Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/3/08
West Chester has reached the NCAA Division II national championship five of the six years it has been played.
With a host of returning standouts – including three All-Americans – the Golden Rams are poised to return to the finals this year in hopes of earning their second national title.
West Chester (19-2) fell to C.W. Post, 15-7, in last year’s title game. It is starting to sound like a broken record. In 2006 the Rams fell to Adelphi, 16-8, in the title game. The year before West Chester fell to Stonehill, 13-10, in the finals, and before that it was a loss to Adelphi, 13-11.
There is clearly enough firepower this year for the Rams to get yet another shot at the top. Senior attacker Stephanie Kienle (Henderson) was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Player of the Year last year when she set an NCAA Division II mark for scoring (140 points) with 74 goals and 66 assists.
She is joined by fellow first-team All-American Jackie Baker (Penncrest), a junior attacker who scored 81 goals and had 109 points.
Meanwhile, sophomore midfielder Nicole Haines (Great Valley) had 44 goals and 13 assists.
Other keys at midfield are Gina DiDomenicis. Katy Crouse (Boyertown), Courtney Whiting (Downingtown East) and Jen Forney and defenders Kimberlee Hachen (North Penn) and Lauren Tatios (West Chester East). Mary Beth Green (Henderson) returns in goal.
Also in Division II:
Chestnut Hill College – The Griffins have nine returning starters back from a 6-7 team. The biggest name is junior attacker Katie Donovan (Archbishop Carroll), who had 66 goals last year and has 127 in her two seasons at Chestnut Hill.
The offense also features junior midfielders Tiffanie Stanton (35 goals) and Stephanie Carlyle (34 goals). Other players back are attackers Stef Paternostro (Plymouth Whitemarsh), Maryann Glass and Amanda Concepcion and defenders Carley Glass (13 goals, 19 assists), Leann Caldwell and Sarah Possinger and goalie Stephanie Jordon (Souderton).
Philadelphia University – The Rams went 10-4 overall last year, but 2-3 in the powerful East Coast Conference, which features defending national champion C.W. Post. This year Philadelphia University is poised to challenge with a host of returning starters, including defenders Jessica Snyder, Amanda Harding and Kathryn Sheehan (Penncrest), midfielders Maggie Bornhorst (36 goals), Marissa Wisniewski (30 goals), Allison Kessler (26 goals), Kathleen Maurer (23 goals), Brooke Woodland (18 goals, Avon Grove), and Jackie Reilly, and attacker Shannon Shippey (28 goals). Sophomore goalie Kelly Staerk also returns after going 7-3 last year.
Jenn Devinney, a former standout at Temple and Archbishop Prendergast, is a first-year coach after replacing high school teammate Christy Malone last fall.
Tags: West Chester