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Adelphi's Kerrin Heuser.

Adelphi Vaults Up USA Lacrosse Division II Women's Top 20

February 26, 2024
Paul Ohanian
Jack Portune / FSC Athletics

It seems only appropriate that the most decorated program in Division II history should register the biggest win of the young season. Nine-time NCAA champion Adelphi showcased its championship pedigree Sunday with a 19-10 win at No. 2 Florida Southern, jumping into the top five in this week's USA Lacrosse Division II Women's Top 20.

The trio of Marielle Colalillo, Kerrin Heuser and Kelly-Ann McGrath fueled an impressive Adelphi offense that showcased crisp passing, quick ball movement and strong transition play, combining for 13 of the team’s 19 goals. The Panthers also dominated possession, winning 20 of 30 draws, and stifled FSC’s high-powered offense that had scored 65 goals through its first three games.

Elsewhere, No. 1 West Chester enjoyed a good opening week with victories over Jefferson and No. 20 Mercy. A six-goal fourth quarter sealed the win over Mercy. And defending champion Pace opened its season with a 17-7 win over Roberts Wesleyan.

Overall, teams ranked in the Top 20 have played 42 combined games through Sunday without one loss against an unranked opponent. That trend will certainly change, but it demonstrates the efficiency of ranked teams through the early weeks.

And finally, the five teams in this week’s Top 20 that have yet to play any games all launch their campaigns this week. Two of them — No. 12 Seton Hill and No. 17 Kutztown — battle each other in Thursday’s season opener.


1. West Chester, 2-0 (Prev: 1)
2. Tampa, 2-0 (Prev: 3)
3. Pace, 1-0 (Prev: 4)
4. Maryville, 4-0 (Prev: 6)
5. Adelphi, 2-0 (Prev: 12)
6. Regis, 0-0 (Prev: 5)
7. Florida Southern, 3-1 (Prev: 2)
8. Grand Valley State, 2-0 (Prev: 7)
9. Rollins, 6-0 (Prev: 8)
10. UIndy, 3-1 (Prev: 9)
11. Embry-Riddle, 4-0 (Prev: 13)
12. Seton Hill, 0-0 (Prev: 10)
13. East Stroudsburg, 0-0 (Prev: 11)
14. Flagler, 3-1 (Prev: 14)
15. Wingate, 4-1 (Prev: 15)
16. Limestone, 4-0 (Prev: NR)
17. Kutztown, 0-0 (Prev: 16)
18. Saint Anselm, 1-0 (Prev: 17)
19. New Haven, 0-0 (Prev: 19)
20. Mercy, 0-1 (Prev: 18)

Also considered (alphabetical order): Bentley, Colorado Mesa, IUP, Missouri Western, Molloy


Adelphi (+7)

Sunday’s impressive road win served as a reminder to the rest of Division II that the Panthers are once again a legitimate national presence. Adelphi will try to further cement that notion when it wraps its two-game swing through Florida against this week's new No. 2 team, Tampa. Game time Wednesday is 7 p.m.

Embry-Riddle (+2)

The Eagles are among the biggest movers for a second straight week, improving to 4-0 with their fourth straight road victory. Freshman Eliana Enners continues to make a strong impact, leading the team with 15 goals and 24 draw controls. The Eagles welcome No. 14 Flagler for their home opener Wednesday, then host No. 9 Rollins Saturday in one of the marquee games on this week’s national schedule.

Maryville (+2)

Coming off last year’s breakthrough, the high-scoring Saints are rolling again, with four lopsided road victories to start the year, albeit against non-ranked foes. Maryville has scored 25, 25, 25 and 21 goals in its four victories, and All-American Sydney Tiemann is once again doing Sydney Tiemann things, with 26 goals in the four games. The schedule starts getting tougher on Sunday, with a visit by Colorado Mesa, followed by back-to-back games against No. 8 Grand Valley State and No. 6 Regis.


Florida Southern (-5)

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Mocs as they try to rebound from Sunday’s loss to Adelphi. FSC has arguably the nation’s stiffest schedule, as evidenced by its next four opponents — No. 15 Wingate, No. 6 Regis, No. 3 Pace and No. 20 Mercy. The offense will try to regain its spark after being stifled by Adelphi and held to its lowest goal total in two years.

Mercy (-2)

The Mavericks faced a tough challenge in last Saturday’s opener, a road test at No. 1 West Chester, and came away with some positives despite the 14-8 loss. Mercy stayed competitive against the Rams for the first three quarters, trailing 8-6 heading into the final period. And junior Leena Moussa, a first-team all-conference player last year, was on form with five goals against WCU’s strong defense. Mercy lost its season-opener for the first time since 2012.


Limestone (No. 16)

The Saints are off to a 4-0 start, including an easy win over Tusculum in last week’s South Atlantic Conference opener. Coming off last year’s 13-4 campaign, Limestone was picked to finish third in the SAC’s preseason coaches’ poll but appears to be building some early momentum that may help them challenge SAC favorite Wingate.


Lynn (was No. 20)

The Fighting Knights outshot No. 9 Rollins in last week’s early-season SSC battle but couldn’t find the net often enough in a 17-7 loss. The good news is that Lynn has a very favorable schedule over the next three weeks, including five straight home games at one point, that should allow it to find its footing before returning to the challenges of conference play.