Ursinus Surges, DeSales Debuts in Nike/USL Division III Men’s Top 20

Ursinus started hot, slipped up late and is back in the national conversation after defeating Gettysburg in the Centennial Conference championship game.


The NCAA tournament field is set, but there’s first plenty to digest from conference tournament season.

The biggest takeaway comes out of the Centennial Conference, where Ursinus now has its first championship and first win in program history over Gettysburg. There were also some head-turning results out of the Empire 8 and NEWMAC, where St. John Fisher and Springfield won, respectively.

Otherwise, it was business as usual for many of the country’s top Division III programs. Salisbury captured its 22nd Capital Athletic Conference title in program history, the Liberty League belongs to RIT for the eighth straight year, and Tufts won its ninth NESCAC championship this decade. It comes as no surprise, then, to see those three programs receive NCAA tournament byes, while the fourth went to York. 

Nike/US Lacrosse
Division III Men’s Top 20

 
May 6, 2019

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1 RIT 18-1 1 5/8 vs. John Carroll/Hope
2 Salisbury 19-1 2 5/8 vs. SUNY Maritime/Grove City
3 Tufts 17-1 4 5/8 vs. New England/Norwich
4 York 17-2 3 5/8 vs. Stockton/Morrisville State
5 Cabrini 17-2 6 5/8 vs. No. 20 DeSales
6 Williams 15-3 7 5/8 vs. Keene State
7 Amherst 14-3 5 5/8 vs. Elizabethtown
8 Ursinus 13-3 15 5/8 vs. Springfield
9 Denison 16-2 9 5/8 vs. Concordia Wisconsin
10 Wesleyan 12-3 10 5/8 vs. Western New England
11 Washington and Lee 15-4 14 5/8 vs. Piedmont
12 Gettysburg 14-4 8 5/8 vs. St. John Fisher
13 Union 13-3 13 5/8 vs. Cortlaand
14 Franklin & Marshall 12-5 12 5/8 vs. No. 16 Stevenson
15 Lynchburg 13-6 18 5/8 vs. Transylvania
16 Stevenson 12-7 NR 5/8 at No. 14 Franklin & Marshall
17 Cortland 14-4 20 5/8 at No. 13 Union
18 St. John Fisher 16-2 NR 5/8 at No. 12 Gettysburg
19 Stevens 16-3 11 Season complete
20 DeSales 17-1 NR 5/8 at No. 5 Cabrini
Also considered (alphabetical order): Bates, Christopher Newport, Dickinson, Middlebury, Rhodes, RPI, St. Lawrence, Western New England 






Hot

Ursinus (+7)

The Centennial Conference’s Cinderella story carries into the NCAA tournament, as Ursinus knocked off Gettysburg 10-8 in Saturday’s championship game. After slipping up late in the season against Haverford and Dickinson, the Bears have rebounded. They now await an NCAA tournament game against Springfield, winner of the NEWMAC.

Washington and Lee (+3)

There’s little stopping these Generals right now, as they’re undefeated in 11 straight and captured their 11th ODAC championship on Sunday by beating Lynchburg 8-7. Washington and Lee is favored when facing USA South champions Piedmont on Wednesday, especially with senior attackman A.J. Witherell having another stellar campaign. The All-American has 308 points for his career.

Lynchburg (+3)

While the Hornets fell to Washington and Lee in the ODAC title game, they enter an NCAA tournament game against Transylvania at 13-6 overall. All of those losses have come against top-15 opponents, with four by one goal. Lynchburg is right in every game.

Not 

Stevens (-8)

With a 13-6 loss to St. John Fisher in the Empire 8 title game, the Ducks miss out on the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2017. With that, the career of attackman Max Bailey comes to a close. In the aforementioned loss, he became the 13th player in NCAA history (across all divisions) to reach 200 career assists.

Gettysburg (-4)

Despite losing to Ursinus in the Centennial Conference championship game, the Bullets get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament on account of strength of schedule. They’ll be favored when facing St. John Fisher, though nothing is given at this time of year.

New

Stevenson

A 1-6 start is in the rearview for the Mustang Classic hosts, as they won their seventh straight MAC Commonwealth title on Saturday with a 23-4 win over Lycoming. The Mustangs now await Franklin & Marshall, but are peaking when it matters most. Junior midfielder Ethan Christensen leads the way with 78 points and 190 for his career.

St. John Fisher

The Cardinals are in the NCAA tournament after winning the Empire 8 conference for the first time in program history. A 13-6 victory over Stevens did the trick, as sophomore attackman Nicholas Miller is now at 106 points on the year. 

DeSales

The Bulldogs are in the NCAA tournament after winning their first-ever MAC Freedom championship. A 14-13 win over Eastern sealed the deal, avenging a 10-7 loss to the Eagles to close the regular season that ended DeSale’s bid for an undefeated season. At 17-1, DeSales has one of the top D-III long-stick midfielders in Frank Krug.

Out

Dickinson

The Red Devils are out of the NCAA tournament after a 15-13 defeat to Gettysburg in the Centennial Conference semifinals made it six losses on the year. Dickinson made the national quarterfinals last year, so it’s a setback for head coach Dave Webster’s program. The career of long-stick midfielder Nate Usich, an All-American, now comes to a close.

RPI

The Engineers had a solid first season under new head coach Scott Hackett-Dalgliesh, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. A season-ending loss to Union in the Liberty League semifinals will now act as motivation for 2020.

Bates

The Bobcats knew they were a bubble team heading into Selection Sunday, with long odds reinforced by a 23-9 loss to Amherst in the NESCAC quarterfinals. Bates now misses the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, though returns All-American attackman Matt Chlastawa for one more season.

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