Week three in NCAA women’s lacrosse action was more of the same. Syracuse and North Carolina kept on winning, leading many to believe dethroning these teams from the top two spots may be a difficult task. The biggest drop in the rankings was by Duke, who last week was seated at the number three spot. We also saw Penn State drop out of the top 10, but who will take their place?
1. Syracuse—Last night, Syracuse faced their first real challenge in Boston College, who they defeated by the skin of their teeth, 11-9. The next few games are against equally or more talented teams, so only time will tell how long this team will remain undefeated for.
2. North Carolina—Like Syracuse, North Carolina remains undefeated during the regular season, blowing out almost every opponent they face. Unlike the Orange however, they have a more favorable schedule in the coming weeks, with their toughest match-up coming up today versus Notre Dame.
3. Northwestern—So far this season, the Wildcats have had the toughest schedule in comparison to other top-tier teams. They were able to defeat Duke and Virginia by a hair, and hope to continue this streak against Notre Dame on March 5.
4. Florida—At 4-1, you may be wondering why Florida is ranked slightly higher, especially since they have won all four of their victories by overwhelming margins. The reason they’re number four on this list is because they also lost a game by an overwhelming margin against one of the best teams in NCAA lacrosse, North Carolina. Competing at all levels is imperative if the Gators want to ever be ranked number one.
5. Massachusetts—Ranking all the undefeated teams in the league is beginning to become a difficult task. UMass (4-0) will not be facing powerhouses like Syracuse or North Carolina this season, so the possibility of remaining undefeated is not out of the realm of reality.
6. Maryland—Welcome to the top 10, Maryland! I take partial responsibility for not including this team earlier, as they fell off my grid for some reason. At 5-0, Maryland has defeated the likes of BU and Penn State. With a game at Duke this Saturday, they will be looking to continue their win streak.
7. Duke—On February 22, Duke lost a tough one against Northwestern, falling 11-12. Things won’t be getting any easier for the Blue Devils, who face Maryland this Saturday.
8. Loyola—Yesterday, Loyola lost to Johns Hopkins in a defensive battle. They won’t have much time to recover, as they face James Madison this Saturday. They will need to bounce back here, as the following game will be a tough one against the Florida Gators.
9. Notre Dame—After a disappointing loss to Boston College, the Irish fought back to defeat Stony Brook 8-7 the following week. Within the next three weeks, they will be facing North Carolina and Northwestern, so they will have to stay aggressive offensively if they hope to defeat even one of these teams.
10. Boston College—The Eagles are standing strong at No. 10 this week. They put up a good fight against No. 1 Syracuse, only to come up short, losing 9-11. BC now faces a lengthy road trip where they will face UConn, USC, and San Diego State.