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Florida women's lacrosse.

The Sunday Slide: February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024
Kenny DeJohn
John Strohsacker

I think Beth Ann Mayer and I jinxed ourselves this weekend.

After last week’s unexpected results, we figured it couldn’t possibly happen again. It’s just the law of averages, right? Well, not so much.

Sure, the results of the past week weren’t nearly as monumental as Notre Dame taking down No. 1 and a slew of other upsets, but big things happened. You know that Notre Dame team? The one I literally just mentioned? Yeah, they lost to Syracuse.

Maryland? That team that welcomed a struggling Florida to College Park? Yeah, the Terps lost, too.

What it all means is that Monday’s USA Lacrosse Division I Women’s Top 20 will again be a mash up of results, eye test, talent and some intuition.

It’s an imperfect science. But that epitomizes the spring season. It’s perfectly imperfect. So much so that you can’t possibly look away.


If it wasn’t already apparent, the annual Maryland-Florida matchup is must-watch television. Regardless of records or roster turnover, these teams have played each other valiantly in the regular season the past few years (2022’s NCAA quarterfinal is the lone outlier since the COVID year).

Syracuse's Olivia Adamson.
Olivia Adamson has 13 goals and seven assists through Syracuse's 2-2 start.
Rich Barnes

Syracuse's schedule is brutal.

An absolute gauntlet. The Orange opened with four consecutive ranked teams and split them down the middle to go 2-2. Next up is Duke, which is somewhat down but hardly a pushover. Then it’s March 5 against Stony Brook, which has become a stiff rival of Syracuse’s. Counting the Seawolves, Syracuse has six more games against teams ranked in our Top 20.

Rider deserves a shoutout for its 3-0 start. The Broncs’ schedule hasn’t been a gauntlet like the one we mentioned above, but for a team in its first year, that doesn’t matter. Rider coach Evan Mager has his offense clicking with at least 17 goals in each game.

Lacrosse media hyped up the Denver defense quite a bit in 2023. I will admit that I was a very early admirer of the unit and loved how the Pios — in what most would consider an offense-first era — simply dominated on that end of the field. Therefore it’s unfair to just start throwing comparisons around this early — but can we talk about Michigan? The Wolverines have allowed 12 goals in a 4-0 start, including just four goals allowed against Denver and three against USC. Erin O’Grady has been unconscious, and it’s time the lacrosse world starts putting some respect on Maddie Burns’ name, too.

No team played more lacrosse this week than Manhattan. The Jaspers needed three overtimes to beat LIU on Wednesday before needing two overtimes to beat La Salle on Sunday.

It has been a complete reversal of fortune for Army, which fell to 0-4 after losing to Rutgers — the game that put the Black Knights on the map a season ago. There’s some turnover on the Army roster but even more turnover on the coaching staff, and Army just hasn’t found its groove yet in 2024.

Penn's Erika Chung
Erika Chung had two goals and three assists in an 11-10 win over Johns Hopkins on Saturday.
Penn Athletics

Pay attention to Penn.

I’m not sure enough people are talking about Penn. (This is also me reminding myself to talk more about Penn.) The Quakers turned it around in 2023 with a 14-5 record and an impressive showing in a loss to Boston College in the NCAA tournament. They’re 2-0 in 2024 with a win over scrappy Drexel and another over a Johns Hopkins team that coaches were quick to call out as a potential breakout squad.


3 • Goals scored by Eva Ingrilli, with the third being the overtime winner for North Carolina over Virginia.

8 • Multi-goal scorers for Clemson in its 20-11 win over Duke. I can’t lie — I’m so intrigued by what the future of Clemson women’s lacrosse will look like.

9 • Scorers for Princeton in its 18-13 win over Penn State, lead by McKenzie Blake’s five goals. It was a nice bounceback for the Tigers after opening their season with a loss to Virginia.

10 • Second-half goals scored by Syracuse to come back from a 10-6 deficit to down Notre Dame 16-14 in South Bend. The ACC might be more unpredictable than ever outside of Boston College (which, to be fair, truly tests itself for the first time on Thursday against Northwestern).

16 • Assists by Virginia in its 20-11 win over Cornell. The Cavaliers offense has been impressive under Sonia LaMonica and her coaching staff, and at 4-1, the Hoos don’t look like they’re going away — at least for now.

27 • Points by Ellie Masera through Stony Brook’s 3-0 start. She has 19 goals and eight assists as the Seawolves’ offensive leader. She also has 23 draw controls.