April 3, 2014

Women's DII Notes: Midseason Bracket Look

by Mark Macyk | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

With LIU Post and Adelphi playing like they'll run the table, will New Haven have to settle for a No. 3 seed? (Greg Wall)

In Division II women’s lacrosse, the big question in the North Region is which one of two teams separated by 10 miles on Long Island will be the No. 1 seed. In the South Region, the No. 1 seed is settled, but the remaining seeds will be played out on fields from the Rocky Mountains to Philadelphia to South Florida and everywhere in between.

Who will those teams be? It's time for some midseason Bracketology.

But first, a reminder that Division II selection criteria is based around a few factors that the committee cannot really stray from. It’s pretty straightforward and a plus is that it doesn’t allow any subjectivity from the committee. Of course, to teams that miss out, a negative is that it doesn’t allow any subjectivity from the committee.

The North Region

Let's get the easier stuff out of the way first.

If LIU Post (11-0) and Adelphi (10-0) both win out, which seems very likely, the No. 1 seed will likely go to Adelphi, despite the fact that the Pioneers have topped the human polls all season long. The committee must function like a computer, which cannot understand complex human elements like love and Jackie Sileo. All they can see is that the Northeast 10 is stronger top to bottom (more on that in a moment) and and in this scenario Adelphi would have beaten many of those teams twice. So, by virtue of its league schedule, Adelphi would be No. 1 and LIU Post No. 2.

After that, the selections could become very easy or extremely difficult. Undefeated New Haven (9-0) looks like the obvious choice at No. 3 after slipping by Le Moyne on Wednesday, but things could change if the Chargers are tripped up by Saint Anselm this weekend, or any of the pesky teams lurking at the bottom of the NE-10 schedule. The Chargers still have games against Adelphi, LIU Post and the NE-10 tournament to worry about, but as of now they are clearly in.

The fourth seed may well be decided on April 19, when undefeated Saint Anselm (8-0) heads to Le Moyne (7-2). The Hawks, who still have three 2013 playoff teams remaining on the their schedule, plus New Haven, can put themselves in even better position this weekend if they can win at New Haven this weekend. 

A stumble from Saint Anselm will open the door for Le Moyne, which has reached the postseason every year since joining Division II in 2011. In the interest of extrapolating, since the Dolphins beat Saint Anselm by one at the end of last season and are the more experienced postseason tea, the Dolphins current edge for the fourth seed.

Stonehill (5-4) is fighting an uphill battle after losing to New Haven and Adelphi, but can jump right back into the race with wins over Le Moyne (this weekend) or LIU Post (next weekend). Dowling (7-3) is all but officially out of the running after losing to LIU Post on Wednesday.

Four For Now: Adelphi, LIU Post, New Haven, Le Moyne.

Can change things this weekend: Saint Anselm, Stonehill.

The South Region

Limestone (10-0) is locked into the No. 1 seed. The Saints still have Pfeiffer and Lindenwood on the slate, but even a loss in one of those games is probably not enough to drop them from the top spot.

After Limestone it gets tricky. Right now the No. 2 seed is Florida Southern (11-1), the Mocs have only lost to Limestone, and have wins over IUP and Queens. Lindenwood looms on Friday with a chance to unseat FSC, and upset-minded local rival Rollins, waits in the season finale, but if the Mocs defeat Lindenwood it will be tough to knock them from the No. 2 spot.

If Lindenwood (9-2) defeats Florida Southern this weekend, the Lions would vault into the No. 2 spot. Things get murky beyond that, because the PSAC is so unpredictable. If the Lions lose to Florida Southern (though they would have another shot at a top team when they visit Limestone on May 3) the question would become whether Lindenwood’s head-to-head win over Indiana (Pa.) is enough to outweight the PSAC’s strength of schedule.

At least one playoff spot is going to the best team in the PSAC, which is currently IUP (7-2). All the Crimson Hawks need to do to guarantee that spot is not get tripped up by their brutal PSAC schedule and then hold on and win the PSAC tournament. No sweat. If Lock Haven (6-2), can run the PSAC table and win the tournament, the Bald Eagles should be in, likely at the expense of of Lindenwood or IUP.

Pfeiffer (8-2) has the best shot of the remaining teams, thanks largely to their win over Lindenwood. It will likely come down to whether the Falcons good wins (Bloomsburg, Lindenwood) are enough to outweigh its loss to Queens. Getting a chance to play the cancelled game against Rollins would be a big help. Of course, if they can beat Limestone in Conference Carolinas play, the Falcons will probably be back in

Queens (8-4), Regis (6-3) and Philadelphia (7-1) have to win out and hope the PSAC teams cannibalize each other. Mercyhurst (8-1), West Chester (6-2) and Bloomsburg (6-3) need to pull off a few more PSAC upsets and can reach the postseason with a good PSAC tournament run. Rollins (7-4) is pretty much out, but lurks as a potential spoiler.

Four for now: Limestone, Florida Southern, Lindenwood, Indiana (Pa.)

Looming: Pfeiffer.

Need to run the PSAC table: Lock Haven, Mercyhurst, Bloomsburg, West Chester

Need the PSAC to destroy each other: Queens, Rollins, Philadelphia.

Game Balls

 

Becca Himes, Mercyhurst: One game after scoring one goal and one assist in the Lakers overtime victory over West Chester, the junior from Perry Hall (Md.) High School racked up six goals and four assists in a 17-11 victory over Seton Hill on Tuesday.

Nicole McKee, New Haven: McKee was the key in New Haven’s 11-10 upset of Le Moyne on Wednesday, delivering the winning goal with 19 seconds remaining in regulation. The senior out of MacArthur (N.Y.) High School scored the last two goals for the Chargers, who matched their best start ever with the victory.

Jackie Sileo, LIU Post: The senior from Wantagh, N.Y., stands alone at the top of the NCAA mountain. Sileo paired four goals with four assists in a 14-9 victory over archrival Dowling on Wednesday afternoon, to give her 505 career points. That’s five more than the previous record, set by Ashley Hansbury of Division III Curry.


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