Win the draw, rule the world.
According to Stony Brook women’s lacrosse coach Joe Spallina, that’s the Seawolves’ key to success. And it couldn’t be truer.
The Seawolves erased an early four-goal deficit against visiting Vermont with an impressive 16-goal run in Saturday’s 19-8 win to open America East play. Islip’s Kylie Ohlmiller had six goals and three assists.
“We feel like with the way we play, if we’re able to control the draw, we’ll do some good stuff,” Spallina said.
Stony Brook (7-3) dominated the draw, 17-3, after winning four of eight draws during the Catamounts’ 6-2 opening advantage.
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At the center was Massapequa’s Kristin Yevoli, who won a game-high seven draws.
“We need those draws,” said Ohlmiller, who tied a career high with nine points. “We struggled with draws in the beginning of the season against those big teams.”
Yevoli, Keri McCarthy (five draw controls) and Dorrien Van Dyke (four) were crucial in the team’s blistering run, which began with 12:23 remaining in the first and ended when Meredith Moore scored with 9:06 left in the game for Vermont (4-7, 0-2).
“It gives me a confidence boost knowing that I can get it again,” Yevoli said about draw success. “I just feel fired up after I get the draw. Once I get on a run, I can just keep getting it.”
Yevoli scored the equalizer on a free-position goal with 3:49 left in the first half and scored again in the second half to make the score 14-6.
With possession comes offensive chances, and the Seawolves took advantage.
On top of Ohlmiller’s impressive performance, Van Dyke had four goals and an assist and Shirley’s Courtney Murphy had five goals and two assists, one of which was the go-ahead goal at 7-6 late in the first. Stony Brook outshot Vermont 31-10.
Ohlmiller has wowed LaValle Stadium crowds with crafty goals recently, including a behind-the-head goal against Stanford that earned the conference’s “Play of the Week” honors.
“I think deception plays a big part, especially in my game, because I’m not the fastest player in the world,” Ohlmiller said. “A lot of attackers use their speed; they use their first step.”
She was shifty while quarterbacking, facilitating plays from behind the net and setting up an offense that Spallina says isn’t about one person.
“We don’t base our offense on one player, but I think Kylie is a huge part of our success,” he said. “When she’s going, we’re going.”
But Ohlmiller and the offense wouldn’t have had opportunities to score were it not for the team’s success at the draw.
“It’s all about possession,” Yevoli said. “The past couple of games, we’ve learned how to value the ball more.”