The 2015-2016 season ended on a high note for the Florida Southern College women’s lacrosse team. With a final score of 8-7, they overcame the number one ranked team, Adelphi, this past May to take the Division II National Championship.
This was the 29th all-time national title for Florida Southern. The win also marked the first-ever national title in lacrosse for FSC, the fifth school in NCAA history to win a Division II women’s lacrosse national title.
The Lady Mocs finished off their season with a 19-3 record. Their 14 consecutive game win streak at the end of the season also placed them in the school record books.
“Honestly, I knew we had a great team, but the Championship was so far away,” said Sam Keesey, sophomore midfielder and defenseman. “As the season progressed, it became more and more clear that we could win.”
Adelphi had been the NCAA National Champion for two consecutive years and came into the game with previous experience. On the other hand, the Lady Mocs were playing in their first-ever national title game.
“Adelphi is so skilled and it took everything we had to stop them and their strong points,” Keesey said. “We kept getting stronger and everything was flowing. It was just great!”
While the game was close in the first half, FSC was able to hold their ground. The Moccasins stepped it up the second half an d kept Adelphi scoreless for 23 minutes.
“I think that everyone on the team thrived off of that game and came into that game knowing that we had to give everything we had,” sophomore defenseman Adrianna Mannarelli said.
For senior goalkeeper, Taylor Gillis, this season was the highlight of her career. Gillis was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Division II Women’s Lacrosse Championships.
“Winning a national championship is a dream I’ve always had as a little girl and it’s pretty amazing I got to have my dream come true with some of the most amazing teammates ever,” Gillis said.According to Gillis, the key to getting to the National Championship Denver was to play with confidence, take one game at a time, and to focus on the next forthcoming opponent.
The Lady Mocs will be back in action, defending their national title, in the upcoming season starting in February.