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Maryland's Libby May celebrates a goal with teammates.

Maryland Ascends to No. 1 in USA Lacrosse Division I Women's Top 20

March 25, 2024
Beth Ann Mayer
Taylor McLaughlin

We’ll cut to the chase early — Maryland is No. 1 in the USA Lacrosse Division I Women’s Top 20 for the first time this season.

The Terps, winners of their last six games, have been consistently solid all season. Ditto for No. 2 and undefeated Michigan, which maintained its undefeated start by winning an unexpectedly close one against Marquette on Sunday.

Notre Dame comes in at No. 3, with No. 4 being occupied by Northwestern, which lost its grip on the top spot after falling to unranked Penn State in overtime on Friday.

Completing the top five is Syracuse, which topped former No. 5 Virginia over the weekend. Boston College is right behind at No. 6.

Any other March Madness coming up this week?


1. Maryland, 9-1 (Prev: 6)
2. Michigan, 11-0 (Prev: 4)
3. Notre Dame, 9-2 (Prev: 2)
4. Northwestern, 8-2 (Prev: 1)
5. Syracuse, 7-3 (Prev: 9)
6. Boston College, 9-2 (Prev: 3)
7. Virginia, 9-2 (Prev: 5)
8. Loyola, 9-0 (Prev: 8)
9. James Madison, 8-2 (Prev: 7)
10. Penn, 7-1 (Prev: 10)
11. Johns Hopkins, 8-3 (Prev: 11)
12. Denver, 6-3 (Prev: 12)
13. Florida, 8-2 (Prev: 13)
14. Stony Brook, 8-2 (Prev: 14)
15. North Carolina, 7-3 (Prev: 15)
16. Penn State, 6-4 (Prev: NR)
17. Yale, 8-0 (Prev: 17)
18. Princeton, 5-3 (Prev: 18)
19. Fairfield, 7-1 (Prev: 19)
20. Stanford, 6-3 (Prev: 20)

Also considered (alphabetical order): Brown (7-2), Colorado (6-3), Dartmouth (5-3), Drexel (6-3), Navy (8-2), Harvard (5-2), Rutgers (5-5), Richmond (8-2), USC (8-3)


Maryland (+5)

Maryland is one of the country’s hottest — and certainly one of the most consistent — teams right now in an unsettled landscape. That counts for something. An overtime loss to Florida is the Terps’ lone blemish in 2024. They’ve won six straight since, most recently a 13-8 win over Rutgers.

Maryland has its share of quality wins, too, including No. 6 Syracuse, No. 12 Denver and No. 9 James Madison. Maryland will continue to be tested (that’s a given in the Big Ten and the way Cathy Reese puts together a schedule, more generally). Mark your calendars for No. 10 Penn on Wednesday before a date with No. 2 Michigan on Saturday and rival No. 4 Northwestern on April 6.

Syracuse (+4)

It’s hard to believe Syracuse was No. 15 two weeks ago, but that’s 2024 for you. The Orange got a career-high five goals from Maddy Baxter and 18 draw controls from Kate Mashewske in their fourth-straight win, a scrappy battle against Virginia. Syracuse is now off to a 5-0 start in the ACC but will face No. 8 Loyola in what should be a fun non-conference game on Wednesday night.


Northwestern (-3)

Northwestern’s winning streak ended against a previously unranked Penn State team, as did its run atop the national ranking. A high-profile matchup Monday evening vs. No. 15 North Carolina on ESPNU would be an ideal way to rebound.


Penn State (No. 16)

In the latest head-turner of the spring, Penn State welcomed the defending champions to town and promptly snapped their seven-game winning streak. Kristin O’Neill’s sixth goal of the night on a free position proved to be the game-winner for the Nittany Lions, who scored their first win over a No. 1 team since 2005. After a slow start, PSU is on a four-game winning streak and is set to take on Ohio State on Thursday night.


USC (was No. 16)

Though the Trojans rebounded after a loss to unranked Dartmouth with a win over Arizona State, they have yet to score at  Top 20 win, and Stanford played Denver tougher if you’re comparing like opponents.