Midseason Questions for Division II Women
While there haven't been any major surprises through the first half of the season, there have been some developments worth noting.
The primary question that hung over the Division II women's
lacrosse ranks at the start of the year -- can anyone touch Adelphi
-- is still in place. But there are a few other questions that we
1) Is Stonehill a legitimate contender again in the NE-10? The Skyhawks have been impressive thus far, rolling to a 7-0 start and holding a number six ranking in this week's IWLCA national poll. Predictably, their only two close games thus far have been against conference rival Merrimack and non-conference Rollins. Coach Katie Conover's squad, which pushed Adelphi into overtime in last year's conference final, should be 10-0 when they visit the Panthers on April 9.
2) Can Rollins challenge Limestone for supremacy in the South? The Tars compete as an independent, and due to their location, play a number of early-season home games against Northern visitors. They're currently 7-2, with losses to Adelphi and Stonehill. The next big test for Dennis Short's team will be on Friday with a visit to No. 2 ranked Lock Haven. Games at West Chester and Limestone at the end of the season may impact the postseason picture.
3) Is Le Moyne the second-best team in the division? The Dolphins (7-1) are competing in their first season at Division II after moving down from the Division I independent ranks and provided Adelphi with its only real challenge this season. The teams were tied at 7-7 with 10 minutes remaining before Adelphi broke away for the 11-9 victory on March 23. Eight of Le Moyne's nine remaining games are in conference, with another meeting against Adelphi in the NE-10 Tournament possibly looming.
4) Will C.W. Post regain its 2010 stature? The Pioneers (3-1) appear to be off to a slow start and have yet to re-capture the form that led to a national runner-up finish in 2010. CWP yielded 10 second-half goals in its 17-11 home loss to No. 2 Lock Haven on March 20. Perhaps of more concern, the Pioneers allowed 16 goals in their eight-goal victory over unranked Southern New Hampshire a week earlier. With only four games played to date, the jury is still out on Meghan McNamara's team, although a three-game stretch in mid-April against Stonehill, West Chester and Adelphi should answer many of the questions.
5) Can anyone touch Adelphi? We finish in the same place where we started. Aside from the challenge at Le Moyne (a game played in snowy conditions), the two-time defending champions have been on cruise control thus far. The offense appears even stronger than last year's, and the fact that Adelphi (6-0) will host the championship weekend on its campus must serve as a strong motivator to avoid getting complacent down the stretch.