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Notre Dame's Kasey Choma.

Notre Dame Latest No. 1 in USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

April 1, 2024
Beth Ann Mayer
Matt Cashore

It’s no April Fool’s joke. There’s a new No. 1 in Division I women’s lacrosse — again.

Notre Dame is the fourth team to take the mantle, joining No. 2 Northwestern (who the Irish beat), No. 4 Boston College (who they also beat) and No. 6 Maryland.

Maryland, last week’s No. 1, tumbled against now-No. 5 Penn on Wednesday before beating No. 7 Michigan, which was previously No. 2.

Syracuse is up three spots to No. 3 after handing No. 8 Loyola its first loss of the season, and No. 9 Johns Hopkins cracks the top 10 with a win over No. 11 James Madison.

No. 19 Duke and No. 20 Ohio State enter after wins over Virginia and Penn State, respectively.


1. Notre Dame, 10-2 (Prev: 3)
2. Northwestern, 10-2 (Prev: 4)
3. Syracuse, 9-3 (Prev: 6)
4. Boston College, 10-2 (Prev: 5)
5. Penn, 8-1 (Prev: 10)
6. Maryland, 10-2 (Prev: 1)
7. Michigan, 11-1 (Prev: 2)
8. Loyola, 10-1 (Prev: 8)
9. Johns Hopkins, 9-3 (Prev: 11)
10. Virginia, 9-3 (Prev: 7)
11. James Madison, 8-3 (Prev: 9)
12. Denver, 7-3 (Prev: 12)
13. Florida, 11-2 (Prev: 13)
14. Stony Brook, 9-2 (Prev: 14)
15. Yale, 8-0 (Prev: 16)
16. North Carolina, 7-5 (Prev: 15)
17. Princeton, 5-3 (Prev: 18)
18. Stanford, 7-3 (Prev: 20)
19. Duke, 8-5 (Prev: NR)
20. Ohio State, 7-4 (Prev: NR)

Also considered (alphabetical order): Brown (8-3), Colorado (7-3), Drexel (8-3), Fairfield (9-1), Harvard (6-2), Penn State (6-5), Richmond (9-2), USC (9-3)


Notre Dame (+2)

It was a tough call between Northwestern and Notre Dame at the top spot. Both teams are 2-1 against other teams in the top four. Notre Dame’s two overall losses to Virginia and Syracuse are “better” than Northwestern’s to Penn State.

Northwestern’s other loss was to Notre Dame, giving the Irish a logical edge.

Syracuse (+3)

“There’s never an off year for Syracuse,” Loyola coach Jen Adams said after the Greyhounds fell to the Orange by three on Wednesday night. Who are we to argue with one of the sport’s greatest pioneers?

Syracuse is missing one of its own all-timers in Meagan Tyrrell, and its offense looked shaky in February. After a loss to Northwestern, overtime heartbreaks to Maryland and Stony Brook are the only other blemishes on their schedule. The Orange have won six straight since that loss to Stony Brook on March 5, and they are undefeated in the ACC.

Penn (+5)

Beating the No. 1 team in the country is a surefire way to climb the Top 20. There’s no reason to believe Penn isn’t the clear favorite in a crowded Ivy League. The Quakers can solidify their case with wins over top competitors Princeton and Yale this week.


Virginia (-3)

Wins over Notre Dame and James Madison and close calls against Syracuse and North Carolina had 2024 looking “different” for the Cavaliers. And, certainly, it still can be. But a five-goal loss to previously unranked Duke has the Hoos sliding this week.

Maryland (-5)

Maryland took over the top spot due to its consistency. Two days later, the Terps promptly lost to Penn (previously No. 10). A rebound win over former-No. 2 Michigan simply wasn’t enough to save Maryland from tumbling out of the top five.

Michigan (-5)

The Wolverines would have been No. 1 for the first time in program history had they beaten Maryland, but they didn’t. That, combined with the need for a second-half rally to beat under-.500 Marquette, has their stock falling (for now).


Ohio State (No. 19)

Ohio State scored the final seven goals to beat a Penn State team that came in with sky-high confidence following a win over Northwestern last weekend. Kudos to Kate Tyack, a freshman who scored three times during that 7-0 run. The Buckeyes needed each one. The final score? 9-8.

Duke (No. 20)

Duke came in a clear underdog against Virginia, a team that has spent time in the top five. In true 2024 fashion, the Blue Devils hand-waved that away, controlling most of the game in a 15-10 win. Caroline DeBellis’ six goals led the way, who draws newly minted No. 1 Notre Dame on Saturday.


Penn State (was No. 16)

Penn State secured its fourth-straight win by beating Northwestern in dramatic fashion last week, launching the Nittany Lions into the Top 20. A loss to Ohio State, combined with Duke’s upset of Virginia, leaves no room for the Nittany Lions this week.

Fairfield (was No. 19)

The Stags have done nothing wrong and recently beat Canisius in a battle between two of the MAAC’s top teams — but Fairfield’s schedule simply doesn’t hold up against the rest of the Top 20. Without a win over a ranked opponent, the Stags are on the outside looking in but should be a force in the conference and perhaps the national landscape in the weeks to come.