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Archive for May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018 — Were the 2018 preseason rankings for the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse championship uncannily clairvoyant?

If you have your copy of the Nike-US Lacrosse women’s Division III preseason Top 20 from earlier this year, you have your roadmap for this weekend’s Final Four in Salem, Va.

That’s because yesterday, the expected top four teams, which were given the Top 4 seeds on Selection Sunday, all made this week’s national semifinal. The College of New Jersey, Middlebury, Salisbury, and defending national champion Gettysburg all got through their quarterfinal opponents, but not without some adversity.

The New Jersey Lions, a team which has not yielded double-digits on defense the entire season, fell adrift of a good Franklin & Marshall side, but the defense managed to hold the Dips scoreless for a 23-minutes chunk of the second half to win 9-6.

TCNJ will meet Gettysburg, a 13-10 winner over the Amherst Mammoths. Gettysburg’s winning effort was a 6-1 run at the inception of the second term, building a lead that the Bullets held until the final whistle.

On the other side of the bracket, Middlebury has advanced with an 11-10 win over York College. York is a team which has been waiting in the weeds the last few years, building a solid team from an area whose lacrosse culture is growing rapidly since the move of scholastic soccer from the spring to the fall a few years ago.

The Panthers will take on Salisbury, a 9-8 win over Trinity College. Allie Hynson, in the game of this round thus far, scored the game-winner with 11 seconds remaining for the Sea Gulls.

These four teams have combined for 24 Division III championships (less one if you don’t count Trenton State College’s vacated 1992 title), so these two programs know what it’s like to be at the national semifinal weekend with all of the pageantry, awards, and hype that’s involved in a Final Four.

Oddly enough, the national semifinalist that has had the longest drought since its last title is TCNJ; it has been 12 years since the Lions hoisted the plaque with the gold NCAA logo on it. The program is the leader in all-time Division III tournament wins and winning percentage, as well as the number of titles won.

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