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A Closer Look at the NCAA Division II Women’s Bracket

May 13, 2024
Paul Ohanian
Kevin P. Tucker

The 2024 NCAA Division II women's lacrosse bracket was revealed Sunday evening, one week after the rest of the NCAA divisions.

The D-II bracket features 16 teams selected from across four geographic regions. There are no automatic qualifications given for league champions. Four teams were selected from each region.

The top seeds from each region are West Chester (Atlantic), Pace (East), Florida Southern (South), and Maryville (Midwest). These teams are hosting four-team regionals beginning on Thursday.

The four regional winners that emerge from this week’s games will be re-seeded for the national semifinals on May 23 in Winter Park, Fla. The championship game is on May 25.

Here’s a closer look at what the NCAA selection committee rolled out on Sunday evening.


There’s several potentially entertaining games among Thursday’s eight opening round contests, but the Grand Valley State vs. Regis game in the Midwest is our choice as the best of the day. To start, the two teams bring a combined 35-2 record into this game, and it’s the only first round match-up that features two conference champions.

Grand Valley (17-1) was champion of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and brings a 13-game winning streak into Thursday’ game. The Lakers have not lost in over two months, falling 7-6 at top-seeded Maryville back on March 6. GVSU features the nation’s stingiest defense, allowing just 4.50 goals/game, a full two goals less than the second ranked team.  The Lakers are the defending regional champs, having earned their first trip to the national semifinals by winning the Midwest Regional in 2023.

Regis (18-1) claimed its fifth straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title this spring, and is equally as hot as GVSU, riding a 14-game winning streak. The Rangers posted impressive non-conference wins over both Florida Southern (on the road) and UIndy this season, and also features one of the nation’s top defenses, allowing just 7.00 goals/game. Celebrating the program’s 25th anniversary this year, Regis would like nothing more than to earn its third final four appearance, and first since the 2019 season.


While all four number one seeds are worthy of their selections and have legitimate championship aspirations, defending champion Pace and 2023 runner-up West Chester line up as the two favorites based on their resumes. They are the only remaining undefeated teams in the nation and have occupied the top two spots in the USA Lacrosse Top 20 ranking throughout the season.

Pace (20-0) had several holes to fill at the start of the season, having lost significant firepower from last year’s championship squad, but the Setters have not missed a beat this spring. Led by senior All-America midfielder Angelia Porcello (107 points), they have a chance to become the first back-to-back champion since Adelphi in 2015.

West Chester (19-0) won its 26th Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship Sunday, rallying late to defeat Kutztown 12-11.  The Golden Rams are making their 17th appearance in the NCAA tournament. WCU is 5-0 against the rest of this year’s Atlantic Region field, which all hail from the PSAC.


Looking only at the four 1-vs-4 opening round games, we’re tabbing Flagler as the number four seed most likely to take down a number one. To start, the Saints have already seen the Mocs this year, having lost 23-16 in an early-season non-conference game. They also played FSC in last year’s opening round and led that game at halftime before losing 19-15. As a third-year program, coach Grant Kelam’s team has quickly emerged as a contender in the crowded and competitive South Region, which is not easy to do, and has won 17 games in back-to-back seasons. The NCAA stage will not be too big for Flagler.


The East Region, which features four teams from the NE10 conference, strikes us as the most unbalanced. Based on the regular season, No. 1 seed Pace and No. 2 Adelphi should be able to advance. Pace has already beaten Bentley (11-7) twice this year by scores of 17-8 and 15-3. To their credit, the Falcons have played a difficult schedule, including non-league games against West Chester and Florida Southern, but they are 0-6 against ranked opponents this season. Adelphi’s games against New Haven (12-6) have been competitive, winning 11-8 and 9-7, but the Panthers always step it up when the postseason dance begins. With nine NCAA titles to their credit, more than any other team, Adelphi is a postseason behemoth.


As noted earlier, the South has emerged as the most competitive region in recent years, with six to seven legitimate contenders annually for the four regional spots. Deserving teams have been left on the outside looking in (Florida Southern in 2021, Wingate in 2023), and unfortunately, Limestone falls into that bucket his year.

The Saints finished 17-1 overall and in-region (one of the main criteria for the selection committee) this year, and were champions of the South Atlantic Conference. While their strength of schedule may have lagged a bit behind that of the four teams selected, their resume (four wins over ranked teams) and RPI (fourth in the region) seemed to indicate that the Saints deserved a chance to measure themselves against the region’s best.


Players listed in alphabetical order.

Kaylyn Cater, Grand Valley State. Serving as the anchor of GVSU’s stellar defense, the junior goalie leads the nation with a 4.40 goals against average and ranks third with a .540 save percentage. Selected as the GLIAC’s goalie of the year, she’s part of a unit that has yet to allow double-digit goals to any opponent this year.

Emily Mitarotonda, East Stroudsburg. The senior midfielder became the PSAC’s all-time leader in goals scored and now ranks third in NCAA D-II history with 302 career goals.  In 2024, she ranks among the national leaders in goals scored (86), total points (110), free-position goals per game (1.61), goals per game (4.78), and caused turnovers per game.

Angelina Porcello, Pace. Named to the 2024 Tewaaraton Watch List, the senior was the NE10’s midfielder of the year for the second straight season, with 62 goals and 96 points thus far. She also led the league with 53 caused turnovers, and paced the Setters with 94 draw controls.

Hannah Stanislawczyk, West Chester. The senior midfielder leads her team in goals (78), points (103) and draw controls (86) and ranks in the top 10 in the NE10 in six categories. With 294 career goals, she has a chance to become just the fourth player in Division II history (and the third this year) to reach the 300-goal milestone.

Jackie Stoller, Florida Southern. In a tournament full of great attackers, Stoller may be as good as anyone, having led the Sunshine State Conference with 73 goals and 114 total points. She scored at least two goals in 18 of FSC’s 19 games and was selected as the league’s attacker of the year.

Sydney Tiemann, Maryville. The senior attacker became the all-time goals leader in Division II history this season, now with 316 career goals entering the NCAA tournament. Tiemann has 99 goals and 129 points this season, ranking second in the nation in both categories. She also ranks among the national leaders with 127 draw controls.


First Round (May 16)

All times Eastern.

Atlantic Region

Game 1: (1) West Chester vs. (4) Seton Hill, 11 a.m. 
Game 2: (2) Kutztown vs. East Stroudsburg, 3 p.m.

East Region

Game 1: (1) Pace vs. (4) Bentley, 11 a.m.
Game 2: (2) Adelphi vs, (3) New Haven, 3 p.m.

Midwest Region

Game 1: (1) Maryville vs. (4) UIndy , 1 p.m. 
Game 2: (2) Grand Valley State vs. (3) Regis, 5 p.m.

South Region

Game 1: (1) Florida Southern vs. (6) Flagler, 11 a.m.
Game 2: (2) Tampa vs. (3) Lynn, 3 p.m.

Second Round (May 18)

Atlantic Region final, 12 p.m.
East Region final, 12 p.m.
South Region final, 12 p.m.
Midwest Region final, 2 p.m.