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LI natives Natalie Sulmonte, Kaitlyn Montalbano lead Towson

Stony Brook's Emma Schait stick checks the ball

Stony Brook's Emma Schait stick checks the ball from Towson's Kaitlyn Montalbanoduring the first half at LaValle Stadium on Saturday. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

It’s not too surprising that the Towson women’s lacrosse team’s roster has a Long Island flavor. (After all, the Island is a hotbed of lacrosse.)

But seven of the 31 Tigers have Long Island roots — nearly a quarter of the roster. Plus, four of the Tigers’ top five scorers played their high school lacrosse on Long Island, which made Saturday’s 13-8 non-conference loss against No. 1 Stony Brook a homecoming, of sorts, for No. 13 Towson.

“We’ve always recognized how special lacrosse is here on Long Island, in New York state and in the Northeast,” said Towson head coach Sonia LaMonica, a native of Australia. “We feel like we are a good fit for a lot of kids.”

Former Island Trees standout Natalie Sulmonte and St. John the Baptist product Kaitlyn Montalbano (who had two goals and two assists on Saturday) are both among the Tigers’ leaders, tied with 23 points on the season for Towson (5-2).

“Kaitlyn always goes hard for us,” LaMonica said. “She’s one of those girls who’s all over the field.”

Montalbano had back-to-back assists to help Towson get within 7-6 at the 18:48 mark of the second half. The Tigers would tie the score at 7-all, and, later, Montalbano scored unassisted with 11:54 remaining to knot the score at 8. But Kylie Ohlmiller (7 goals, 1 assist) scored five of Stony Brook’s last six goals as the Seawolves pulled away.

Hauppauge’s Carly Tellekamp (who added a goal against the Seawolves) now has 19 points on the season, and Kaitlin Thornton (Ward Melville) rounds out the Tigers’ top 5 scorers with 14 points.

Perhaps Towson’s best player is sophomore defender and former Wantagh standout Olivia Conti, a preseason All America and a member of the Tewaaraton Award watch list. Conti — a second team All America with 49 caused turnovers as a freshman — has a team-best 16 caused turnovers this season to go along with 23 groundballs.

“She’s a beast, but I mean that in a good way,” said LaMonica about Conti. “She could probably play midfield for us, but she’s great at defender. She drapes herself on opposing players and smothers them.”

LaMonica knows her team learned a valuable lesson as they were about to board the bus and make the 243-mile trip back to Maryland.

“We have to take advantage when we have opportunities against great teams,” LaMonica said. “You have to have a certain kind of energy when you go against a team like Stony Brook.”

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