TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

June 19, 2015 — A loose end which won’t actually be connected until 2017

In 2015, the Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse team was able to accrue enough Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) points to be selected as an at-large team for the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse tournament.

After next season, however, the Blue Jays will have the benefit of a difficult conference schedule and the possibility of an Automatic Qualifier.

That’s because Johns Hopkins’ women will be joining their male counterparts in the Big Ten Conference.

The announcement yesterday is in contrast to the announcement three years ago that Hopkins would play an entirely independent schedule on its women’s side after the dissolution of the American Lacrosse Conference. At the time, head coach Janine Tucker said, “I have long admired the opportunity our men’s program has to selectively schedule games against strong teams from outstanding institutions. We are very much looking forward to following that same model.”

But the Hopkins men jumped to the Big Ten this year, and the women are falling in line with them.

One beneficiary of the conference move is obvious: the chance that a rivalry between Hopkins and Maryland will blossom into one that rivals the one on the men’s side. You see, Maryland-Hopkins in men’s lacrosse is the Harvard-Yale or the Celtic-Rangers of men’s collegiate lacrosse. The teams have met 112 times since 1895, with Hopkins winning 71 times.

The women, however, have met only sporadically since their first meeting in 1979. Indeed, the 2015 meeting won by the Terps 17-9 was the first meeting between the schools in six years.

Maryland is perfect in 12 meetings against the Hop, but the stakes in future matches will be much higher going forward because of the nature of conference play and seedings for a conference tournament leading to a national championship.

In other words, the price of poker has gone way up in the Big Ten.

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