Adelphi players celebrate a goal during their win over of East...

Adelphi players celebrate a goal during their win over of East Stroudsburg in the NCAA women's lacrosse Division II semifinals on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Winter Park, Fla. Credit: Adelphi Athletics

It’s a special time for Adelphi lacrosse.

With the men’s team already locked into a national title game, the women had a chance to punch a ticket to one of their own Thursday.

And the Panthers delivered.

Top-seeded Adelphi used a dominant second half to defeat No. 4 East Stroudsburg, 15-10, in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II tournament at Showalter Stadium in Winter Park, Florida.

The Panthers will face No. 2 Tampa in the title game at noon on Saturday. A win would give Adelphi its 10th national title, and first since 2019.

“It’s exciting. Our team and the men’s team are very close with each other,” Adelphi coach Pat McCabe said. “There’s a lot of similarities as far as the kind of kids we bring in and the number of seniors and fifth-years we have. It’s a nice time, but for both of us, there’s still quite a bit of work to do.”

Danielle Marino (West Islip) had three goals and an assist, Ashley Kolomechuk (Commack) had two goals and two assists and Alexandra Leggio (Seaford) added two goals and one assist. Jillian McFadden (Mount Sinai) made six of her eight saves in the second half.

Marino scored with 10:34 left in the third quarter to give Adelphi a 10-9 lead and the Panthers kept pouncing. It was the first of a 4-0 run, which saw four different goal scorers. Leggio assisted Tamia Lawson (Bellport) before scoring her own goal with 1:20 left in the third. Kerrin Heuser (Hicksville) opened the fourth quarter with a goal to give Adelphi a 13-9 lead with 12:53 left.

“Our coaches always say, ‘It’s a game of runs.’ We need to limit theirs and enhance ours,” said Marino, a graduate student.  “Making the most out of those opportunities we got was really big for us and that run was huge.”

Marino scored the final goal of the back-and-forth first half with 30 seconds left, tying the score at 8.

“We said at halftime that we played 30 minutes and we’ve gotten nowhere,” McCabe said. “We came out in the second half and we were better on the draw, terrific in net and we shot it better. We played a really good 30 minutes.”

Adelphi (19-3) won the draw control battle, 18-11, led by Kelly-Ann McGrath with six and Marielle Colalillo (Manhasset) with four. Adelphi won eight draws to three for East Stroudsburg (14-7) in the second half. McGrath had a goal, three assists and picked up five ground balls.

“We weren’t too solid on the draws to start, but once they started falling in our favor, it really helped us keep control of the ball,” said McGrath, a senior and Carey High School graduate.

McGrath continued: “It’s so awesome that both us and the men’s team are playing in the national championship. We’re constantly texting and rooting each other on. We’re super excited to both be in the big game.”


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