By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/21/08
West Chester University, which has reached the NCAA women’s Division II championship game in six of the seven years it has been played, is ranked No. 1 in the country in Lacrosse Magazine’s pre-season poll.
The Golden Rams finished 19-2 last year and fell to C.W. Post, 15-7, in the NCAA title game. West Chester has fallen in the finals each of the past four years, and won the crown in 2002.
Ranked behind the Rams are C.W. Post, Stonehill, Adelphi, Lock Haven, Limestone, Pfeiffer, Gannon, Queens and Philadelphia University.
WCU, which has won the past four Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PSAC) titles, set a school record for wins last year, going 19-2. The team is guided by Ginny Martino, who enters her 11th season as head coach after earning the IWLCA South Region coach of the year in Division II as well as FieldTurf Division II coach of the year.
This year’s team will be led by senior record-setter Stephanie Kienle (Henderson), who set the NCAA mark for points in a single season with 140 in 2007. Kienle scored 74 goals and tacked on 66 assists while being named a Division II All-American and the PSAC player of the year.
Also returning is Jackie Baker (Penncrest), a junior, and another Division II All-American and All-PSAC honoree, who led the Golden Rams in goals (81). Baker was second nationally in goals scoring with a 3.82 goals per game average. Baker finished with 109 points and a team-high eight game-winning goals.
Other key returnees include sophomore midfielder Nicole Haines (44 goals) of Great Valley, junior midfielder Gina DiDomenicis, junior defender Kimberlee Hachen (North Penn), sophomore midfielder Katy Crouse (Boyertown), sophomore midfielder Lauren Tatios (West Chester East), and junior goalie Mary Beth Green (Henderson).
Kienle is the lone senior currently on the West Chester roster.
Lock Haven, which was 16-4 last year and the runner-up to West Chester in the PSAC, is led by junior attacker Amber Hoch (Souderton), a second-team All-American from Souderton. Another key returnee is senior midfielder Caitlyn Watts (Archbishop Wood), who earned second-team all-PSAC honors.
Philadelphia University went 10-4 last year and is coached by Jenn Devinney.