The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team may have punched itself a ticket to the top spot in the national rankings.
Following a loss by No. 1 Maryland on Saturday, the No. 2 Seawolves dominated No. 20 Denver, 16-3, on a rainy Sunday at LaValle Stadium. Stony Brook is 3-0, with each win over a ranked opponent, meaning the Seawolves could claim the No. 1 spot in one (or all) of the three major polls for the first time in program history.
“I have far more interest in being No. 1 late in May than today, if I had to trade,” said coach Joe Spallina, who watched his team score eight straight goals and take a 13-2 lead with 17:22 remaining. “I’m also OK with us being No. 1 from tomorrow forward.”
Courtney Murphy had six goals and an assist, Kylie Ohlmiller had four goals and two assists and Taryn Ohlmiller had one goal and four assists. Stony Brook outshot Denver, 30-14, and won 13 of 21 draws. Keri McCarthy scored twice and dominated the draw circle.
“I think it just comes with the flow of everything,” Murphy said of her performance in her first home game since tearing her ACL last March 5. “I think my position puts me in a place where my job is to finish the ball.”
Stony Brook started slowly in its home opener, and Spallina attributed that to potential jitters knowing that Maryland had lost to North Carolina, 16-15, in overtime the day before.
Leading 7-2 at halftime, the Seawolves had hit several posts and struggled against a physical defense. The offense was more fluid in the second half, as seven of the nine goals were assisted.
The defense was strong throughout, winning 18 ground balls and forcing Denver (3-1) to commit 17 turnovers. Brooke Gubitosi was one of seven Seawolves with two ground balls. Goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero made five saves and led the team with three ground balls.
“If we’re on the same page and we’re playing our style of defense, which I think we got back to today, good luck playing us,” Gubitosi said.
With the No. 1 ranking within their grasp, the Seawolves gave an all-around performance.
“We have so many threats offensively, defensively, on the draw circle, in the midfield,” Kylie Ohlmiller said. “Everyone at every level of the field is on point, doing their job, and when you put it all together, it ends in results like this.”