Lacrosse Magazine Rankings: Irish Enjoying March
Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse, will publish weekly NCAA Division I women's rankings every Monday through championship weekend in May on LaxMagazine.com. Check back each week to see who is rising, falling and new to the list. The rankings are compiled by LM staff.
Close games swung a number of teams around the rankings, as a goal here or there could have moved teams up and down substantially, though the top three remained as locked in as ever in this week's Top 20.
(In alphabetical order) Albany, Canisius, Colorado, Denver, Louisville, Loyola, Stony Brook, Vanderbilt, Vermont, Yale
Notre Dame (+7): The Irish are this week's big jumper, shooting up from 15th to eighth on the strength of two good wins -- beating Northwestern on the road during the week and topping Louisville over the weekend. Thus far, their only losses are to No. 5 Boston College and No. 1 North Carolina.
Stanford (+7): A three-win week including a pair of thrillers over quality opponents on an East Coast swing moved the Cardinal into the Top 10. A 19-5 win over Fresno State started things, then Stanford paid visits to Towson (8-7 win in OT) and Georgetown (11-10 in 2OT) to improve to 5-1.
Johns Hopkins (+5): Up to 7-0 on the season, the Blue Jays topped Towson in reasonably convincing fashion early in the week and then routed George Washington. While chaos has reigned for several teams in the parity-laden early season, the Jays have yet to hit a hiccup.
Virginia (-7): Losing games against good competition is still losing games. Right now, Virginia has only Penn State and Richmond in the win column against four losses to the top tier. The only reason they stayed in and Loyola fell out is that their most recent win is closer than the Greyhounds (and was to a team that Loyola just lost by six goals to - trumping Loyola's head-to-head win, which must feel like it was ages ago for fans at Homeland.
Northwestern (-5): Not an easy week for the Wildcats, who slip after being edged by Notre Dame and Ohio State, the latter of which hadn't topped Northwestern since 2003.
Ohio State: After suffering three losses as February turned to March (by a combined five goals), the Buckeyes roared back this week with one-goal wins over Louisville and Northwestern.
Brown: A win over Princeton earns Bruno a spot in our rankings, a fair boost considering it was the first time the Bears had topped the Tigers since 1991. (The Lions have also already been dispatched on the season for Brown, which already topped Columbia in a previous week).
Loyola (14): Two weeks ago, the Greyhounds were 2-0 and sitting pretty at No. 7. After four consecutive losses, they've dropped out. I would bet they'll be back - three of the four losses were by one goal including Tuesday against No. 4 Florida - but it's tough to keep Loyola in at this point.
Louisville (18): A week after jumping into the rankings, the Cardinals are back on the outside looking in after falling to Ohio State and Notre Dame.