BALTIMORE, May 4, 2015 — The 15th annual US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) National Championships, presented by Harrow Sports, is back in Virginia Beach for the second straight year, with games beginning Wednesday at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex & Stadium.
The WCLA is comprised of over 200 college club teams from coast-to-coast that compete under the US Lacrosse umbrella. From these, the most deserving Division I and Division II club teams qualify for the season-ending national championships, conducted by US Lacrosse each spring.
The 16-team Division I championship begins on Wednesday, while the 12-team Division II championship starts Thursday. The event concludes with championship games for both divisions on Saturday afternoon. Complete coverage of the event, including game blogs and updates, will be provided on www.laxmagazine.com.
For the first time, Santa Clara University is the No. 1 seed in the Division I championship, although the Broncos are not strangers to the event. Santa Clara is making its eighth straight and 11th overall appearance in the championship, and brings a perfect 13-0 season record to Virginia Beach. That mark includes a 13-8 win over UCLA in the championship game of the Western Women’s Lacrosse League (WWLL) tournament in April. Santa Clara’s best showing came in 2004, when the Broncos finished as national runner-up. Santa Clara finished fifth in last year’s championship.
Ten members of this year’s Division I field, including each of the top eight seeds, are making a return trip to Virginia Beach, having also qualified for last year’s championship. In addition to Santa Clara, they include No. 2 seed Michigan, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Pittsburgh, No. 7 Colorado, No. 8 Virginia Tech, No. 11 Delaware and No. 13 Towson.
In the Division II bracket, Duke University earned the top seed and brings an unblemished 12-0 overall record into the WCLA National Championship. The Blue Devils won the Mid Atlantic Women’s Lacrosse League (MAWLL) Division II title in April with a 19-7 win over Loyola University Maryland, which earned the number six seed in this year’s championship. Duke, which finished fourth last year, is making its third straight appearance in the tournament. The Blue Devils are seeking their first national title.
Six of the top seven seeds in this year’s Division II field were also participants in last year’s championship: No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Utah, No. 3 Denver, No. 4 Oakland, No. 6 Loyola and No. 7 St. Benedict. Oakland is the only team to have appeared in all six Division II championships.
The Division I and Division II formats are slightly different due to the variance in the number of teams. The Division I format calls for a traditional single-elimination bracket to determine the champion. Following each team’s first loss, it moves into the consolation bracket to determine its final placement. In Division II, the teams are arranged into four pods of three teams each. A round-robin within each pod determines the qualifier that advances into the semifinal round. Single-elimination is utilized in the semifinals and final.
WCLA Division I First Round Games – Wednesday, May 6
11 am – No. 1 Santa Clara vs. No. 16 Maryland Club
11 am – No. 8 Virginia Tech Club vs. No. 9 Cal Poly
11 am – No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 12 Penn State Club
11 am – No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Towson Club
2 pm – No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Minnesota
2 pm – No. 6 Pittsburgh vs. No. 11 Delaware Club
2 pm – No. 7 Colorado Club vs. No. 10 Massachusetts Club
2 pm – No. 2 Michigan Club vs. No. 15 San Diego State Club
WCLA Division II Pool Play Groupings – Thursday, May 7
Pod A – No. 1 Duke Club, No. 8 Concordia (Ca.), No. 12 Iowa State
Pod B – No. 4 Oakland, No. 5 Air Force, No. 9 Cal State San Marcos
Pod C – No. 3 Denver, No. 6 Loyola Maryland Club, No. 10 St. Thomas
Pod D – No. 2 Utah, No. 7 St. Benedict, No. 11 Vermont Club
LaxMagazine.com, an official website of US Lacrosse, will have complete coverage of the championships all week – including live blogs, stories and scores, updated game schedules, brackets and photo galleries. Check it often to stay up to date with the latest info.
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing sport. US Lacrosse has more than 450,000 members in 67 regional chapters across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport. Bookmark, like and follow US Lacrosse at uslacrosse.org, fb.com/uslacrosse and @uslacrosse, respectively.