December 15, 2009

All-DaSilva Team: NCAA Division I Women

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

All-Coyne Teams: MCLA I | MCLA II | WD3 | MD3
All-DaSilva Teams: WD2 | MD2 | WD1

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 see our unbeatable squads from the MCLA ranks up through NCAA Division I men and women.


A- Kelly Haggerty (Ohio State)
A- Lauren Dykstra (Lehigh)
A- Katrina Dowd (Northwestern)
M- Cara Filipelli (Loyola)
M- Jenn Russell (North Carolina)
M- Hillary Fratzke (Towson)
M- Caitlyn McFadden (Maryland)
M- Jackie Lyons (UMass)
D- Bridget Noon (Georgetown)
D- Alex Mundy (Vanderbilt)
D- Sarah Jonson (William & Mary)
G- Erin Tochihara (Princeton)

Why you can’t beat me:

If Kelly Haggerty could make Alayna Markwordt look like the second coming of Katrina Dowd, think about what she could do with the real thing. I’m envisioning cross-crease feeds from Haggerty to Dowd, with “Trix” finishing in style as only she can. Those few times Haggerty and Dowd don’t connect? That’s where Lauren Dykstra comes in. Dykstra plays in the Patriot League, often overlooked in preseason and postseason honors, but she led the nation with 82 ground balls in 2009 – the next closest had 68. She’s a virtual vacuum. Dykstra’s 67 goals are nothing to sneeze at either, good for fourth in Division I. She knows her role with the All-DaSilva team: rebounds and garbage goals.

My midfield banks on Hillary Fratzke returning to form after being shelved with a knee injury in ’09. A healthy Fratzke is one of the most dominant forces in the game. The 2008 CAA Player of the Year led the conference that year in points, draw controls, ground balls and turnovers. Yeah, Fratzke kind of does it all – but I’m reveling in all the extra possessions she’ll garner inside the draw circle. She’s the best draw-to-self specialist around, but also has plenty able hands on deck around her.

Not the least of those are Jenn Russell and Caitlyn McFadden, arguably the two most complete players in college women’s lacrosse. Russell will line up at defensive midfield for the All-DaSilva Team – with all of my scoring ability up front, I need a scrapper on the other side of the restraining line. But I dare you to lock off the outlets when Russell has the ball. She’ll burn you in transition. When Haggerty is not initiating the offense from behind, McFadden will initiate it from up top.

Rounding out my midfield are Cara Filipelli and Jackie Lyons. If you watch Filipelli play, one word comes to mind: relentless. You might look to lull my defense to sleep with long, drawn out possessions. (Heck, with the horses I’ve got up front, I can’t blame you for trying to keep the ball out of their sticks.) But Filipelli is a disruptive force on midfield defense. She caused 39 turnovers, tied for sixth nationally with All-DaSilva teammate and pure defender Sarah Jonson. Lyons, a 2009-10 U.S. Developmental team member, gives me another clutch scorer. Seven game-winning goals for UMass in ’09 – the girl’s got ice in her veins.

Bridget Noon, a returning first-team All-American, has flourished under Ricky Fried at Georgetown. She’s my best sheer defender, anchoring a unit that includes Jonson – a Texas native who plays with attitude – and Alex Mundy. Mundy’s speed is her best asset. Good luck trying to beat her from the corners.

As with other All-DaSilva teams, I’m looking to pressure on defense. Sometimes that means yielding quality scoring opportunities. I’m OK with those with Erin Tochihara as my goalie. I almost drafted Logan Ripley, a first-team All-American who helped lead North Carolina to the NCAA championship game last spring. But Ripley’s Swiss cheese impression against Northwestern, combined with her curious absence from fall ball, made me go with Tochihara, a second-team All-American. Tochihara came out of the same Colorado high school program as former Dartmouth great and U.S. World Cup goalie Devon Wills, and she plays out of the same mold – athletic, rangy and timely with her stops. Her .525 save percentage ranked fourth nationally and was the best of any goalie from the upper-echelon teams.

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