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Feb. 2, 2019 — NCAA Division II preview

AL’S FEARLESS 5IVE
Adelphi
Florida Southern
LeMoyne
LIU-Post
West Chester

If it’s possible, the world of NCAA Division II women’s lacrosse has a favorite which may be even bigger than Boston College in Division I.

That’s because defending national champion LeMoyne returns almost all of its scoring, including 75-goal scorers Bryanna Fazio and Nicole Delany. Also returning is starting goalie Hanna George and defenders Jessica Dussing, Kasi Cabrey, and Olivia McEntee.

Hot on the Dolphins’ heels is Adelphi, which returns 85-goal scorer Kole Pollock and 58-goal scorer Lena Riportella. The Panthers seem set in the goal cage with Emma Lemanski, who had a tremendous freshman season a year ago.

Also on Long Island, watch out for LIU-Post, which is going to be transitioning to Division I as its campus combines with LIU-Brooklyn. Top scorers Alyssa Mallery and Brianna Feldman return, but I think the players to watch are the going to be the incoming freshman and the sophomores, who will have to shoulder a lot of the burden in the transition. Look especially for goalies Mackenzie O’Brien and Hailey Duchnowski, both first-year collegians, who will be facing a lot of shots in the next four years.

West Chester retains the services of 50-goal scorers Tatum Altman, Sami Barnet, and Maggie Stella. Barnett, Stella, and returning midfielder Drew McKinney vacuumed up 263 draw controls, so they could be a very dangerous outfit if the defense is able to hold.

Florida Southern, who has been thrilling the collective part of America deemed as “non-traditional” lacrosse territory, could make its fourth straight national title match this spring, but will have to do it without its three leading goal-scorers from a year ago. Dani Bursinger and Marina Jokozos are the co-returning leaders with 34 goals each, with Aubriana Benedetto chipping in with 30. Watch for senior Sam Keesey to lead a young defense.

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