It's almost time for the 2019 DII men's and women's lacrosse championship tournaments. Let's take a look at four programs that have a chance to send both their men's and women's teams to the national semifinals.
Le Moyne — Men’s record: 13-2 | Women’s record: 17-0
The Dolphins are currently one of two programs that sits in the top 3 of both the men’s and women’s national rankings. Both are in prime positions to make deep runs in their postseason tournaments.
It has been more than a year since the women’s top-ranked team has lost. That loss came to the Adelphi Panthers on April 25, 2018, and was avenged not once, but twice last year, the first coming in the NE10 championship game. The Lady Dolphins are dangerous on both sides of the ball, with the third-best scoring margin in DII women’s lacrosse at 11.18. While the Dolphins don’t have anyone in the top 10 in points, they do have plenty of dangerous weapons with Bryanna Fazio, Sidney Hall, Erin McMullen, and Nicole Delaney all with 50 or more points.
The men are currently No. 3 in DII lacrosse, riding a seven-game winning streak into the NE10 tournament. Last season the men’s team was bounced in the first game of both their conference and the NCAA tournament and are looking for better results in 2019. Like the women, this team makes its living on balance, with the second-best scoring margin in DII at 8.40. No one has allowed fewer goals than the Dolphins this year, so defense is a strength, which is big this time of year.
Adelphi — Men’s record: 15-1 | Women’s record: 15-2
The No. 2-ranked men’s team is on a three-game winning streak heading into the NE10 tournament. The Panthers have just one loss on the season, but it’s at the hands of Le Moyne. There is no shortage of firepower on this offense, as Nicholas Racalbuto (55 goals), Ian Kirby (38 goals), and John Acridiacono (32 goals) can all score at any given moment. Adelphi is right behind Le Moyne in DII in scoring margin (7.75) as well, showing they, too, have a balanced attack.
The women’s team bounced back from a loss to No. 1 Le Moyne in a battle of top-ranked teams, making Adelphi the second of two programs ranked in the top three. Alison Johnson and Kole Pollock give the Panthers a potent 1-2 punch. Johnson is second in DII with 61 assists, and Pollock has put in a team-high 60 goals. Both the Panthers programs will have to navigate their way through Le Moyne, but they have just as much a shot to reach the semifinals as anyone.
Indianapolis — Men’s record: 14-1 | Women’s record: 16-1
The women’s team has won 14 in a row since a March 2 loss to Le Moyne (have you started to see a pattern here?) and are on absolute fire. On paper, it seems like an impossible task to knock this team off. They lead DII women’s lacrosse in goals per game (21.35) and scoring defense (3.94 goals allowed per game). The Greyhounds goals per game mark is on target to break the single-season record of 21.20 set by Adelphi in 2011. UIndy isn’t as battle-tested as some of its other ranked foes, with only two matches against ranked opponents this season, but it is certainly a fun team to watch.
The men’s team is also red hot, winners of nine in a row and their second-consecutive GLVC championship. Unlike the women’s squad, these Greyhounds have a deep resume, going 5-1 against ranked opponents with a date with No. 1 Limestone remaining on the schedule. The men’s team won’t blow you off the grid with goals like their women counterparts, but they are muscled by a strong defense. The GLVC doesn’t have a strong history of making deep runs in the NCAA tournament yet, but UIndy hopes to change that with two strong programs in 2019.
Limestone— Men’s record: 17-0 | Women’s record: 18-2
The Saints’ men bounced back from a rare down season and are the last remaining undefeated team in the top 20. Prior to missing the tournament last season, Limestone made the championship game every year between 2014 and 2017, winning three times. The men’s team has the top scoring offense in DII and paired with the fifth-ranked scoring defense, the Saints also lead DII in scoring margin (10.00). Limestone looks poised for another run.
The women’s team returned to the NCAA tournament last season after a three-year hiatus. Courtney Lafler is having a remarkable season. She's the only player in DII women’s lacrosse with 100 goals this season and just the second in history. She’s just five off the all-time record, so a couple of wins in the DII tournament would make it attainable. The women’s team has struggled against ranked opponents (1-2), but this team is without question the cream of the Conference Carolinas crop.
Others to watch: Merrimack, Pace, Saint Leo, Tampa, Mercyhurst, LIU Post, Queens (NC)