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Virginia's Mel Josephson.

Virginia Jumps into Top 5 of USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

April 15, 2024
Beth Ann Mayer
Keith Lucas

The ACC concludes the regular season this week, marking a sign of the times. 

Notre Dame appears determined to end it on a high note. The Irish notched their ninth straight win and are No. 1 for the third consecutive week. Northwestern checks in at No. 2, and Syracuse is No. 3. 

But there are shakeups once again, courtesy of No. 4 Virginia’s win over No. 5 Boston College. 

Also, No. 8 Michigan downed No. 9 Johns Hopkins, and No. 7 Maryland lost to Penn State, which re-enters the USA Lacrosse Division I Women’s Top 20 at No. 16.


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

Also considered (alphabetical order): Brown (9-4), Colorado (10-4), Drexel (10-4), Fairfield (11-1), Harvard (8-3), Navy (11-3), Richmond (11-3), USC (10-4)


Syracuse (no change)

Syracuse’s certainly deserving of a bump to No. 2 and could find itself there next week with a win over Boston College on Thursday. The Orange offense seemed to lack chemistry and consistency early in the season, but the Orange have found their way over the last six weeks. 


Syracuse has poured in at least 15 goals in each of the last nine games — all wins, including over No. 18 North Carolina (20-5), No. 4 Virginia (15-14) and No. 6 Loyola (16-13). The balanced attack may not have the flash its current coach once employed, but it is balanced, with Emma Tyrrell (49G, 13A), Olivia Adamson (41G, 21A) and Emma Ward (28G, 27A) among the top weapons.


The elephant in the room with Syracuse is that it often peaks at the wrong time. See: Last year, when Boston College came from behind to ruin the Orange’s perfect regular season in the final game and again in the Final Four. Anyone else counting down until Thursday? 

Virginia (+5)

A 7-1 start followed by losses to Syracuse and Duke had us wondering if it was another start hot, end cold year for UVA. Madison Alaimo changed that narrative at least for a week when she scored on a pass from fifth-year transfer star Katia Carnevale to beat defending ACC champion Boston College.

Florida (+2)

How good are the Gators? It’s been hard to tell. After dropping the first two games of the season, Florida has rattled off 13 straight wins. But James Madison represented Florida’s first real test since beating Maryland on February 24. Well, the Gators showed up, outscoring the Dukes in three of four quarters and closing the door with a 7-1 run in the final stanza.


James Madison (-4)

James Madison’s 15-7 loss to Florida put the Dukes at 1-4 against Top 20 teams, with the lone win coming against an injury-laden UNC squad in the season opener. The Dukes will no doubt contend for a conference tournament title, but the lack of Top 20 wins might make winning it a must in 2024.


Penn State (No. 16)

It’s been an up-and-down year for the Nittany Lions (and most teams). But they have downed both Big Ten powers — Northwestern and Maryland — each by a goal. That’s worth something, and Penn State will be a hard out come the Big Ten and likely NCAA tournaments. Just ask the Terps, who went ahead 6-3 in the first quarter only to see Penn State come from behind for the 13-12 win. The Nittany Lions employed a balanced offense that saw six players record a goal and a 6-1 third-quarter effort to top the one-time No. 1 Terps.


Harvard (Was No. 20)

The Crimson is having a renaissance, but a 16-8 loss to Ivy favorite Yale, coupled with Penn State’s upset of Maryland, has Harvard on the outside this week.