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Notre Dame's Maeve Dwyer.

The Sunday Slide: March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024
Kenny DeJohn
Peyton Williams

So, what do we do now?

At least when it comes to the on-field who-beat-who scenarios, there isn’t a clear No. 1 in women’s lacrosse for the first update of March. You can, of course, have a discussion around talent and which teams looks best equipped for a May run.

But when it comes to the on-field resumes, we don’t have one team simply running away with things — and that’s fun. Northwestern and Boston College do look like the two best teams on paper, but how can we ignore a consistent James Madison and an upstart Michigan? We also can’t look past a Notre Dame team that’s taken down both Northwestern and North Carolina, though it’s been hurt by its loss to Syracuse.

There are more teams in contention than just the ones mentioned above, and I look forward to watching this season develop. I know what the rankings will look like tomorrow because I have them in my inbox (no spoilers!), but the gap between teams this spring is narrower than it’s been in recent years.

Let’s see what March brings.


Is anyone talking about how Maryland has two wins over 2023 NCAA semifinalists? Wins over Syracuse and Denver are the highlights on a Terps resume that is weighed down a bit by a loss to Florida, but a ranked loss in February is hardly crippling. My eyes are squarely on March 10’s matchup against James Madison in College Park.

Notre Dame's Jackie Wolak
Jackie Wolak had two goals and one assist in a 7-5 win over North Carolina.
Peyton Williams

No Luck Required

Notre Dame is something special when it’s clicking. When the draw unit’s hot, other teams can’t get possession. When the Irish do have to play defense, they do a great job limiting opponents. They did both things well in a 7-5 win over North Carolina, doubling up the Tar Heels in both draw controls (10-5) and shots (34-17).

Princeton players had their date with Yale circled on their calendars. Evidently, so did Yale players. The Bulldogs rode Jenna Collignon’s five goals to an 11-9 win, seemingly leaving the Ivy League pecking order in the same state it was a year ago — Penn at the top, Yale in the middle and Princeton just a tick behind.

Virginia is an overtime goal by North Carolina away from being 6-0 in Sonia LaMonica’s debut season in Charlottesville. Wins over Stanford, Princeton and Clemson are good wins, and it doesn’t seem like it’s taken long for the Cavaliers to respond to her coaching style. The schedule is backloaded with the ACC’s best, but it’s hard to not call Virginia a success story right now.

Penn State has been such a hard team to peg the past few years. A three-game losing streak to Princeton, Drexel and Loyola (three good teams, for what it’s worth) could grow to four against another good team, Rutgers, on Saturday. The Nittany Lions have some great top-level talent in Kristin O’Neill, Gretchen Gilmore, Ellie Hollin and others, so a turnaround is definitely not out of the question.

Army desperately needed a signature Brigid Duffy performance, and the Black Knights got one against Hofstra. Duffy had seven goals and four assists, and Army is finally in the win column at 1-4.

Rutgers' Cassidy Spilis.
Cassidy Spilis celebrates after scoring a goal against Johns Hopkins last season.
John Strohsacker

Scarlet Swagger

Rutgers has some swagger back after a down 2023, and Cassidy Spilis was determined to finish her NCAA career in Piscataway — even though some of the highly regarded teams across the country would have for sure loved to have her. Spilis had three goals and an assist in a 15-7 win over Oregon.


7 • Points for Rossella Nardi to lead Delaware State to its first win of the year, 11-9 over Central Connecticut.

8 • Goals for Jade Catlin in a 16-10 win for UMass Lowell over Winthrop, a single-game program record. The River Hawks are now 6-0 — the best start in program history.

.813 • Caitlyn Wurzburger’s shooting percentage in six games. She’s scored 13 times on 16 shots. She’s shooting .875 on goal.

10 • Combined goals scored by Callie Hem and Riley Campbell in a wild 18-17 win over Brown. We talked about Ivy League contenders just above — but is it so crazy to think that either of these two teams could work their way into that conversation?

Also 10 • Undefeated teams remaining — James Madison (6-0), Michigan (6-0), Navy (5-0), UMass Lowell (5-0), Boston U (4-0), Harvard (4-0), Loyola (4-0), Penn (4-0), Stony Brook (4-0) and Yale (4-0).

17 • Draw controls by Ellie Masera in a 20-8 win over Villanova on Saturday, a single-game CAA record. Masera added five goals and three assists for good measure. She’s averaging 8.75 points and 10 draw controls per game in Stony Brook’s 4-0 start.

27 • The new high-water mark for goals scored in the game this season. Northwestern put up that many in a 27-3 win over Central Michigan.