Even as the snow melts or continues to fall along the East Coast, Ivy League women’s lacrosse still gives fans the chance to catch their favorite squad tear up the turf. After two weekends of play, here is how the teams of the Ancient Eight stack up:
- Penn (1-1): As we said of the men last week, there can be no shame in losing to the country’s No. 1 overall team this early in the season. The top ranked University of North Carolina Tar Heels handed Penn a 13-8 defeat in Chapel Hill. Impressively, the Quakers kept the score within two goals until the 9:42 mark in the final period while the Tar Heels managed to pull away in the final 10 minutes. Now ranked No. 15 in the country, Penn jumped Princeton in the Coaches’ rankings.
- Princeton (1-2): This high a ranking for a team with a below .500 record seems somewhat inappropriate. However, it is readily apparent that the Tigers have faced the toughest schedule in the league through three games. The road will not get easier for this talented side, with three of their opponents over the next two months currently ranked inside the top 10. Ouch. An away matchup at rival Brown should help get the women of Princeton back on track. The attack unit is one of the country’s best, led by last season’s Ivy Attacker of the Year junior Erin McMunn.
- Yale (3-0): The computers at LaxPower.com have the Bulldogs just above Princeton, but their first three early-season victories came as easy wins over clearly inferior competition. Attack Kerri Fleishhacker notched a team-high five goals in their Ivy opener at Dartmouth. These top three teams are most likely the only sides who will compete for the league title.
- Harvard (2-1): Midfielder Maeve McMahon notched a hat trick in her side’s home opener against Cornell. The 10-7 winning effort showed that this team has young talent to reload after a very disappointing season in 2013. Their away meeting with Penn this weekend will be one of the weekend’s most exciting.
- Brown (3-0): Similar to Yale, Brown pulled off two wins against inferior competition. The next weekend the women traveled to face a perennially struggling Columbia side in a game which the Bears led throughout. Brown’s defenders will have their hands full with Princeton’s attackers this upcoming weekend, and it is unlikely that their offense will challenge a solid Princeton defensive unit.
- Cornell (1-1): A convincing 17-9 win over Temple was followed by a disappointing showing at Harvard. This side and the two above it will remain very close in the rankings, but a league title is not in the cards for the Big Red. Out of league, the Cornell women will face rough competition from ranked opponents Syracuse, Penn State and Stanford.
- Dartmouth (2-1): An impressive win over Connecticut saw the Big Green hold on in rough winter conditions. The New Hampshire side hosted Yale and was thoroughly dominated throughout. Despite a 5-2 Ivy record and 11-8 overall mark last season, it appears unlikely that the Dartmouth women will remain competitive in the league.
- Columbia (1-1): Lacrosse is not the strong suit of this New York City school. Their men’s side does not play at the varsity level, and the women failed to pull off a league win in 2013. The squad picked up a 20-11 win over Long Island University: Brooklyn, which does not mean much. Unfortunately for the Lions, Columbia lacrosse will likely remain in the basement of the Ivy League.