The 2018 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament will start this week with 27 teams, but without the Notre Dame program.
The Irish, who finished 10-9, were excluded for the first time since 2011.
Many of the teams Notre Dame played this year did make the tournament, including:
- High Point, which hosted Notre Dame on March 14 and beat the Irish, 13-7.
- Syracuse, which lost to the Irish in an overtime game played March 24 at Arlotta Stadium. The final was 11-10.
- Boston College, which beat Notre Dame twice. The Eagles escaped the Loftus Sports Center with a 13-11 win in the season opener on Feb. 10, and then dismantled the Irish, 17-7, in the semifinals of the ACC tournament on April 27.
- Virginia, which spoiled Notre Dame’s St. Patrick’s Day with a 17-10 win at Arlotta.
- Jacksonville, who finished with a 16-3 record, but lost to the Irish at home on Feb. 17, 17-6.
- Northwestern, who handled the Irish easily during an April 8 game in Evanston. The final was 20-10.
- Virginia Tech, who held the Irish to their lowest offensive output of the season in a 9-6 win on March 11 in Blacksburg.
- North Carolina, who edged the Irish 13-12 during a March 31 game in Chapel Hill.
On paper, the biggest head scratcher would appear to be Syracuse, since they finished 1-7 in the ACC and 9-9 overall. They lost to the Irish. But Nunes Magician has a good writeup of why the Orange deserved inclusion in the tournament, based on some awesome wins against Florida, Loyola and Princeton.
The late-season loss to the Alabany Great Danes, who ended the season 50th in the RPI, ultimately doomed the Irish’s already thin postseason chances.