The 2023 college lacrosse season has arrived
The GIST: Up and at ’em, lacrosse fans! Time to tap into your inner Regina George, because lacrosse, aka lax, season is upon us. The men took the field last weekend, and the women open their 2023 campaigns today — here’s the how, who and when, so you’re not dusty.
How it works: There are 127 women’s and 75 men’s DI teams all vying for a shot at the natty. While all 18 men’s tournament squads are selected by committee, only 14 of the 29-team women’s tourney field are chosen this way — the other 15 earn their spots by winning their respective conferences.
- For both the gals and the fellas, after three single-elimination rounds, the final four teams will battle for confetti showers and championship glory over the last weekend in May.
- Individually, athletes also compete for the Tewaaraton Award (pronounced teh-WAR-uh-ton), which recognizes the nation’s top men’s and women’s players. Named for the Mohawk word for lacrosse, the award honors the sport’s Indigenous roots.
The gals: The reigning champs and current No. 1 UNC Tar Heels have only one loss in the last two years, dropping to the Boston College (BC) Eagles in the 2021 semifinals. They must’ve put BC in their burn book, though, because UNC bested the Eagles in last year’s title game. And, watch out, the Heels are returning a ton of talent from that championship team.
- Who’s poised to challenge the throne? Although they lost double-Tewaaraton winner Charlotte North, BC’s roster is stacked. But don’t count out No. 2 Maryland — the lax dynasty boasts a strong veteran lineup.
The guys: Maryland’s top-ranked fellas comprise the other half of that Terrapin empire. With one ranked dub already in their 2023 record, the reigning champs hope to repeat last year’s undefeated season, and grad defenseman Brett Makar is eyeing the program’s third-straight Tewaaraton.
- Hot on the Terrapins’ tails is No. 2 Virginia, another legendary program with a staggering nine preseason All-Americans this year. Their March 18th home game vs. the Terps can’t come soon enough.
What to watch: The top men’s teams face easy foes this weekend, but the UNC women are already in high gear. See if the Heels are so fetch in their home opener against No. 12 James Madison at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN+.