skip navigation

WCLA DIVISION I NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 30th

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Georgia 1
2 Boston College Club 2
3 Virginia Tech Club 9
4 Virginia Club 3
5 Florida Club 5
6 Arizona St. Club 4
7 Utah 7
8 BYU 8
9 UCLA 6
10 Notre Dame Club 11
11 Texas 15
12 Florida State NR
13 Pittsburgh Club 10
14 Michigan Club NR
15 Colorado Club 13
16 Clemson 14
17 Michigan State 16
18 Vanderbilt Club 18
19 Delaware Club 17
20 Ohio State Club 12

MARCH 30th, 2022 POLL

Georgia and Utah Valley Stay Atop WCLA Division I and II

 

For the third straight week, Georgia and Utah Valley maintain a hold on the top spots in the WCLA Division I and II coaches’ polls, respectively, but there was significant movement throughout the rest of both rankings.

No. 1 Georgia returned to action last week with victories over Florida State and North Carolina, while No. 2 Boston College Club enjoyed a 3-0 week. No. 3 Virginia Tech was the biggest mover of the week, jumping six spots following wins over No. 13 Pitt, James Madison Club and Duke Club.

The top six teams in the ranking, including No. 4 Virginia Club, No. 5 Florida Club, and No.6 Arizona State Club, are all still undefeated with a combined record of 50-0.

No. 12 Florida State was the highest ranked newcomer this week, followed by No. 14 Michigan Club, which recorded wins over No. 17 Michigan State and No. 20 Ohio State.

In Division II, the top five remained mostly unchanged, with just No. 2 UC San Diego and No. 3 Loyola Club swapping positions.  

No. 9 New Hampshire Club and No. 10 Fairfield Club were two of the biggest climbers of the week, as they both moved into the top 10 for the first time this season. Just behind them, Navy Club, which was unranked last week, moved into the poll at No. 11 this week.

There were two other newcomers, No. 17 Gonzaga and No. 20 Vermont Club, in the D-II ranking.

WCLA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 30th

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Utah Valley 1
2 UC San Diego 3
3 Loyola Club 2
4 St. Thomas 4
5 UC Santa Cruz 5
6 Univ of Portland 8
7 CSU San Marcos 7
8 Grand Valley St. Club 9
9 New Hampshire Club 15
10 Fairfield Club 14
11 Navy Club NR
12 Stony Brook Club 10
13 Providence 18
14 Boise State 6
15 Oakland 11
16 Gonzaga NR
17 Denver Club 15
18 Portland State 13
19 Binghamton 12
20 Vermont Club NR

WCLA DIVISION I NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 22nd

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Georgia 1
2 Boston College Club 2
3 Virginia Club 3
4 Arizona St. Club 4
5 Florida Club 7
6 UCLA 6
7 Utah 10
8 BYU 5
9 Virginia Tech Club 13
10 Pittsburgh Club 9
11 Notre Dame Club NR
12 Ohio State Club 14
13 Colorado Club 12
14 Clemson 8
15 Texas 11
16 Michigan State 19
17 Delaware Club NR
18 Vanderbilt Club 17
19 Central Florida 16
20 Northeastern 20

MARCH 22ND, 2022 POLL

Georgia and Utah Valley Remain No. 1 in WCLA Rankings

 

For the second straight week, Georgia and Utah Valley retain the top spots in the WCLA Division I and II coaches’ polls, respectively. Both teams stayed at the top while being idle.

While the top four in the Division I poll remained the same, Florida Club jumped two spots to No. 5 this week. No. 7 Utah (up three spots) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (up four) were the biggest movers in the poll, with No. 14 Clemson (down six) and No. 15 Texas (down four) taking the biggest tumbles.

Undefeated Notre Dame Club and 2019 national runner-up Delaware Club were the newcomers in this week’s ranking.

The top four in Division II also remained unchanged, followed by UC Santa Cruz, which jumped four spots to No. 5. No. 6 Boise State and No. 8 Portland both moved up two slots from last week. Stony Brook Club jumped three spot to move into the top 10.

There were two newcomers in the D-II ranking — No. 18 Providence, which is undefeated, and No. 20 Texas State.  


Delaware Club, the national runner-up in 2019, is one of two newcomers in this week’s WCLA Division I ranking.

WCLA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 22nd

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Utah Valley 1
2 Loyola Club 2
3 UC San Diego 3
4 St. Thomas 4
5 UC Santa Cruz 9
6 Boise State 8
7 CSU San Marcos 6
8 Univ of Portland 10
9 Grand Valley St. Club 5
10 Stony Brook Club 13
11 Oakland 11
12 Binghamton 12
13 Portland State 7
14 Fairfield Club 14
15 New Hampshire Club 17
16 UC Irvine 16
17 Denver Club 15
18 Providence NR
19 St. Olaf 18
20 Texas State NR

WCLA DIVISION I NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 16th

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Georgia 1
2 Boston College Club 2
3 Virginia Club 3
4 Arizona St. Club 4
5 BYU 5
6 UCLA 6
7 Florida Club 7
8 Pittsburgh Club 8
9 Clemson 9
10 Colorado Club 10
11 Texas 11
12 Virginia Tech Club 12
13 Ohio State Club 13
14 Utah State 14
15 Utah 15
16 North Carolina Club 16
17 Central Florida 17
18 Vanderbilt Club 18
19 Michigan State 19
20 Northeastern 20

March 16th, 2022 POLL

Georgia, Utah Valley No. 1 in WCLA Division I and II Polls

Georgia and Utah Valley hold the No. 1 spots in the WCLA Division I and II coaches’ polls, respectively, announced on Wednesday.  

An incredibly light Division I schedule during the past week, with just one game that involved a Top 20 team, yielded no changes in this week’s ranking. Undefeated Georgia (10-0) lays claim to the top spot for the third straight week.

In Division II, last week’s No. 2 Utah Valley leapfrogged over idle Loyola Club to re-claim the No. 1 spot that it had three weeks ago. Interestingly, UVU lost its only game of the past week, a narrow 16-13 setback against Division I powerhouse BYU, but evidently impressed voters in defeat.

Loyola is No. 2, with UC San Diego, St. Thomas and Grand Valley State Club rounding out the top five in the same spots they occupied last week.

There was action in the D-II top 10, with UC Santa Cruz returning to the top 10 moving up three spots this week to ninth and University of Portland returning to the rankings at No. 10. The Pilots improved to 5-1 overall with three victories during the week, including a 10-9 win over No. 7 Portland State.

 

WCLA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 16th

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Utah Valley 2
2 Loyola Club 1
3 UC San Diego 3
4 St. Thomas 4
5 Grand Valley St. Club 5
6 CSU San Marcos 7
7 Portland State 8
8 Boise State 6
9 UC Santa Cruz 12
10 Univ of Portland NR
11 Oakland 9
12 Binghamton 13
13 Stony Brook Club 11
14 Fairfield Club 14
15 Denver Club 10
16 UC Irvine 15
17 New Hampshire Club 16
18 St. Olaf 18
19 Navy Club 17
20 Elon Club NR

WCLA DIVISION I NATIONAL TOP 20

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Georgia 1
2 Boston College Club 2
3 Virginia Club 3
4 Arizona St. Club 4
5 BYU 5
6 UCLA 6
7 Florida Club 7
8 Clemson 9
9 Pittsburgh Club 8
10 Utah 15
11 Texas 11
12 Colorado Club 10
13 Virginia Tech Club 12
14 Ohio State Club 13
15 Utah State 14
16 Central Florida 17
17 Vanderbilt Club 18
18 North Carolina Clu 16
19 Michigan State 20
20 Northeastern 19

March 9th, 2022 POLL

Georgia, Loyola Maintain Top Spots in WCLA Rankings

Undefeated Georgia and Loyola Club maintained their respective holds on No. 1 in the WCLA Division I and II coaches’ polls, although both teams were idle over the past week.

In Division I, Utah made the biggest jump, climbing five spots to No. 10 following a win over last week’s No. 10 team, Colorado Club. The top seven teams remained unchanged. There was some minor shuffling in the bottom half of the ranking, but no newcomers in this week’s Division I poll.

There was quite a different story in the Division II poll, with five newcomers in this week’s Top 20 and some significant movement throughout the ranking.

Fueled by four wins in the past week, Utah Valley jumped one spot to No. 2, with UC San Diego falling one spot to third. St. Thomas also moved up three spots to join the top five. No. 11 Stony Brook Club, which improved to 4-0, made the biggest move by climbing six spots.

Newcomers in the D-II ranking were No. 14 Fairfield Club, No. 16 New Hampshire Club, No. 17 Navy Club, No. 18 St Olaf and No. 20 Stanford Club.

WCLA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 9th

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Loyola Club 1
2 Utah Valley 3
3 UC San Diego 2
4 St. Thomas 7
5 Grand Valley St. Club 4
6 Boise State 6
7 CSU San Marcos 5
8 Portland State 9
9 Oakland 12
10 Denver Club 8
11 Stony Brook Club 17
12 UC Santa Cruz 12
13 Binghamton 13
14 Fairfield Club NR
15 UC Irvine 11
16 New Hampshire Club NR
17 Navy Club NR
18 St. Olaf NR
19 Air Force NR
20 Stanford NR

WCLA DIVISION I NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 2nd

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Georgia
2 Boston College Club
3 Virginia Club
4 Arizona St. Club
5 BYU
6 UCLA
7 Florida Club
8 Pittsburgh Club
9 Clemson
10 Colorado Club
11 Texas
12 Virginia Tech Club
13 Ohio State Club
14 Utah State
15 Utah
16 North Carolina Club
17 Central Florida
18 Vanderbilt Club
19 Northeastern
20 Michigan State

MARCH 2, 2022 POLL

Georgia, Loyola Club Top WCLA Division 1 and 2 Coaches' Polls

 

With an impressive 10-0 start to the season that included wins in California over No. 6 UCLA and No. 8 Pittsburgh last month, the Georgia Bulldogs hold the top spot in the first WCLA Division I coaches’ poll of the year.

Georgia’s resume also includes two victories over No. 9 Clemson. Boston College Club, with wins over No. 6 UCLA and No. 19 Northeastern among its 4-0 record, checks in at No. 2.

Undefeated Virginia Club, which owns three wins over ranked teams, is No. 3. Arizona State Club and BYU round out the top five. ASU’s 9-0 record includes victories over No. 10 Colorado Club, No. 14 Utah State and No. 15 Utah, while BYU’s best win was over No. 11 Texas.

 

After debuting in the second position in last week’s inaugural WCLA Division 2 coaches’ poll of the season, Loyola Maryland Club has climbed to No. 1 in the newest poll, released today. After a 3-0 start at the annual Santa Barbara Shootout last month, the Greyhounds ran their record to 5-0 during the past week with lopsided victories against Salisbury Club and Towson Club.

UC San Diego jumped three spots to No. 2 this week after improving to 9-1 overall. Last week’s top ranked team, Utah Valley, fell to third and was idle during the past week. The Wolverines return to action with four games scheduled this week.

No. 4 Grand Valley State Club and No. 5 CSU San Marcos round out the top five. The Cougars jumped three spots this week after improving to 5-0 with wins over Sonoma State, Cal Poly B and Nevada Reno.

No. 7 St. Thomas, No. 9 Portland State and No. 10 UC Santa Cruz were this week’s newcomers into the Top 20.

 

WED MAR 2, 2022 | https://www.usalaxmagazine.com/

 

 


Georgia, Loyola Club Top WCLA Division 1 and 2 Coaches' Polls

WCLA DIVISION II NATIONAL TOP 20 MARCH 2nd

RANK TEAM PREV RANK
1 Loyola Club 2
2 UC San Diego 5
3 Utah Valley 1
4 Grand Valley St. Club 4
5 CSU San Marcos 8
6 Boise State 3
7 St. Thomas -
8 Denver Club 6
9 Portland State -
10 UC Santa Cruz -
11 UC Irvine -
12 Oakland 9
13 Binghamton
14 Pepperdine
15 Elon Club
16 Portland
17 Stony Brook Club
18 Minn-Duluth
19 St. Edward’s 10
20 Air Force

MARCH 4, 2020 POLL

PITT, NAVY CLUB KEEP NO. 1 POSITIONS IN LATEST WCLA RANKINGS

WED MAR 4 2020 | PAUL OHANIAN | COLLEGE

PHOTO BY SHANNON JAYNE PHOTO

Unranked in the preseason, a 7-1 start has propelled UCSD to No. 7 in the latest D-II ranking.

 

In a relatively light week of action, there were no changes among the top five in the newest WCLA Division I Top 20 ranking. Pitt, which was idle, maintained its No. 1 position, with UCLA at No. 2. The Bruins are 6-1 overall, with their only loss coming in a one-goal game against Pitt.

Michigan Club, Georgia and Colorado Club, respectively, round out the top five.

No. 12 Florida State had the biggest jump this week, moving up three spots while improving to 9-0 overall. The Seminoles added two more lopsided wins during the week, recording easy victories over Ole Miss and South Florida. FSU’s average margin of victory in its nine games is 15.5 goals per game.

“We have a team of passionate and hard-working girls this season that have great chemistry on the field,” said club president Julia Dennis. “We’re looking forward to continuing our success and seeing what our team is going to achieve.”

No. 14 Boston College Club, No. 18 North Carolina Club and No. 20 Maryland Club all moved into the ranking for the first time this year. BC opened with a 19-12 win over No. 16 Northeastern, and UNC slipped past No. 19 Central Florida, 9-8.

Texas, Texas A&M and Utah State dropped out.

WCLA DIVISION I
NATIONAL TOP 20

 

MARCH 4, 2020

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS RANK

1 Pittsburgh 7-0 140 1
2 UCLA 6-1 131 2
3 Michigan Club 3-1 120 3
4 Georgia 7-1 118 4
5 Colorado Club 5-0 114 5
T-6 Brigham Young 4-1 100 6
T-6 Virginia Club 4-0 100 7
T-8 Cal Poly 1-3 71 9
T-8 Cal Berkeley Club 6-1 71 11
10 Santa Clara 2-3 63 8
11 Utah 4-1 60 12
12 Florida State 9-0 55 15
13 San Diego State Club 3-6 51 10
14 Boston College Club 1-0 42 NR
15 Miami (OH) 5-1 39 14
16 Northeastern 2-1 36 13
17 Ohio State Club 5-0 29 19
18 North Carolina Club 1-0 27 NR
19 Central Florida 8-2 24 17
20 Maryland Club 4-1 21 NR

 

In Division II, No. 1 Navy Club and No. 2 Loyola Club continue to lead the pack. Both teams were idle during the past week. 

There was limited movement in the rest of the top 10, with Denver Club holding its spot at No. 3, while No. 4 St. Thomas and No. 5 Air Force each moved up one spot.

UC San Diego continues to climb after improving to 7-1 overall with wins over UC Irvine and Concordia. Unranked in the preseason, UCSD is now ranked seventh, a jump of two spots from its debut position in last week’s poll.

No. 14 Vermont is the highest-ranked newcomer this week. The Catamounts opened their season with wins over No. 12 New Hampshire and Bates.

Nearly 230 non-varsity collegiate teams comprise the WCLA and compete under the US Lacrosse umbrella. The 2020 season will conclude with the D-I and D-II national championships in Round Rock, Texas, May 6-9.

WCLA DIVISION II
NATIONAL TOP 20

 

MARCH 4, 2020

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS RANK

1 Navy Club 2-0 143 1
2 Loyola Club 2-0 106 2
3 Denver Club 3-1 105 3
4 St. Thomas 4-0 101 5
5 Air Force 3-1 100 6
6 Oakland 3-0 99 4
7 UC San Diego 7-1 93 9
T-8 Gonzaga 7-2 90 7
T-8 Nevada-Reno 6-0 90 8
10 Providence 4-0 84 11
11 CSU San Marcos 5-0 78 10
12 New Hampshire 1-2 59 12
13 TCU 4-2 58 13
14 Vermont Club 2-0 47 NR
15 Elon Club 1-0 41 14
16 Salisbury Club 2-1 33 18
17 Portland State 5-1 32 15
T-18 UC Irvine 3-3 29 19
T-18 Binghamton Club 3-0 29 NR
20 Biola 3-1 26 16

FEBRUARY 26, 2020 POLL

PITTSBURGH, NAVY CLUB OWN TOP SPOTS IN FIRST WCLA RANKINGS

WED FEB 26 2020 | PAUL OHANIAN | COLLEGE

PHOTO COURTESY OF SHANNON JAYNE

Virginia Club rose six spots in the WCLA D-I poll after a 4-0 start, which includes a 12-10 win over No. 16 Utah State.

 

Defending D-I national champion Pittsburgh, ranked No. 1 in the WCLA Preseason Top 20, has solidified that position with a strong start to the 2020 season. After finishing 4-0 against four ranked opponents at the Golden State Invitational in Los Angeles and adding three more wins last weekend, the 7-0 Panthers retain the top position in the first WCLA D-I Top 20 ranking of the year. 

Pitt had just one tightly contested game in California, a 14-13 win over No. 2 UCLA. In the other games, Pitt cruised to decisive wins over No. 10 San Diego State, No. 9 Cal Poly and No. 8 Santa Clara. 

UCLA offset its loss to Pitt with two impressive victories, defeating No. 3 Michigan, 10-9, and No. 4 Georgia, 13-11. Ranked fifth in the preseason, the Bruins jumped three spots in this new poll. 

No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Georgia both won three of four games at the Golden State Invitational. In total, the three non-California teams posted a combined 10-2 record at the event, while the four California squads finished a combined 2-10 (with tournament host UCLA accounting for both wins).

Georgia has also been impressive through its early schedule, with a 5-1 record that has jumped the Bulldogs up six spots from their preseason ranking. Georgia won three of four games in Los Angeles, losing only to UCLA, 13-11. 

Five D-I squads finished with unblemished records at the Santa Barbara Shootout, highlighted by a 3-0 showing by No. 6 BYU and a 4-0 mark by No. 7 Virginia. The Cavaliers jumped six spots from the preseason, fueling much enthusiasm for the season ahead. 

“We were really excited to head out to California and face some teams we don't have the opportunity to play on a regular basis, and we are really proud of how we did,” said Virginia club president Jessi Rowell. “We have been working hard to come back better and stronger this year. We cannot wait for the rest of the season.” 

Miami Ohio and Florida State, both unranked in the preseason, are now ranked 14th and 15th on the strength strong early showings. Miami finished 3-0 in Santa Barbara while the Seminoles have started 8-0 this season. No. 5 Colorado is also among the undefeated teams and has moved up 10 spots from its preseason position.

WCLA DIVISION I
NATIONAL TOP 20

 

FEB. 26, 2020

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS RANK

1 Pittsburgh 7-0 140 1
2 UCLA 5-1 132 5
3 Michigan Club 3-1 126 2
4 Georgia 5-1 116 10
5 Colorado Club 5-0 106 15
6 Brigham Young 4-1 87 3
7 Virginia Club 4-0 86 13
8 Santa Clara 1-3 85 11
9 Cal Poly 0-3 78 7
10 San Diego State Club 2-4 68 6
11 Cal Berkeley Club 6-0 56 18
12 Utah 4-1 51 17
13 Northeastern 1-0 48 12
14 Miami (OH) 5-1 47 NR
15 Florida State 8-0 46 NR
16 Utah State 3-1 40 NR
17 Central Florida 5-1 33 19
18 Texas 3-3 19 14
19 Ohio State 5-0 18 NR
20 Texas A&M 5-3 14 NR

 

In Division II, preseason No. 1 Navy Club and No. 2 Loyola Club hold the same positions in the first weekly poll. Navy is off to a 2-0 start with wins over No. 18 Salisbury and unranked George Washington, while Loyola stands 2-0 with victories over Drexel Club and Maryland Club. 

Denver Club, Oakland and St. Thomas round out the top five. 

With a 5-1 start to the season that included four wins in Santa Barbara, UC San Diego is the most notable newcomer in the first ranking of the season. Unranked in the preseason, the Tritons debut at No. 9 this week. They are one of eight teams in this week’s poll that were not ranked in the preseason.

No. 7 Gonzaga enjoyed the biggest jump, climbing 12 spots from its position in the preseason poll. The Zags started the year with five straight wins, and their only losses have come in tight games against No. 3 Denver and No. 6 Air Force. 

Nearly 230 non-varsity collegiate teams comprise the WCLA and compete under the US Lacrosse umbrella. The 2020 season will conclude with the D-I and D-II national championships in Round Rock, Texas, May 6-9.

WCLA DIVISION II
NATIONAL TOP 20

 

FEB. 26, 2020

RECORD

POINTS

PREVIOUS RANK

1 Navy Club 2-0 118 1
2 Loyola Club 2-0 109 2
3 Denver Club 3-1 107 3
4 Oakland 3-0 93 9
5 St. Thomas 3-0 86 4
6 Air Force 2-1 84 7
7 Gonzaga 6-2 76 19
8 Nevada-Reno 5-0 74 8
9 UC San Diego 5-1 69 NR
10 CSU San Marcos 4-0 65 NR
11 Providence 3-0 61 NR
12 New Hampshire 0-1 49 5
13 TCU 2-2 45 NR
14 Elon Club 1-0 34 NR
15 Portland State 4-1 32 15
16 Biola 3-1 25 NR
17 Central Michigan 1-0 24 NR
18 Salisbury Club 1-1 23 10
19 UC Irvine 3-2 23 13
20 Texas Tech 2-1 16 NR

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IS MECCA FOR WCLA KICK OFF

 

Paul Ohanian    Feb 13, 2020    Coaches   Events   Players

Courtesy of Santa Barbara Shootout

The unofficial start for the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) season has arrived, and as usual, the first big weekend of the year takes place in Southern California. Two major events, located about 90 miles apart, kick off on Friday and include participating teams from across the country.

In picturesque Santa Barbara, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, the annual Shootout is the largest WCLA event of the season, with 25 Division I and 20 Division II teams playing across three days. Eight fields are utilized simultaneously at the Santa Barbara Polo Club.

The Santa Barbara field includes 12 teams ranked among the preseason Top 20, including No. 3 BYU, No. 13 Virginia and No. 14 Texas in Division I, and No. 3 Denver, No. 7 Air Force, and No. 8 Nevada in Division II.

“We love going to the Santa Barbara Shootout to be able to see all the other teams from around the country,” said Kyra Traino, senior defender at Air Force. “We get a feel for our team dynamic with these games before we play teams in our league.” 

Down the coast in Los Angeles, the seven-team Golden State Invitational is a significantly smaller event but includes many of the WCLA’s traditional heavyweights. The third-year event features five teams ranked among the Division I preseason top seven, highlighted by No. 1 Pittsburgh, No. 2 Michigan, and No. 5 UCLA, the tournament host.

“The GSI is always one of the weekends we are most excited for during our season,” said UCLA’s returning All-America midfielder Sophie Kamanski. “It is such a fun weekend of competitive lacrosse and we always look forward to playing highly ranked and well-established teams. It sets a competitive tone for the rest of our season.” 

Michigan made the switch from the Santa Barbara Shootout to UCLA’s GSI in 2018. The Wolverines will play four games in Westwood, all against California-based teams.

“We want to play the best teams, and preferably, the West Coast teams,” said Michigan coach David McKinnon. “This is a great way to get a very quick idea how some of the best teams match up. We use it as a benchmark for a number of things when we get back to practice the following week.” 

In total, split between the two locations, 12 of the 16 Division I teams and four of the 12 Division II teams that qualified for last year’s WCLA National Tournament descend upon Southern California this weekend. The competition is great, and of course, the weather helps make the sale. 

“We love to take any opportunity we can to ditch the snow here in Colorado for some California sun,” said Air Force’s Traino.

The WCLA features 79 Division I teams and 137 Division II teams that compete under the US Lacrosse umbrella. The 2020 season will conclude with the D-I and D-II national championships in Round Rock, Texas, May 6-9.

WCLA CHAMPIONSHIP IS EXPANDING IN 2020

 

Paul Ohanian   Jan 31, 2020     Events  Players

    

Returning to Round Rock, Texas this spring, the 2020 WCLA Championship Tournament will be the largest in the 20-year history of the event.  

With recent approval from both the WCLA Committee and the US Lacrosse Board of Directors, the championship field will feature 32 total teams this year, divided equally among Division I and Division II. 

Nearly 230 non-varsity collegiate teams comprise the WCLA and compete under the US Lacrosse umbrella. The annual Division I and Division II National Championships showcase the WCLA’s premier teams. 

Started in 2001, the WCLA Championship Tournament has traditionally featured a 16-team Division I line-up, which does not change this year. However, the 2020 event features the addition of four teams for the expanded Division II championship, marking the first time the division will include 16 teams. The tournament will be played at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, May 6-9.

“We are pleased to offer more teams the opportunity to participate in this marquee championship event,” said Caitlin Kelley, women’s game director at US Lacrosse. “This expansion reflects the continued growth of the game at the collegiate club level, as well as the ever-increasing level of competitiveness within the WCLA ranks. We are looking forward to hosting a strong field of teams with great competition for both the D-I and D-II championships.”

The Division I and II championship fields both feature a mix of conference champion automatic qualifiers as well as at-large qualifiers. Pittsburgh is the defending Division I national champion, while Loyola Maryland is the two-time defending Division II champion.

PITTSBURGH'S JULIA LYNCH NAMED WCLA

DIVISION I PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

MON 13 JAN 2020 | PAUL OHANIAN | COLLEGE

PHOTO BY MIKE CAUDILL

THIS STORY APPEARS IN THE JANUARY 2020 EDITION OF US LACROSSE MAGAZINE. DON'T GET THE MAG? HEAD TO USLACROSSE.ORG TO SUBSCRIBE.

Every season is a new season.

New year, new team.

There’s significant truth in those clichés, but there’s also merit in assessing a team’s potential based on the returning personnel from the previous season.

That’s why having a player like Julia Lynch, the US Lacrosse Magazine WCLA Division I Preseason Player of the Year for, gives defending WCLA champion and top-ranked Pittsburgh hope for another strong campaign in 2020.

A returning first team All-American defender, Lynch anchored the Panthers during a dominant 19-0 campaign. Pittsburgh claimed its second WCLA title with a 15-11 win over Delaware.

“She is a driving force on our defense and leads by example,” Pitt coach Kevin Tidgewell said. “It’s all dictated by her work ethic.”

That drive extends beyond lacrosse. A senior from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Lynch also serves as the president for the Pittsburgh women’s soccer club. She often joins her lacrosse teammates for fall practice having just concluded a soccer practice. It’s not uncommon for Lynch to have soccer club practice from 6 -8 p.m., followed by lacrosse practice from 8-10 p.m.

“I love the competition,” said Lynch, a converted midfielder who chose Pitt over varsity options at other schools that recruited her. “I’m still not afraid to take the ball to the offense end when the opportunity is there.”

Despite the demands of her soccer schedule, Lynch traveled to every one of Pitt’s nine fall ball games and also attended every practice. Between the two sports, she has at least one team practice every night of the week.

“Because I love it, it’s not a chore for me,” Lynch said. “I’ve learned how to manage my time pretty well.”

As soccer club president, Lynch’s responsibilities extended beyond just showing up for practice. She scheduled the referees for all of Pitt’s home games, managed the team budget and coordinated practice planning and logistics with the team’s volunteer coach.

One of the benefits of her other duty, scheduling games, gave her some control over the two-sport overlap this past fall. She has been a member of both club teams since her freshman year.

“I was able to structure the soccer schedule around our fall ball schedule this past year,” she said.  “In past years, I had to drive by myself to a fall ball lacrosse tournament because I had to leave early to get to a soccer game on the same day.”

“Her commitment and effort serve as great examples for all of our players,” Tidgewell said.

Lynch is quick to credit the unity of her defensive teammates as a key to Pitt’s lacrosse success. The senior trio of Lynch, Emily Nutter and Liz Maisch spearhead a group that ranks among the nation’s best. The Panthers allowed fewer than five goals per game in 2019.

“We feel like our unit is something special, because we have such trust in each other,” Lynch said. “On defense, it’s all about the unit working together. Slide together. Move together. The motto is, ‘Refuse to get beat.’ We know that defense wins championships.”

Lynch’s dynamic impact is not lost on her teammates.

“She’s such a great leader for our team because she always gives it her all,” lacrosse club president Allison Macrae said. “As a teammate, you know that she’s always got your back. She’s just an incredible player.”

Despite the time demands of being a member of two club teams since her freshman year, Lynch is on track to graduate in four years with a degree in rehabilitation science. She will begin graduate studies in physical therapy at Duke next year.

Before then, she hopes to lead the Panthers on another championship run this spring.

“Our goal is the same from season to season,” Lynch said. “We want to get back to the nationals and win the championship. The bar is set pretty high.”

Copyright © US Lacrosse Magazine 2019

LOYOLA CLUB'S KELLY O'KREPKIE NAMED WCLA D-II PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

WED 15 JAN 2020 | PAUL OHANIAN | COLLEGE

PHOTO BY MIKE CAUDILL

Loyola University Maryland is the most successful program in the WCLA’s 10-year era of Division II championships. The Greyhounds have recorded 20 all-time wins in WCLA tournament play, more than any other team, and have made four appearances in the championship game.

Loyola was the national runner-up in the inaugural Division II championship tournament in 2010, and again in 2017. Over the past two years, the Hounds have been dominant in capturing back-to-back titles, and they are again among the favorites in 2020.

It’s probably no coincidence that attacker Kelly O’Krepkie’s career overlaps with Loyola’s recent supremacy, making the senior All-American a solid choice as the US Lacrosse WCLA Division II Preseason Player of the Year.

“She’s like a coach on the field,” said Loyola team captain Jenna Siegelbaum, who joined O’Krepkie on the 2019 All-American team. “She’s always thinking about the smartest play that we can make.”

O’Krepkie serves as the team’s quarterback much of the time, directing the offense and initiating the play. Her decision-making has helped fuel an explosive offense that has put up record-setting numbers at the WCLA championship tournament in each of the past two years.

In 2018, the Greyhounds scored 68 goals in four tournament games, the second-highest total ever, and capped their championship run with a lopsided 14-3 win in the final over defending champion Denver. O’Krepkie masterfully directed the offense that day, finishing with four goals and four assists and being selected as the tournament’s most outstanding attacker. Loyola’s 11-goal margin of victory was the largest ever in the D-II championship game.

“She’s always looking to spread the ball around,” Siegelbaum said. “She’s got a great mindset.”

Last year, Loyola avenged its only loss of the year, against Navy, by rebounding with wins over the Mids in both the MAWLL league final and again in the national championship game. A season-ending 10-game winning streak carried the Greyhounds to their second straight WCLA title.

Not surprisingly, O’Krepkie was one of the catalysts again in last year’s title run. First, she posted another eight-point game with four goals and four assists in the semifinal win over Utah State. She followed the next day with one goal and three more assists in the 13-6 win over Navy Club in the final.

“Goals are nice, but I love getting assists because it helps build the confidence of the other players,” O’Krepkie said.

Surprisingly, the Port Washington, N.Y. native didn’t abound in confidence when she first arrived at Loyola in the fall of 2016. She was one of 30 girls who tried out for just five available slots on the Greyhounds competitive club team and was nervous about her chances of making the cut.

“I was so excited to make the team as a freshman,” she said.

Being part of the squad quickly turned her initial apprehensiveness into a strong sense of comfort and belonging.

“I felt at home right away because there’s such a family culture on our team,” O’Krepkie said. “We’re all very close, and we love to hang out together.”

Now, as a senior, O’Krepkie and the other team leaders like Siegelbaum accept the challenge of cultivating that closeness with the newcomers to the program. Loyola functions as one of the few student-coached teams in the country, with the players taking on all responsibilities for the club without assistance from a coach.

“We try to pass it along by showing the underclassmen all the ropes,” O’Krepkie said.

That nurturing process may be critical to positioning Loyola for another championship run this spring. Last fall, seven of the eight members from a strong junior class were studying abroad, meaning that the team bonding usually done during fall practices was incomplete. That absence, however, hasn’t altered the team’s mindset heading into the 2020 season.

“Our expectation is to win again,” said O’Krepkie, who looks forward to returning to the championship venue in Round Rock, Texas.

It’s the same facility where she registered one of her other career highlights, an 11-point effort against St. Benedict in 2018 that ranks as the second highest individual scoring game in tournament history. With 28 wins over the past two seasons, capped by the back-to-back national titles, it’s likely that the Greyhounds will have a chance to meet their lofty expectations. And it’ll be hard to bet against Loyola should they return to the national tournament.

After all, that’s when O’Krepkie shines brightest.

Copyright © US Lacrosse Magazine 2019

US LACROSSE WCLA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNING TO TEXAS IN 2020

 

Paul Ohanian      Nov 05, 2019     EventsPlayersPress Release

The US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) national championship event is returning to Texas twice in the next three years and will be played at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, located about 15 miles north of Austin. Both the 2020 and 2022 season-ending championships will be contested in Round Rock, which also hosted the event in 2018.

“We are very happy to return to the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex for the national championship tournament,” said Liz Holmes, chair of the US Lacrosse WCLA Committee. “We had wonderful feedback from our participants and attendees in Round Rock two years ago, so we’re confident that our membership will be excited to again return to this outstanding location in 2020 and 2022.” 

Dates for the 2020 WCLA Division I and II National Championships are May 6-9. All tournament games will be played at Round Rock’s 60-acre venue that features five natural grass fields, five turf fields, abundant on-site parking, Musco sports lighting, a restroom and concessions building, meeting rooms, and additional spectator amenities. The venue opened for play in 2017.

Nearly 230 non-varsity collegiate teams comprise the WCLA and compete under the US Lacrosse umbrella. The annual Division I and Division II National Championships showcase the WCLA’s premier teams, featuring a Division I field of 16 teams and a Division II tournament of 12 qualifying teams.

“The WCLA is an integral part of our US Lacrosse family, and the skill and commitment of these collegiate club teams is truly impressive,” said Caitlin Kelley, women’s lacrosse director at US Lacrosse. “Concluding the season with the WCLA National Championship at a first-class venue like the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex allows US Lacrosse to showcase and celebrate the caliber of collegiate club lacrosse players.” 

Started in 2001, the WCLA Championship has had 10 previous host sites and is making its third overall appearance in Texas in 2020. Virginia Beach served as host site for last season’s championship and will once again serve as event host in May 2021.

"Hosting the extraordinary athletes of the US Lacrosse WCLA Championships in 2020 and 2022 is a fantastic opportunity for Round Rock. We look forward to providing state-of-the-art facilities for the competition and showing off our unique brand of Texas hospitality to the athletes and the fans,” said Nancy Yawn, director of the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In 2019, the Pittsburgh Panthers won the Division I title, their second national championship, while the Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds claimed their second consecutive Division II title. 

“The love of our sport that these athletes display on the lacrosse field is uplifting and wonderful to witness,” Holmes said. “Our national championship is the culmination of the season's hard work and success by our top teams and we look forward to hosting the event once again at this wonderful venue in Round Rock.”

Billing itself as the Sports Capital of Texas, Round Rock has become a premier destination for youth, amateur and recreational sports, with athletic facilities that host a wide variety of tournaments and events year-round. Unique shopping opportunities and an abundance of tournament-ready fields are helping Round Rock become a popular event location. For more information, visit GoRoundRock.com