Two Pac-12 Women's Lacrosse teams headed to NCAA Tournament
SAN FRANCISCO - Two Pac-12 teams earned bids to the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament in its inaugural season, the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Selection Committee announced today with the release of the 27-team field. STANFORD earned the league’s automatic bid, while COLORADO earned an at-large bid.
Stanford (8-2, 15-4) is the Conference’s automatic qualifier and will play Virginia (4-3, 9-9) in Harrisonburg, Va. on Friday, May 11. The winner of that matchup will play on Sunday, May 13 against host third-seeded James Madison (6-0, 16-1). The Cardinal makes its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2016. Stanford was crowned the 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Champion at the first-ever Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament in Boulder, Colo., after upsetting No. 1-seed and regular-season champion Colorado in the championship game, 15-6. Stanford tops the Conference stats in eight categories, including shots per game (35.32) and shots on goal per game (26.21), placing them sixth and seventh, respectively, in the NCAA stats. The Cardinal look to senior Kelsey Murray, the Pac-12 Attacker of the Year and Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Ali Baiocco, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, to lead them in the postseason.
Colorado receives an at-large bid to the tournament, playing Jacksonville (5-0, 16-3) in Gainesville, Flo. on Friday, May 11. The winner will play host and No. 6-seeded Florida (9-0, 16-3) on Sunday, May 13. The Buffs advance to the tournament for the second-straight year after earning an at-large bid in 2017. CU was crowned the regular season champion after posting an impressive 9-1 conference record and 13-5 overall record. Colorado advanced to the championship game at the Pac-12 Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, but was bested by Stanford. The Buffs are led by Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Sarah Brown and All-Pac-12 first team member Darby Keirnan.
Prior to this year, CALIFORNIA, Colorado, OREGON, Stanford and USC were members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). ARIZONA STATE entered its first season as a varsity program this year, allowing for women’s lacrosse to become a Pac-12 sponsored sport.
In 2017, USC won the MPSF regular season and tournament title to advance to the NCAA Tournament as the automatic qualifier. Colorado joined USC in the tournament, but lost in the first round to Massachusetts. The Trojans advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament, which is farther than any west coast lacrosse program had done before. USC fell short to Boston College, ending its postseason run.
The first round of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament begins on May 11 at various campus sites with the top six seeded teams receiving first round byes.
The 2018 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be held at Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. Two, two-team single elimination semifinals games will be held Friday, May 25. The two winning teams will advance and compete in the single elimination National Championship game which will take place Sunday, May 27.
Harrisonburg, Va. • Friday, May 11
Stanford vs. Virginia
Gainesville, Flo. • Friday, May 11
Colorado vs. Jacksonville
Harrisonburg, Va. • Sunday, May 13
Stanford/Virginia vs. No. 3 James Madison
Gainesville, Flo. • Sunday, May 13
Colorado/Jacksonville vs. No. 6 Florida