May 5, 2013

WD3 Bracket Announcement: Final Four Once More

by Mark Macyk | | Printable Bracket (PDF)

Brackets: MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3
Analysis: MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3

The final four teams standing in last season's NCAA Division III women's lacrosse tournament, are the top four seeds this year.

Assuming they get out of the first round, Salisbury, Middlebury, Trinity and Cortland all will host second and third round games and be favored to return to the Final Four, to be held this year at Stevenson University. Salisbury and Trinity are both unbeaten and sit on opposite sides of the bracket, so there could be a championship game rematch.

But first, sixteen first round games will be played this Wednesday:

In the top left corner of the bracket, CAC champion Salisbury (18-0) will host CSAC champion Cabrini (11-7). The winner will face someone from the south, USA South champion Christopher Newport (17-2) or SAA champion Sewanee (13-6), which received a Pool B bid.

Franklin & Marshall (14-4) earned an at-large bid and will host MAC Commonwealth champion Elizabethtown (12-6). The winner will face at-large team York (13-4) or perennial tournament team Washington and Lee (10-9), which won the ODAC.

Below that on the bracket, Middlebury (15-2) will host fellow Green Mountain State team, Castleton (10-7), which won the NAC. The winner takes on either Comm. Coast conference champion Endicott (12-7) or Springfield, which won the NEWMAC.

The 2011 NCAA champion and current Centennial Conference champion Gettysburg (18-1) will host Pool B team Rowan (11-5) on Wednesday. The winner will face an Upstate New York opponent, either Liberty League champion RPI (14-3) or Empire Eight champion St. John Fisher (15-3). If the chalk holds will get a rematch from last year's quarterfinal, in which Middlebury eliminated Gettysburg.

The top right corner of the bracket features Trinity (17-6), which enters the tournament on a 25-game winning streak. The Bantams will host Skyline Champion Montclair State (15-4). Redlands (15-4) is the only SCIAC team to make the tournament this year. The Bulldogs will face second-year team Augustana (16-3), which won the Midwest Lacrosse Conference. It will be a long trip from Rock Island, Ill. to Southern California. The winner should plan for an even longer trip, to Hartford.

Thirteen-time NCAA champion, TCNJ (13-4) will host Eastern Connecticutt (7-11), which won the Little East as a five seed. That could set up tournament's best second round game if NESCAC at-large team Colby (12-4) takes care of GNAC champion Lasell (15-3.)

In the bracket's final quadrant SUNYAC champion Cortland (18-1) will NEAC champion Keuka (12-3) in an upstate New York showdown. The winner faces one of two midwest teams either Kenyon (13-2) which won the North Coast Conference or MIAA champ Adrian (16-2).

A dangerous at-large team will be Bowdoin (13-3), which gets in despite being bounced from the first round of the NESCAC and will host MASCAC champion Bridgewater State (17-2). The winner faces either Landmark Champion Susquehanna (17-0), one of only three unbeatens remaining, or Geneseo (12-5), which likely locked up its NCAA spot when it beat Fredonia in the SUNYAC semifinals.

NCAA Division III Women's Tournament First-Round Games

Wednesday, May 8
Cabrini at Salisbury, 3 p.m.
Sewanee at Christopher Newport, 3 p.m.
Elizabethtown at Franklin & Marshall, 7 p.m.
Washington & Lee at York, 3 p.m.

Castleton at Middlebury, 5 p.m.
Springfield at Endicott, 7 p.m.
Rowan at Gettysburg, 3 p.m.
St. John Fisher at RPI, 7 p.m.

Montclair State at Trinity, 7 p.m.
Augustana at Redlands, 10 p.m.
Eastern Connecticut at TCNJ, 7 p.m.
Lasell at Colby, 7 p.m.

Keuka at Cortland, 3 p.m.
Keyon at Adrian, 7 p.m.
Bridgewater State at Bowdoin, 7 p.m.
Geneseo at Susquehanna, 3 p.m.

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