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The Road to the Big Dance
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 05/11/2006

May 11, 2006

Stanford, Calif. - The Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship is a 16-team, single-elimination tournament. In this year's championship, eight conference automatic bids were awarded, and eight teams were selected at large.

This year Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Stanford, Cornell, Notre Dame, Dartmouth and Virginia were awarded at large bids.

Automatic Qualification
Conferences granted automatic qualification for this year's championship were the America East Conference (Boston University), American Lacrosse Conference (Northwestern), Atlantic 10 Conference (Richmond), Big East Conference (Georgetown), Colonial Athletic Association (James Madison), Ivy Group (Princeton) and the Northeast Conference (Monmouth). Stanford's conference, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, does not yet qualify for an automatic bid.

The final automatic entrant is determined by a play-in process, which was implemented to provide increased access to the championship. Play-in conferences are determined by the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Committee using the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) from the most recent season. Conferences are notified of the status (i.e. automatic qualifier or play-in team) approximately nine months before the championship. Play-in pairings are based on the conference's respective rank. This year the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the Patriot League played for a bid. In that match, Holy Cross defeated La Moyne 14-8.

At-Large Selection Criteria

The Division I Women's Lacrosse Committee evaluates teams by considering the following primary factors (in no specific order):
1. Rating Percentage Index
2. Overall winning percentage (difference must be five percent or greater to be considered significant)
3. Strength of schedule (based on the 10 highest-rated teams on an institution's schedule)
4. Head-to-head competition
5. Wins against common opponents
6. Eligibility/availability of student-athletes

The above criteria are used as primary guidelines for selection. In the event the analysis of the primary criteria does not result in a decision by the committee, the following secondary criteria are evaluated (in no specific order):
7. Significant wins and losses
8. Late-season performance

2006 NCAA Championship Field Breakdown

By Region:

West (1): Stanford
Midwest (2): Northwestern, Notre Dame
Northeast (4): Boston University, Cornell, Dartmouth, Holy Cross
Mid-Atlantic (2): Monmouth, Princeton
South (7): Duke, Georgetown, James Madison, Maryland, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia

By Conference:

America East (1): Boston University
American Lacrosse (1): Northwestern
Atlantic 10 (1): Richmond
Atlantic Coast (4): Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia
Big East (2): Georgetown, Notre Dame
Colonial Athletic (1): James Madison
Ivy League (3): Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell
Mountain Pacific (1): Stanford
Northeast (1): Monmouth
Patriot League (1): Holy Cross

Stanford meets Northwestern in the first round of the championships on Sunday. First draw is scheduled for 2 p.m. (CT) at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill.



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