There was something of a state of upheaval in the women’s ranks when Lindenwood made the jump to the NCAA. A perennial powerhouse that had won four titles in five years (making the final in six straight) had moved on and the Women’s DI ranks were open for business.
In the years that followed Lindenwood’s departure there have been three different National Champions with five different teams playing in the final. However, one of those five teams may just be building a dynasty of their own.
After dropping the 2011-12 title to Northeastern, Minnesota returned and captured the 2012-13 title, dispatching Liberty in the process.
The eight representatives at each year’s National Tournament don’t change very often as there appears to be a well-established pecking order throughout DI. While the upper echelon may be easy to pencil in, the final few spots are by no means a guarantee and there may just be a few new faces making their National Tournament debut this year.
Grand Valley, Ohio State and Miami (OH) are each jockeying for position in the postseason and I feel that this is the year one of the three will break through. While there are no guarantees as to who will find themselves playing for the title, it seems like the time that a new face crashes the party.
Much like in DI, the DII women have recently see a perennial power diminished. After a run of dominance, Rainy River Community College hasn’t been heard from the past two years as a handful of teams have seen success at the national level.
West Chester ran the table in 2012-13 and there isn’t any reason to think that they can’t repeat their feat this season. There are more than a few viable candidates to capture the title this year but until proven otherwise, West Chester probably remains the favorite to repeat as National Champs.
Women’s DI picks:
Robert Morris (IL)
Michigan Women’s DII picks:
North Dakota State
Rainy River CC
Delaware ACHA Ice Chips is a recurring blog geared towards various on and off-ice topics from around the nation and will work in unison with the ACHA’s social media platforms.