TopOfTheCircle.com

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May 5, 2022 — Keep watching

The bulk of play in conference tournament for NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse begins today. And the regrettable thing is that so much attention is being heaped on the ACC and the Big Ten tournaments that it’s easy to overlook the other 14 conferences which will be choosing a champion between now and Selection Sunday.

Each of these 14 conferences has a story. Two of them have extra-special stories because their best teams aren’t in the conference tournament. Stony Brook won the regular-season title for America East with an undefeated league record, and James Madison won the regular-season title in the Colonial Athletic Association, also with an unbeaten league record.

And yet, neither the Seawolves nor the Dukes are playing this week. That’s because their respective conference rendered these teams ineligible because both schools announced they would be changing conferences later this year. SBU is moving to the CAA, while JMU’s lacrosse team is joining the American Athletic Conference as an affiliate member.

There will be some good games coming up in the next couple of days. One that pops out at you immediately is this evening’s Patriot League match between the Naval Academy and Army West Point. These teams met recently, and the Cadets were able to win the game 14-9. It was the only time in seven meetings that Army had the privilege of singing its alma mater second after the end of the game.

The late game today should also be an incredible encounter between Southern California and Arizona State. The sides met just two weeks ago to finish the regular season, with USC winning 15-13. This one should be just as close.

Tomorrow, I think a game to watch is the CAA game between Hofstra and Drexel. The Dragons were a great Cinderella story a year ago, finishing runner-up to James Madison in the CAA Tournament, but getting into the NCAA Division I bracket as an at-large team. Drexel had won 13 out of its first 14 games of the season before running into tougher competition.

That tougher competition continued this year as Drexel went 10-7 on the campaign. The Blue and Gold are the three-seed in the tournament, and could have a tough road back to the Division I national tournament.

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