Because the game's 1 p.m scheduled start was delayed 40 minutes by the late arrival of the officiating crew, Stony Brook women's lacrosse coach Joe Spallina decided to show his team a motivational DVD: Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari talking about building a championship team in 2012.
"Watching that film gave me chills," senior attack Alyssa Cardillo said. "Our mind was already in the game at the beginning of the week. The [delay] probably gave us more time to get pumped up."
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The late start did not prevent the Seawolves from a fast start, as they scored nine goals in the first half of a 12-1 rout of UMBC in the teams' first America East game of the season.
Spallina is always looking for ways to inspire Stony Brook (8-2), so with the NCAA basketball tournament in full swing, he figured his players would benefit from seeing how a team with young players became a champion. "It really energized our kids," Spallina said.
UMBC (5-5) started the game by closely marking freshman star Dorrien Van Dyke and Michelle Rubino. "I was happy," Spallina said. "I said, 'This is perfect. Now you're going to show people we can beat this.' ''
Freshman Kristin Yevoli and junior Amber Kupres each scored three goals in the opening half. Emily Mercier and freshman Courtney Murphy added one apiece and Van Dyke broke through for the first of her three in the game. She leads the nation in goals by a freshman with 35.
Stony Brook saw this as progress from a 14-1 loss to Florida at the beginning of the month. "When Florida threw the face guard at Dorrien and Michelle, I think a lot of us were shocked and a little star- struck," Kupres said. "So having other goal-scorers makes our team more difficult to defend. Coming out with a big bang in the beginning of conference is real important, and we weren't going to let anything stand in our way."
The Seawolves also had to fend off heavy rain. "We have practiced every possible day outside," Spallina said, "in the snow, in the rain, in the hail, in the ice, in the 5 degrees, we're out there. I always say it's our weather. They embrace that. We don't care what the weather is."
"When it comes down to it," Cardillo said, "you have to win a game. You can't worry about the outside factors."
Stony Brook has won five straight games. "I thought we had 60 minutes of high energy," Spallina said. "Our bench was electric. We moved the ball around well. We were poised. I don't think we showed any signs of being a young team."