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ESU's Emily Mitarotonda might be the best individual player left in the D-II tournament.

Everything You Need to Know About the NCAA D-II Women’s Lacrosse Final Four

May 21, 2024
Paul Ohanian
Kevin P. Tucker

Coming off an unprecedented Saturday of quarterfinal games in which four No. 1 seeds lost regional finals on their home fields, the NCAA committee has re-seeded the advancing teams to establish the matchups for Thursday’s national semifinals in Winter Park, Fla.

Game 1, 3 p.m. — No. 1 Adelphi (18-3) vs. No. 4 East Stroudsburg (14-6) 
Game 2, 6:30 p.m. — No. 2 Tampa (17-3) vs. No. 3 Regis (20-1)  

Thursday’s semifinal winners meet in Saturday’s championship game at noon.

Here are five things to know to help you prepare for Championship Weekend.

1. It's not just lacrosse this week.

This year’s Championship Weekend is being played as part of the 2024 NCAA Division II Spring Festival, a week-long, multi-sport event in and around Orlando, May 19-25. The festival will include championships for men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, softball and women’s lacrosse.

The festival is being hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, in partnership with Rollins College, with the lacrosse semifinals and final being played at Showalter Stadium in Winter Park.  

All three lacrosse games will be available for live streaming on

2. Adelphi knows the landscape.

The Panthers are the most decorated team in Division II women’s lacrosse history, having won nine titles since the launch of the D-II championship in 2001, including three championships (2015, 2017, 2019) under the leadership of head coach Pat McCabe.

Despite trailing 4-1 early in the game against undefeated Pace in Saturday’s East Region final, the Panthers rallied for a 13-10 win, punching their ticket to the final four for the sixth time in McCabe’s 10-year tenure.

“Early on, we didn’t play as well as we thought we could, so we knew we had to button-up a few things and focus on playing our game,” McCabe said. “We’re excited to go [to the Final Four] and keep playing.”

Adelphi avenged its two earlier losses against Pace with Saturday’s win and will now attempt to even the score against East Stroudsburg, which defeated the Panthers 11-10 in overtime on March 9. ESU scored the last five goals of that game, including the overtime winner on a free position goal.

3. East Stroudsburg has a superstar.

Anyone that has followed D-II women’s lacrosse in 2024 (or any part of the past four years) knows that East Stroudsburg features one of the most dynamic players in the nation in midfielder Emily Mitarotonda. Adelphi saw her impact earlier this year, as Mitarotonda tallied seven goals, including the last four in regulation, to fuel ESU’s win over the Panthers.

The four-time All-American did more Mitarotonda things again in Saturday’s Atlantic Region final against West Chester, sparking ESU’s fourth-quarter rally from a four-goal deficit with two of her game-high four goals. Mitarotonda’s heroics handed West Chester its first loss of the year and lifted East Stroudsburg to its third Final Four appearance in four years.

West Chester coach Ginny Martino had a plain-and-simple explanation for East Stroudsburg’s comeback. “Emily Mitarotonda won the game for them in the fourth quarter,” she said.

Mitarotonda finished with four goals and four assists, having a hand in eight of ESU's 13 markers on the day. She also added team highs with four ground balls, six caused turnovers and three draw controls. The senior has 95 goals this season, a new Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record, and now 311 career goals, second all-time in NCAA Division II history.

“Emily proved today why she is the nation’s best player, in my opinion,” ESU coach Xeni Barakos-Yoder said. “She makes plays at both ends of the field, and her defensive play, really, is what brought us back into this game.”

Beyond her on-field exploits, Mitarotonda has also assumed a larger leadership role in 2024, displaying a more vocal presence with her teammates.

“I yell at them to get them fired up,” Mitarotonda said. “They know it’s because I care. I just have so much trust in this team. The vibes are good.”

4. Don’t sleep on Tampa and Regis.

While Tampa is the only first-timer among this year’s semifinalists, the Spartans are a legit contender, confirmed by 11 wins this season over ranked opponents, including two road wins at Florida Southern. Fueled by an offense that features four 40-goal scorers and a defense anchored by All-American goalie Alex Walling, this battle-tested squad has won 15 of its last 16 games and brings a nine-game winning streak into Thursday.

“I think we’re playing our best at the right time of the year,” said Tampa coach Kelly Gallagher, now in her 11th year leading the Spartans. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence, and it’s really awesome to see how the players have locked in to what we do. We’re having a lot of fun.”

Similarly, Regis is also a team on a roll, pushing its winning streak to 16 games following back-to-back one-goal thrillers over Grand Valley State and Maryville in the Midwest Regional. The only blemish all season was a loss to Maryville in mid-March, which the Rangers avenged with Saturday’s victory. Regis returns to the national semifinals for the third time, and the first since going back-to-back in 2018 and 2019.

“There’s a tremendous amount of talent on this team, but truthfully, sometimes we battle confidence,” Regis coach Sarah Kellner said. “But I believe in this team. It’s a resilient group with a lot of heart. We’re ecstatic to still be playing.”

Regis has won both prior meetings against Tampa, with a pair of one-goal victories in 2019 and 2022.

5. A gathering spot for All-Americans.

There will be no shortage of All-America talent at Showalter Stadium this weekend, with 10 players across the four semifinalists' rosters who were named to last week's USA Lacrosse All-America teams. The midfield position is especially well-stocked in great players, from ESU's Mitarotonda (first team) to Adelphi's duo of Kerrin Heuser and Kelly-Ann McGrath (both second team), and from Regis' Bailey Truex (second team) and Maggie Schipfer (third team) to Tampa's CeCe Colombo.