Women’s D-III picks Jan. 31: Ranked teams square off with big rewards on the line

Bre Simon of Hamline (Hamline Athletics)
Bre Simon will lead Hamline against Gustavus Adolphus this weekend (Hamline Athletics)

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1

No. 5 Gustavus Adolphus versus No. 9 Hamline (home-and-home)
This is the marquee series of the weekend, and has a lot of ramifications for the conference standings, in which the Gusties lead the Pipers by a single point, and the possibility of advancing to the NCAA tournament. It’s hard to do anything but pick the home team in each game. Hamline 2-1, Gustavus Adolphus 2-1

No. 2 Middlebury at Hamilton
Hamilton is a tough place to play, and the Continentals are a dangerous team, but I have to favor the Panthers to just get the sweep. Middlebury 2-1, 2-1

Saturday, Feb. 1

No. 4 Elmira at Neumann
Neumann is one of the better teams in the UCHC, but Elmira has too much depth and should be able to get the win, as long as the Soaring Eagles don’t look ahead to Sunday’s game. Elmira 4-2

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 1-2

Lake Forest at No. 6 Adrian
A big series between the top two teams in the NCHA. Lake Forest has a good record in the conference, but hasn’t done so well against ranked teams. I think the Bulldogs are going to sweep. Adrian 4-2, 3-2

Sunday, Feb. 2

No. 4 Elmira at Manhattanville
This is a difficult weekend for the Soaring Eagles. Manhattanville sits atop the UCHC standings with an 8-0-1 record, but Elmira has played a tougher schedule and has depth. Elmira 3-1

Tuesday, Feb. 4

No. 2 Middlebury at No. 7 Norwich
Norwich hasn’t beaten a ranked team yet this year in four attempts. The Cadets will give it their all, but the Panthers are so good defensively. Middlebury 3-2