D-II Women's Rewind: Recapping the Regional Championships of the NCAA Tournament

PHOTO BY ANDREW PAWLING / QUEENS ATHLETICS

Queens will play East Stroudsburg in the semifinals this weekend.


Queens, Roberts Wesleyan, Lindenwood and East Stroudsburg each claimed a spot in the NCAA Division II women’s national semifinals in Salem, Va., with regional championship wins on Sunday. The NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Committee reseeded the four teams and announced Friday’s semifinal matchups:

No. 1 Queens (13-1) vs. No. 4 East Stroudsburg (12-3), 4 p.m.
No. 2 Lindenwood (15-1) vs. No. 3 Roberts Wesleyan (14-1), 7 p.m.

Regardless of who wins the title, Division II will be crowning a first-time champion in 2021. But before looking ahead to championship weekend, let’s take a closer look at the results from Friday’s and Sunday’s first- and second-round games.

Best Game
Limestone 9, Mount Olive 8 (OT)

Julia Foster scored unassisted on the first possession in overtime to lift Limestone to victory over Mt. Olive in Friday’s first round in Lakeland, Fla. The Saints scored the final three goals over the last 13 minutes of regulation to force the overtime and kept Mt. Olive scoreless during the last 19 minutes of the game to facilitate their comeback.

Limestone’s rally dampened one of the feel-good stories of this year’s tournament, which saw Mount Olive earn its first-ever NCAA tournament berth just one year after a tragic vehicular accident claimed the lives of three members of the team.







Biggest Surprise

No contest. Literally.

While nothing related to the global pandemic should come as a surprise anymore, the fact that Friday’s first-round game in the East Region between No. 2 Mercy and No. 3 Bentley was canceled due to COVID protocols was certainly unexpected. It was simply the latest twist in a college lacrosse season defined by stringent health standards, unpredictable pauses in play, postponed games and constant rescheduling.

The official announcement from the NCAA provided only limited information but noted that the Division II Women’s Lacrosse Committee had determined that Mercy would be unable to participate in the championship and that the game had been declared a “no-contest,” with Bentley advancing to the second round.

Best Individual Performance

On a team loaded with offensive talent, it’s hard to pinpoint one player, but Lindenwood’s senior midfielder Lexy Biller was certainly a standout in Sunday’s 17-13 win over No. 1 UIndy. Biller tallied three goals and one assist for the Lions, but also collected a game-high nine draw controls to help Lindenwood control critical possessions throughout the game. Biller’s work at both ends of the field is nothing new, as she leads the Lions in both goals (39) and draw controls (106) this season.

By the Numbers

4

Sunday’s Atlantic Region final featured the fourth meeting of the year between PSAC rivals West Chester and East Stroudsburg. Due to the regional format of the Division II tournament, league rivals who have seen each other multiple times during the conference season must often do battle once again in the NCAA postseason. The difficult challenge for WCU, which was the nation’s last undefeated team, was having to beat a top 10 ESU team for the fourth time this spring. The odds just weren’t in their favor, which proved to be the case as East Stroudsburg handed WCU its first and only loss of the year, winning 13-9.

52

Length in minutes of the lightning delay during the first half of Sunday’s game between East Stroudsburg and West Chester. The score was tied at 2 at the time of the suspension. After play resumed, the home standing Warriors seized the momentum, scoring seven straight goals to build a 9-2 lead. The seven-goal deficit was the largest that West Chester faced all season.

.667

Shooting percentage in Sunday’s South Region final for Queens’ midfielder Shannon Donovan, who registered four goals on six shots in the 14-4 win over Limestone. The sophomore’s four-goal effort matched her career high, which she registered two times earlier this season. Her effort helped Queens beat Limestone for the third time in three meetings this year.

904

Total minutes played by Roberts Wesleyan’s junior goalie Natalie Arieno this season, accounting for every minute of the Redhawks’ season. As the only goalie listed on the team’s 19-player roster, she has faced nearly 300 shots from opponents this season and carries an 8.03 goals against average into Friday’s national semifinal against Lindenwood.

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