My darkhorse pick in the regional rounds will be Loyola, which has a good potential road. With Marlee Paton and Taryn VanThof in the midfield, the Greyhounds will be hard to handle, and Loyola got better down the stretch, going 8 3 in its last 11 games with just one of those losses by more than three goals. North Carolina is a solid squad with losses to only Maryland and Florida, but the Nike Zoom Structure 19 Mens Tar Heels offense does not overwhelm opponents. If the Greyhounds, assuming they defeat High Point, can keep it close against UNC, their midfield can give them a fighting chance, plus if they run into Georgetown in the next round, Loyola lost by just a combined five goals in the first two games against the Hoyas.
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First Round Matchups to Watch
The seven seed must have been a difficult decision. Penn State got it with an 11th ranked RPI with victories over Florida and Virginia leading the way. UMass, ranked eighth in RPI is 18 2 but does not have a win over a team in the NCAA Tournament. Boston College (RPI: 9) may have an argument, better RPI than Penn State and has a win over Duke and Virginia. But Penn State and Boston College are very close, and the better overall top win for Penn State probably pushed them ahead. Had Duke beaten Virginia in the ACC Tournament, the Blue Devils very likely would have gotten a seed, but there was one lock for the seven seed, and Penn State is an acceptable choice for that slot.
What the over/under on goals scored in Gainesville during the weekend? 55? Three of the top 10 teams in Division I in goals per game will head to Florida in the first round, as Denver and Jacksonville meet up to determine who faces the Gators. The offenses will fly, with Denver offense being a big more top heavy and Jacksonville being more balanced. Florida crushed Jacksonville in February so the Gators will not see anything new, but no matter what some of the best offenses in the country will play in the Sunshine State.
Maryland was the obvious No. 1 seed with an ACC title and undefeated record. After that, determining seeds two through five was very difficult. It was very hard to discern between those four, but all top six seeds including six seed Georgetown deserve their spot, and it appears to be based strongly on RPI. Navy is an interesting eight seed, getting that spot due to its seventh ranked RPI. The Mids went 18 1, won the Patriot League and played close with Northwestern, but they do not have a win against a ranked team. They did however win over conference champions Jacksonville, Monmouth and High Point.
Second on the list is in Annapolis with Navy hosting. The Mids defeated Monmouth earlier in the season, but they will likely be the underdog against either Duke and Princeton, both battle tested teams. Also, this is the regional with four great coaches: Navy Cindy Timchal, the winningest coach in women lacrosse history with eight NCAA titles, Chris Sailer, a three time NCAA champion as a coach at Princeton, Kerstin Kimel, one of the best in game coaches in the sport at Duke, and Denise Wescott, who has won five conference titles in her 23 year head coaching career, including two at Monmouth.
the ALC Championship, even going over North Carolina, which the Wildcats lost to early in the season. In addition, Johns Hopkins may have lost its chance to the NCAAs with an early exit in the ALC Tournament to Ohio State. Dartmouth may have gotten a boost with a win over Princeton in the Ivy League Tournament. Had a school like Delaware, which despite a RPI of 26 had wins over Denver and Loyola, qualified for the CAA Tournament, the Blue Hens might have been in. This also came into play with Syracuse as the Orange got the No. 4 seed over Florida despite the Gators beating the Orange in the regular season; Syracuse dominated en route to winning the Big East title while Florida was smothered by Northwestern. Plus, had Duke defeated Virginia in the ACC Tournament, that would have given the Blue Devils a stronger case for a seed.
I cannot argue that any school was snubbed; the field of 26 looks about right. The last team in was probably Dartmouth (10 7), which had Nike Zoom Run The One Black
conference tournaments with serious consideration. Northwestern jumped to the No. 2 seed with its win over Florida in Nike Kyrie 1 All Star Release Date
an RPI (according to Laxpower) of 24 and top wins over Cornell and Princeton (split with the Tigers). An argument could be made for a few schools, including Johns Hopkins with an RPI of 27 and wins over Loyola and Virginia, and maybe Cornell (10 6) with a 23 RPI and a victory over seeded Penn State and tournament team Canisius, but Dartmouth defeated Cornell plus did more its postseason tournament than Hopkins.
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