The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team sat near midfield, watching the LaValle Stadium video board as a montage of pictures was shown.
The Seawolves celebrated their six seniors Friday night in a 16-5 win over Long Island rival Hofstra on Senior Night.
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“The way we’ve elevated our program is a direct reflection of them,” coach Joe Spallina said.
Taylor Ranftle (Hauppauge), Lauren Schwalje (Setauket), Shannon Coleman (Centereach), Maegan Meritz (Farmingdale), Alyssa Fleming (Shoreham) and Kelsey Hart (North Babylon) were honored both before and after the game and also received significant playing time.
“The four years go by so fast,” said Coleman, who had three ground balls, two caused turnovers and an assist. “I remember my freshman year when I was watching those seniors at their senior game.”
Stony Brook took a 7-4 advantage into the break thanks to Courtney Murphy, the nation’s leading goal scorer. The junior from Shirley tallied four goals and two assists in the half and finished with eight goals.
Murphy now has 81 goals on the year — nine shy of Demmianne Cook’s single-season program record of 90, set in 2013.
“The seniors are really special to me,” Murphy said. “They’re great mentors and great role models.”
Drew Shapiro, Lindsay Scott and Lexi Lenaghan scored Hofstra’s four goals in the first half, with their second-half strike coming from Miller Place’s Tiana Parrella.
The Seawolves (13-3, 5-0 AE) opened the second on a scorching 9-0 run in part because of three goals and an assist from junior Dorrien Van Dyke (Northport), putting distance between themselves and the Pride (3-11, 1-3 Colonial Athletic Association).
With a big lead, Spallina was able to play his non-regulars. It also gave him the opportunity to pull Fleming and Meritz to a standing ovation.
“As true defenders, they don’t always get the love as the kids who are putting the rock in the goal,” Spallina said. “So it was important for me to get an opportunity for them to get recognized by the crowd.”
While the Seawolves are nearly certain to host America East playoff games, it’s not a guarantee that the seniors will play at LaValle again, a place where Coleman and others have made an impact.
“It’s really an emotional time when you’re sitting back looking at the pictures and going through the memories,” Coleman said, “At the same time, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
The Seawolves wouldn’t want them anywhere else either.