Nike/LM DIII Men's Top 20: Salisbury Stands Alone
Nike/Lacrosse Magazine RankingsDivision I Men's Top 20
Division I Women's Top 20
Division II Men's Top 15
Division II Women's Top 15
Division III Men's Top 20
Division III Women's Top 20
A loss to York in the CAC finals dropped Salisbury from its perch atop the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Division III Top 20, but it proved to be the only hiccup as the Sea Gulls recovered to make a run at their first NCAA championship since 2012, capping the run with a 14-13 win over two-time defending champion Tufts.
That win leaves Jim Berkman's squad at No. 1 and the Jumbos second in the final rankings for 2016.
Obviously, the NCAA tournament results loom large in the final update, with Tufts moving up four spots after a NESCAC championship and wins over then-No. 1 Ithaca and St. Lawrence in the tournament before bowing to Salisbury. Ithaca dropped to No. 3 after its exit by more than 10 goals to the Jumbos, with Denison at No. 3 and Gettysburg at No. 5 to close the season.
Amherst was the big mover outside of the top spots, vaulting all the way to No. 8 with a defeat of then-No. 2 RIT in the tournament before bowing out to St. Lawrence. RIT wound up at No. 9.
Two teams rode tournament victory into the rankings, as Cortland and Springfield played their way in the final Top 20 by defeating ranked Western New England and Middlebury teams in May.
|Washington and Lee||16-4|
|Western New Eng.||15-4|
Also considered (alphabetical order): Frostburg St., Lynchburg, Montclair St., Nazareth, Ursinus, Stevens, Williams.
Tufts (+4): An up and down season for the two-time defending champions ended with a fantastic run, as the Jumbos rolled to a NESCAC championship and then came within a few bounces of a championship, falling to the Sea Gulls in the NCAA finals.
Amherst (+8): After suffering a stunning loss to seventh-seeded Williams in the first round of the NESCAC tournament, Amherst recovered well in the NCAA tournament with a win over Rensselaer and then stunning then-No. 2 RIT on the first weekend. St. Lawrence would end their run in the quarterfinals.
RIT (-7): The Tigers won in a romp over John Carroll in the first round, but couldn't slow down a hot Amherst team in round two, giving up 17 goals and falling by three. RIT only suffered two losses on the season - one to Ithaca, one to Amherst, but drop with such an early departure from the tournament as one of the top four seeds.
Ithaca (-3): A dream season for the Bombers came to an end at the hand of Tufts, which exploded for a 19-7 win in the quarterfinals. Ithaca earned wins in the first and second round against Morrissville State and Montclair State, but couldn't solve the eventual runner-up Jumbos.
Cortland (17): The SUNYAC champions stayed hot in the NCAA tournament first round, routing then-No. 15 Western New England 13-5. The Red Dragons would bow out to eventual runner-up Tufts in the second round.
Springfield (18): The Pride stunned NESCAC runner-up and then-No. 9 Middlebury in the first round of the NCAAs, 11-10 in 3OT. After a 2-6 start, Springfield turned the corner and put together a 10-1 run - the only loss to Middlebury, avenged in the NCAA tournament - before bowing out in round two to St. Lawrence.
Who Dropped Out?
Williams, Stevens: Late success had the Ephs and Ducks make their way back into the rankings, but they didn't make the tournament field, and lost their spots to make room for Cortland and Springfield after their successes in the first round.
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