UF lacrosse team ranked No. 1
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.
The Florida lacrosse is ranked No. 1 in the IWLCA coaches’ poll, receiving all 20 first-place votes.
Additionally, UF is ranked No. 1 in the Inside Lacrosse/deBeer Media poll and received the No 1 overall seed for the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Gators unseated defending national champion Northwestern, which had been ranked No. 1 in every poll this season, after defeating the Wildcats for the second time this season in the ALC Championship game Saturday.
The lacrosse team is the fastest Florida program to reach No. 1 in the polls, surpassing the soccer team’s top ranking in the final poll of 1998, its fourth season, after the Gators won the ’98 NCAA Championship.
Florida is the first new women’s lacrosse team to be ranked No. 1 since Northwestern first achieved the top spot in the poll on March 21, 2005, during NU’s fourth season as a reinstated program. The Gators, who became the highest-ranked second-year program in poll history last season, rising to No. 2 in the nation after defeating the Wildcats for the first time, join North Carolina as the only third-year programs ever to achieve No. 1 status. UNC, established in 1996, first earned the No. 1 ranking on Mar. 9, 1998, staying at the top spot for six weeks before finishing the season at No. 2.
The Tar Heels received the No. 2 seed in the 1998 NCAA Tournament, then a field of 12, and advanced the furthest to date of a third-year program, falling to the eventual National Champion Terrapins, 14-9, in the national semifinals. The Gators became the youngest program in history to capture the top seed for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night, and hope to top UNC’s ’98 Final Four appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The Gators will start their NCAA Tournament journey Saturday, when they host the Albany Great Danes in the first round. Opening draw at Dizney Stadium is set for 1 p.m.