December 11, 2009

All-DaSilva Team: NCAA Division II Women

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

All-Coyne Teams: MCLA I | MCLA II | WD3 | MD3
All-DaSilva Teams: WD2

It’s that time of year. Preseason’s greetings!

Lacrosse Magazine
will release its preseason rankings in the January issue, but one of the things we don’t do is preseason All-Americans – we limit ourselves to Preseason Players of the Year, which, to be honest, is tough enough to deliberate and find a consensus.

(Look no further than LMO’s fan poll that ended Monday, the results of which will also be published in January.)

As an experiment, Jac Coyne and Matt DaSilva have developed their own preseason All-American teams – with a twist. We’re not looking for the best player at every position. Rather, we’re trying to construct the best team, blending styles and strengths. We want to devise a team that cannot be defeated in a 15-minute game with any combination of the remaining players in their division.

We’ll call them the All-Coyne and All-DaSilva teams, so as not to be confused with those other preseason All-Americans.

Think we’ve erred? Think you can do better? You can try to whip up a different combination of players at their designated positions (and post them in the comments section below) without using ours, but we promise, you won’t win.

Check back to LMO this week and next to see our unbeatable squads from the MCLA ranks up through NCAA Division I men and women.


A - Michelle Ceraso (Adelphi)
A - Staci Passafiume (C.W. Post)
A - Liz Connelly (Rollins)
M - Leigh Titus (Lock Haven)
M - Ashley Ferrandiz (New Haven)
M - Kristie Sosnowski (Molloy)
M - Kaitlyn Carter (Adelphi)
M - Kim Masterton (Mercyhurst)
D - Katie Zichelli (Lock Haven)
D - Kim Williams (C.W. Post)
D - Liz Lyons (Merrimack)
G - Caitlin Fitzpatrick (Adelphi)

Why you can’t beat me:

I love my attack. You might be surprised to see that the All-DaSilva Team drafted just one returning first-team All-American at the position. She’s a doozey, though. With Rachel Ray gone, expect Ceraso to take over her mantle as the most dominant offensive player for Adelphi and, arguably, in the nation. I wanted to blend styles, which is why I’m banking on Staci Passafiume. With a name like that, was she destined to become a feeder?  She dished out 44 assists in 2009, a breakout season in which she also scored 31 goals for Post. Connolly won the IWLCA’s “Unsung Hero” Award. You need role players. If Connolly -- who led upstart Rollins in draw controls and was second on the team in goals, assists and points -- can support Ceraso the way she does Marissa Giannerini, the All-DaSilva Team is in good shape.

My midfield is centered around arguably the most underrated player in Division II women’s lacrosse, Kristie Sosnowski. How she was not named an All-American despite blowing away the field with 118 draw controls, tops in the nation, is beyond me. And if you think Sosnowski padded those numbers against Molloy’s soft schedule, think again. Look no further than her 14-draw performance against NCAA tournament finalist Lock Haven. If Molloy had the weapons to cash in on those possessions like I do, Sosnowski would warrant more attention.

I’ve got an all-Haven duo doing damage as my attacking midfielders. Titus does it all and will easily eclipse 200 career goals in 2010. Ferrandiz can score, too, but I’m more intrigued by her ability to re-defend, cause turnovers and rack up ground balls -- second-chance opportunities aplenty.

On the other side of the restraining line, the All-DaSilva Team boasts a couple of midfielders who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty on defense in Carter and Masterton. Don’t get me wrong, this duo can score with the best of ‘em.  They combined for over 100 goals. But Carter’s coach, Joe Spallina, loves what she does on the defensive end for Adelphi. Masterton ranked first and second on Mercyhurst in caused turnovers in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Zichelli and Williams were easy choices off the bat as the top lock-down defenders in the game. Zichelli was the 2009 IWLCA Defender of the Year after leading the nation with 97 ground balls and 51 caused turnovers. She has a game-changing presence for the Eagles, whom she led to the NCAA championship game. Williams’ numbers aren’t quite as eye-popping, but the two-time first-team All-American might be the soundest fundamental defender in the game.

My wild card on "D" is Lyons. Merrimack keeps her behind the restraining line because it needs her there, and she’s great there. With the All-DaSilva Team, however, I’m going to encourage Liz to step on the pedal every now and then to push some offensive transition. There are plenty of prudent defenders around her to help recover should such an opportunity fail -- not the least of whom is Fitzpatrick. A volunteer firefighter in the cage? Yeah, I’ll take that kind of poise and leadership any day.

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