Middlebury Stays at Top in Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Women’s Top 20

Holly Marcus

Middlebury players celebrate following their 14-9 win over Salisbury in the NCAA championship game.


Middlebury was ranked No. 1 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Women’s Top 20 prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament, and three weeks later, the Panthers retain that position after claiming their seventh NCAA national championship.

National runner-up Salisbury finished ranked second, with national semifinalist Tufts ranked third. 

Middlebury defeated Salisbury, 14-9, in the NCAA final and closed the season with a 22-game winning streak. Middlebury tied its school-record for most victories in a season and also set a new school-record for most goals scored in a season, 330. The Panthers’ only loss came in the 2019 season-opener, an 11-10 overtime setback against Bates.

Salisbury returned to the NCAA final for the first time since 2014, with wins in 13 of 14 games prior to the championship match-up. Two of the Sea Gulls’ four losses this season came against Middlebury.

Tufts advanced to the national semifinals for the first time in program history, and also finished as the NESCAC runner-up to Middlebury in 2019.

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division III Women’s Top 20

  May 28, 2019 - FINAL

W/L

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1 Middlebury 22-1 1 Season Complete
2 Salisbury 20-4 8 Season Complete
3 Tufts 19-3 5 Season Complete
4 Wesleyan 17-4 9 Season Complete
5 Gettysburg 19-2 2 Season Complete
6 York 17-6 7 Season Complete
7 Washington & Lee 18-3 3 Season Complete
8 St. John Fisher 19-2 4 Season Complete
9 Catholic 17-5 10 Season Complete
10 Franklin & Marshall 17-5 11 Season Complete
11 Mary Washington 16-5 13 Season Complete
12 Amherst 14-6 14 Season Complete
13 TCNJ 14-6 12 Season Complete
14 William Smith 17-3 6 Season Complete
15 Brockport 16-5 15 Season Complete
16 Colorado College 18-2 16 Season Complete
17 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 16-3 17 Season Complete
18 Illinois Wesleyan 18-3 NR Season Complete
19 Merchant Marine 17-1 18 Season Complete
20 Geneseo 14-5 19 Season Complete
Also considered (alphabetical order): Bowdoin, Cortland, Denison, Hamline, Mount Union, Scranton, Wooster






Nike/US Lacrosse Rankings
Division I Men | Division I Women
Division II Men | Division II Women
Division III Men | Division III Women

HOT

Salisbury (+6)

The Sea Gulls are not strangers to championship weekend, having won the NCAA title three times and finished as the national runner-up on four other occasions prior this season. But SU’s run to the finals in 2019 might have been a little unexpected, especially after the Gulls lost to York in the CAC final. Salisbury beat two NESCAC opponents - Amherst and Tufts – to reach the NCAA final before falling to NESCAC champion Middlebury in the championship game.

Wesleyan (+5)

The Cardinals enjoyed a historic season, winning a school-record 17 games and advancing to the national semifinals for the first time. Wesleyan defeated No. 10 Mary Washington, No. 3 Washington & Lee, and No. 2 Gettysburg on its run to the final four. Among its four losses, two came against national champion Middlebury and two against NCAA semifinalist Tufts.

Tufts (+2)

The Jumbos reached the national semifinals for the first time and set a school-record for wins, finishing 19-3. Their march to the final four included victories over Plymouth State, TCNJ, and York. Tufts’ only losses in 2019 came twice against Middlebury, both times by one goal, and to Salisbury in the NCAA semifinal.

Mary Washington (+2)

The Eagles rebounded from their loss in the CAC semifinals with an opening round win in the NCAA Tournament over Westfield State. UMW’s season ended with an 11-6 loss at No. 4 Wesleyan in the second round.

NOT

William Smith (-8)

The Herons claimed their fourth straight league title and sixth overall Liberty crown in 2019, but the end came quick in the NCAA Tournament. William Smith had its 15-game winning streak snapped with a 13-5 loss at home to Bowdoin in the second round.

Washington & Lee (-4)

The Generals opened NCAA Tournament play with a win over Ithaca, but were eliminated in the regional semifinal by Wesleyan, which handed W&L a 13-7 loss at home. Leading by one goal with under 10 minutes to play, Wesleyan scored the game’s last five goals to pull away.

IN

Illinois Wesleyan

The Titans established a new school-record with 18 wins this season and advanced to the NCAA’s regional semifinals before losing to Franklin & Marshall. Illinois Wesleyan captured its third straight CCIW title in 2019 and made its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

OUT

Scranton (formerly No. 20)

The Royals finished with the best record in the program’s history, posting a 16-3 record, but missed out on an NCAA at-large berth after losing to Catholic in the Landmark Conference championship.

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