Time for May Madness in Nike / US Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20


UMass topped Saint Joseph's 18-7 in Sunday's Atlantic 10 championship game.

We got a tease this past weekend as to what a full week of conference tournaments might be like.

While the ACC and Big Ten have dominated headlines all season, they now take a backseat for the time being. North Carolina and Northwestern wrapped up those respective conferences (High Point won the Big South and UMass won the A-10, too), leaving this upcoming week’s focus on the rest of a very intriguing field.

Jeremy Fallis’ weekly bracketology will shine more light on the bubble teams needing to make waves in their conference tournaments, but in some cases, many teams need to win to get in. That creates some chaos — and some unexpected results — that will shake things up in the final week before NCAA brackets are revealed on Sunday.

May Madness is here.

Nike / US Lacrosse
Division I Women’s Top 20

May 3, 2021




1 North Carolina 18-0 1 TBD
2 Northwestern 13-0 2 TBD
3 Syracuse 14-3 3 TBD
4 Boston College 13-3 4 TBD
5 Notre Dame 9-6 5 TBD
6 Stony Brook 12-2 6 5/6 vs. UMBC (America East semifinals)
7 Duke 9-7 7 TBD
8 Florida 14-2 8 5/6 vs. Cincinnati (AAC semifinals)
Loyola 9-2 9 5/6 vs. Boston U./Colgate (Patriot League semifinals)
10 Drexel 12-1 10 5/7 vs. Elon/Towson (CAA semifinals)
11 Maryland 9-6 12 TBD
12 Johns Hopkins 8-6 13 TBD
13 Virginia 8-8 14 TBD
14 Stanford 9-0 15 5/6 vs. Arizona State/Cal (Pac-12 semifinals)
15 Jacksonville 9-1 16 5/6 vs. Stetson (ASun semifinals)
16 Rutgers 6-8 17 TBD
17 Denver 13-1 19 5/6 vs. Villanova (Big East semifinals)
18 UMass 15-2 20 TBD
19 Hofstra 6-5 NR 5/7 vs. James Madison (CAA semifinals)
20 James Madison 9-4 NR 5/7 vs. Hofstra (CAA semifinals)
Also considered (alphabetical order): Colorado, Louisville, Ohio State, Penn State, Richmond, Temple, Vanderbilt

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


UMass (+2)

The winning streak continues. The Minutewomen have won 14 straight after starting 1-2 — the most recent victory an 18-7 drubbing of Saint Joseph’s in Sunday’s A-10 title game. Caitlyn Petro is a one woman wrecking crew on the draw, making UMass a matchup nightmare. She’s just five draw controls away from breaking the Division I single-season record of 224.

Denver (+2)

Ranked in the preseason, Denver immediately fell from the Top 20 after losing its season opener to Colorado 14-7. The Pioneers haven’t lost since, and they came full circle in the final game of the regular season. Facing the Buffaloes at home, the Pios used eight goal scorers to win 10-7.


Hofstra (No. 19)

Four of Hofstra’s five losses are to teams now in the top 10 of this ranking — the Albany loss is the outlier — meaning the Pride are battle tested. Alyssa Parrella and Co. finished the regular season by beating Towson by one goal in back-to-back weeks, setting up a CAA semifinal matchup against James Madison on Friday.

The Pride topped JMU 13-7 on April 10 at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.

James Madison (No. 20)

Another CAA team also enters the Top 20, as JMU got revenge against Elon to cast aside doubters after the Dukes lost to the Phoenix early in the season. That win helped boost the JMU resume, as did an April 18 win over Towson. Even though Towson has fallen off the map a bit, the Tigers still beat a top-10 team in Loyola, which makes JMU look good.


Richmond (was No. 11)

The Spiders were dominated in the A-10 semifinals by Saint Joseph’s, and the 19-8 loss might have been enough to knock Richmond out of the NCAA tournament picture entirely. It’s always been possible that the A-10 would only get its AQ into the tournament, and without a signature win this season, Richmond’s resume looks considerably weaker than some other teams on the bubble.

Penn State (was No. 18)

The Nittany Lions still have those two wins over No. 11 Maryland, which might be just enough to get them into the NCAA tournament. That win over Rutgers now looks better, too. But it’s hard to justify ranking a 4-9 team that was bounced in its conference quarterfinal, even if it’s a team that was knocking on the door of the top five early this spring.

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