d1 women's lacrosse
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp

D1 Women’s Lacrosse Final Four Preview

What a season is has been for D1 Women’s Lacrosse. A plethora of players have stepped up to the plate this season leading to record-breaking program accolades. Many programs have proved the doubters wrong securing program defining victories. There has never been a better time to be a fan of D1 Women’s Lacrosse and with only four teams remaining in the NCAA National Tournament, we are in-store for a historic championship run.

#1 North Carolina (20-0)

The Tar Heels are having a historic season regardless of the outcome of this weekend. Achieving a 20-0 record is no easy task in D1 Women’s Lacrosse. You can’t say North Carolina had an easy schedule either as the Tar Heels certainly have had their work cut out for them playing in the ACC. The Tar Heels hold impressive conference wins over Florida, Syracuse, and Boston College. North Carolina has progressively gotten better throughout the season on both sides of the field which was shown in their dominate 16-9 win over Boston College in the ACC Championship. This team is battled tested and playing their best lacrosse in May.

Jamie Ortega has given Charlotte North a run for her money this season. Both athletes currently sit at 105 points apiece on the year but both their journeys to that number have been a drastically different. Ortega may have 20 less goals than North but makes up for it in the assist category. Ortega’s ability to distribute the ball on top of her scoring dominance has opened up this Tar Heel offense to new heights. Pair Ortega with Scottie Caitlyn Wurzburger who has 42 assists of her own and you are looking at one of the most selfless offenses in the country which has gotten North Carolina this far.

Jamie Ortega (64G, 41A) – Caitlyn Wurzburger (31G, 42A) – Scottie Rose Growney (53G, 19A)

#2 Maryland (19-1)

After a disappointing 2021 season, the Maryland Terrapins have bounced back to their traditional ways. Since April 2nd, the Terrapins have played eight ranked opponents over the course of ten games. Maryland holds impressive wins over Florida, Rutgers, and Northwestern. Every team Maryland has beaten this year has been by a margin of four goals or more. They had no issue rolling through the Big Ten Tournament and have handled their two NCAA Tournament opponents by a margin of 37-11.

It should be no surprise to anyone that the Terrapins have some of the best offensive players in the country, but their strength this season has been on the defensive side of the field. Out of the 20 games Maryland has played this season they have held 17 opponents to under 10 points. Maryland is a caused turnover machine with 124 total on the season. A large part of this has been goalkeeper Emily Sterling who currently owns a 56% save percentage on the year averaging just 7.39 goals allowed per game. If Maryland looks to win a D1 Women’s Lacrosse National Championship this year, it will be on the shoulders of the defensive unit.

Aurora Cordingley (50G, 33A) – Emily Sterling (56SV%, 7.39 GAAvg) – Hannah Leubecker (38G, 7A)

#3 Boston College (18-3)

Boston College has seemingly become the face of D1 Women’s Lacrosse in large part of Charlotte North. North has already cemented her legacy as one of the best players of all-time but adding another National Championship to her resume would seal the deal. The Eagles have had an impressive year even if they have shown signs of weakness from time to time. Boston College currently holds three losses with two of them coming against North Carolina. When the offense is clicking and the defense is making stops, there isn’t a better team in the country.

It is time to start the discussion on if Boston College has the most explosive offense to ever touch a D1 Women’s Lacrosse field. While Charlotte North has rightfully become a household name, the talent surrounding her is astonishing. If you were to pick up Jenn Medjid (69G, 26A), Belle Smith (53G, 27A), and Caitlynn Mossman (37G, 28A) and move each of them to another school, all of them would arguably be the best player on their new roster. Boston College doesn’t need to have a deep bench when they have seven girls with 30 points or more on the season. The Eagles are going to need a solid defensive performance in order to allow the offense to make a run at a National Championship.  

Charlotte North (82G, 23A) – Jenn Medjid (69G, 26A) – Belle Smith (53G, 27A)

#4 Northwestern (16-4)

Despite all of the odds, Northwestern has made it to Championship Weekend. The Wildcats took a major loss before the season even started when Tewaaraton finalist Izzy Scane announced she was out for the season due to injury. Northwestern then opened the season with a blowout loss against Boston College. At this point, many people thought Northwestern’s season was already over. Northwestern has been able to climb over a mountain of adversity this season but has struggled against some of the best teams in D1 Women’s Lacrosse. The Wildcats have already played the three teams previously mention and lost every matchup by a margin of 27-53. The question still remains on if this team has what it takes.

With all that being said, Northwestern has been a very fun team to watch this season. Lauren Gilbert has filled the void left by Izzy Scane’s absence and currently owns 100 points on the season. If Gilbert is taking a shot, there is a 73% chance it is on goal and a 49% chance it is finding the back of the net. When Gilbert is having an off day, her supporting cast is able to step up to the plate with nine other girls tallying 20 points or more on the season. We will have to see what Northwestern team shows up this weekend, because the Wildcats cannot afford to play at anything less than their best.

Lauren Gilbert (74G, 26A) – Erin Coykendall (44G, 35A) – Jill Girardi (49G, 10A)