Ninth Overall Title for Panthers; Fourth in the Last Six Seasons.
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Adelphi women's lacrosse team is national champions, again.
In their tenth appearance in the Division II title game each, the Panthers (19-3) were after their ninth program title as West Chester (20-3) sought the program's fourth national title. Adelphi came out on top, 11-5, on Sunday at the GVSU Lacrosse Stadium - securing the Northeast 10 Conference its third-straight NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship by a member institution and fifth in the last six years.
The Panthers came out and set the tone early as leading goal scorer Kole Pollock got Adelphi on the board less than a minute in and it built its lead from there, getting out to a quick 4-0 advantage. Alyssa Gillespie and Lena Riportella added goals five and six before the Rams were able to get on the board courtesy of Ryan McKinney.
Prior to the break, Alison Johnson sent a pass to Chelsea Abreu - who was celebrating a birthday, missing Adelphi's 123rd Commencement and playing in her third title game in four years - to cap the half with an 8-1 lead. In the opening 30 minutes, the Panthers held an advantage in shots on goal, shots overall and were a perfect 11-11 in clear attempts.
"At this time of year, you just need one more than the other guy, and we were able to manage that," said head coach Pat McCabe.
West Chester fought back in a rain-soaked second half, as Devon Mela led the charge with two goals, but it wasn't enough. Even though the Rams manged to hold the Panthers scoreless for a span of 22 minutes, they were not able to muster up enough offense to overcome the deficit. The loss for the Rams marked the first time all year that West Chester lost a game in regulation time. Its two previous losses this season came in overtime.
Pollock scored her third goal of the game at 7:53 of the second half, and it came with just one second left on the shot clock. That tally was the nail in the proverbial coffin, making it a 9-4 game. Adelphi added a free position goal, and Pollock notched her fourth of the day in a man-up situation to increase the Panthers' lead to 11-4.
"Chelsea [Abreu] made a decision, and she put the team on her back, and that's what got us to this point, and Kole [Pollock] has done this for us for a while now... but we win as a team and we ask a lot from them," added McCabe.
"it's about up and down the roster, every one doing their job, and then certain people get more opportunities to shine more than others, but everyone puts the work in every day to give us this chance."
The matchup featured the two winningest programs in NCAA Division II Tournament history, as Adelphi holds the most wins in the NCAA D2 Tournament since its inception in 2001 with 28 while West Chester has 17 wins to its credit.
Adelphi is now 9-1 in NCAA Championship games while West Chester shows a 2-8 record in the finals. Adelphi is 28-6 all-time in the NCAA Division II Tournament while West Chester is 17-11.
The Panthers end their roller coaster season - after bowing out of the Northeast 10 Conference Championship in the first round - at 19-3 overall.
-Release provided by Adelphi athletic communications staff-
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.