have not played a tough away game yet this season, but within three days they will hit the road to face Virginia and Maryland.
No. 4 — Maryland Terrapins (4-1) ... Last week: 4
Maryland took care of business at home against Hofstra over the weekend, but it was not as painless as it should have been. The Pride scored 10 goals, and recorded 23 shots on goal at College Park... not the kind of performance you would expect from Maryland at home against a middle-of-the-pack CAA school.
No. 5 — Virginia Cavaliers (5-0) ... Last week: 10
The Cavaliers stayed perfect at home against Syracuse on Sunday, joining Boston College as the only ACC teams still undefeated this season. Virginia goalie Rachel Vander Kolk was uncharacteristically sloppy, however, surrendering 16 goals on 18 Orange shots.
No. 6 — Syracuse (4-1) ... Last week: 5
The Orange recovered from the aforementioned loss to Virginia very well; they beat Florida in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday, The Cuse win was powered by a 7-0 run in the second half, the final two of which were scored by Riley Donahue.
No. 7 — Florida Gators (4-2) ... Last week: 6
The Gators are still right there as a top-tier program despite the loss to Syracuse on Wednesday. In a 17-10 win on the road to UNC, Haley Hicklen, the defending Big East goalkeeper of the year, had a ridiculous game, 16 saves, against the feared Tar Heel offense.
No. 8 — North Carolina Tar Heels (3-2) ... Last week: 3
UNC was snake-bitten in its game against the Gators over the weekend, but will have a chance to respond at undefeated Virginia in an ACC game on Saturday.
No. 9 — Northwestern Wildcats (4-2) ... Last week: 9
Advanced stats are in love with the 4-2 Wildcats, even after the team’s home loss to Stony Brook this week. Northwestern’s early season win against Colorado seems to look better by the day, and Shelby Fredericks seems to be back to her usual self in the draw circle. Do not take the Wildcats lightly.
No. 10 — Navy Midshipsmen (5-1) ... Last week: 11
Navy followed up its loss to Boston College with a pair of dominant victories over Winthrop and Saint Joseph’s. Navy will head to Gainesville for a big tilt with the Gators on Tuesday.
No. 11 — Towson Tigers (3-1) ... Last week: 8
The Tigers lost possibly the game of the year on Wednesday night against Loyola in three overtimes. Emily Gillingham scored her 15th goal of the year for Towson, man-down, with 21 minutes to play, giving her team a 13-8 lead, but amazingly the Tigers did not score again.
Loyola scored five straight goals to tie it, then in the third-OT session, Taylor Van Thof netted the winner. Towson took six shots in overtime, including a man-up chance and a free-position shot, but was unable to find the net as they dropped their first game of the season.
No. 12 — Penn Quakers (4-0) ... Last week: 12
The first of three Ivy League teams in the rankings, Penn clobbered Cornell on the road, 11-4 last weekend. The Quakers defense is allowing 8.0 goals per game this season, among the best in the country.
No. 13 — USC Trojans (2-3) ... Last week: 13
The Trojans have faced a daunting schedule so far, with their three losses coming to Stony Brook, Northwestern, and, on Wednesday, Boston College. USC did a good job containing the fearsome Eagles offense for a while, but were unable to hold onto a one-goal lead with two minutes to play.
No. 14 — Princeton Tigers (3-1) ... Last week: 16
The Tigers’ lone loss this year was to the undefeated Virginia Cavaliers, but their three wins haven’t come against strong opponents. They’ll play at Loyola on Saturday looking for a marquee win.
No. 15 — Colorado Buffaloes (3-2) ... Last week: NR
The PAC-12 looks three-deep this year, including these Colorado Buffaloes, who absolutely dominated Virginia Tech (ranked last week) in a 16-3 win over the weekend. I’d love to see Colorado make a run this season after the passing of Julia Sarcona prior to the season.
No. 16 — Stanford Cardinal (3-2) ... Last week: NR
Last Friday night against Duke, Stanford made an absolute statement: a 15-5 victory on the road. After losing to Stony Brook at home, Stanford has won three straight before a big conference game at Colorado on Friday.
No. 17 — Loyola Greyhounds (2-2) ... Last week: 18
Last week I had Loyola in the rankings despite an 0-2 record, and this week the Greyhounds validated my judgment. They won on the road against Penn State last weekend before pulling out an unbelievable comeback at home against Towson on Wednesday night.
No. 18 — Denver Pioneers (3-2) ... Last week: 19
The main reason for the Pioneers jump in the rankings is because Stanford beating Duke makes Denver’s win over Stanford look better. The Pioneers fell to Virginia Tech this week in a game the Hokies were hungry for, given their embarrassment of a performance against Colorado.
No. 19 — Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-2) ... Last week: NR
After a strong win on the road against Louisville, the Fighting Irish are 5-2 with their only losses coming against USC and Boston College, certainly not slouches.
No. 20 — Yale Bulldogs (4-0) ... Last week: NR
Yale hasn’t played anyone tough this season, but hey, they’re undefeated and no-one else was quite deserving of a place in the rankings this week. Only six teams in the country are still unbeaten.
Other teams considered:
Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, High Point, Louisville