The DII women's lacrosse championship semifinals are set — and what an intriguing field of four we have. We have two teams that have been part of two of the more historic championship game runs in the history of the tournament. On the other hand, we have two newbies, as Pace and Grand Valley State look to extend their historic seasons.
You can watch both semifinals games right here on NCAA.com on May 19. Here's a look at both matchups in the 2023 DII women's lacrosse semifinals.
FOLLOW THE TOURNEY: NCAA lacrosse tourney hub | Bracket
No. 4 Grand Valley State vs. No. 1 West Chester 4 p.m. ET on May 19 (WATCH)
It has been a historical couple of years for the Lakers. One year after making program history and winning their first DII women’s lacrosse championship game, the Lakers are back at it. This year, they avenged last year’s Midwest regional loss to UIndy and advanced to the first semifinals in GVSU history. In fact, they pulled off two upsets to reach the semis, knocking off No. 1 seeded Regis 15-11 in the first round to go along with that UIndy win. Molly Bursinger and Maddy Champagne lead the way for the offense. Each has at least 20 assists and 59 goals. This season, there has been a three-headed monster tending to goal for the Lakers — Sarah Krause, Audrey Maloney, and Kaylyn Cater — and the trio has posted a combined .394 save percentage.
Opposite the Lakers is West Chester, a program you could say has reached the semis before. Well, that would actually be an understatement. The Golden Rams reached the championship match in nine of the first 12 years of the tournament’s inception in 2001, totaling two national titles and eight national runner-up campaigns in the tournament’s brief 22-year history. A simple look at the stats shows that West Chester has quite the advantage in both scoring and defense, which has helped the undefeated run so far. Jessica Gorr holds things down in the net, starting all 21 games and posting a .548 save percentage. Offensively, Hannah Stanislawczyk has had an incredible season with 86 goals scored, including at least four in each of her past four games. Keri Barnett is also coming in hot, scoring six goals in the tourney opener, the fourth time in her past six games she’s scored at least five goals.
|Stats||Grand Valley State||West Chester|
|Shots on goal %||.771||.789|
BRACKETOLOGY: Follow the interactive bracket
No. 3 Pace vs. No. 2 Florida Southern, 7:30 p.m. on May 19 (WATCH)
The Mocs are not far removed from a three-year run to the championship game, winning It all in 2016 and finishing as national runner-up in both 2017 and 2018. This team is going to allow goals, coming into semifinals’ weekend with the highest scoring defense remaining, but also puts scores a ton, averaging just about 18 points per game. Jackie Stoller leads the charge with 65 goals, but there are plenty of scorers to go around as Hailey Daleo, Madison Tare, Giana Murphy, and Lizzy Lynch have all score at least 40 goals on the season. Murphy has been particularly hot of late with eight goals in the two games of the tournament thus far.
Like Grand Valley State, Pace is staring down history, looking for its first trip to the championship game. Not only did Pace make its first DII women’s lacrosse championship appearance ever this year, the Setters did so as the No. 1 seed in the East Region. Much of the stats between these two squads are similar, aside from one distinct area: defense. Samantha Tanguay has done most of the work in net this year for Pace, posting both tourney wins and making five saves in the second-round victory. Like their opponents, the Setters have five goal scorers with at least 43 this year. Emma Rafferty leads the way with 78, but Aleya Corretjer is making the most of her first tournament appearance, opening things up with a six-goal, three-assist performance. She is one of the top assist getters in DII women’s lacrosse.
|Shots on goal %||.777||.812|