Stony Brook goalie Anna Tesoriero with the save by deflection...

Stony Brook goalie Anna Tesoriero with the save by deflection during the first half at LaValle Stadium on March 17, 2018. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The offense might get most of the accolades but make no mistake: The backbone of the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team is a defense that can both frustrate and amaze.

Frustrating, of course, for the opposition. Amazing for those looking to see the type of defense that has propelled Stony Brook to the No. 1 ranking in the country.

A unit led by Brooke Gubitosi, Carolyn Carrera, Carlee Janelli, Mackenzie Burns and goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero shut down America East foe Vermont on Friday night at LaValle Stadium, and Stony Brook cruised to a 20-2 win.

“Everyone’s locked in, same page,” said Gubitosi, a redshirt senior who stayed on offense for a possession and scored her first career goal. “I think that, like I’ve said before, if we’re on the same page and working together, we’re a pretty tough team to play against.”

Stony Brook held a 40-9 shot advantage, and Tesoriero made three saves before being relieved by freshman Jessica Goralski. Both of Vermont’s scores came on free positions in the first half.

“I feel the thing that separates us from other teams in the country is, I think there are a lot of great offenses, there are not a lot of great defenses,” said coach Joe Spallina, who celebrated his 45th birthday. “The staple of our program since the day I walked in here has been our defense, and obviously the offense is fabulous, but this is something we really focused on.”

While the defense excelled, Keri McCarthy ensured that Vermont’s chances were limited. She won a career-high 16 draws for Stony Brook (9-0, 2-0 AE).

“I love self-drawing, and that’s what I’m best at,” McCarthy said. “I know if that’s what’s working on the draw, I just keep doing that.”

Kylie Ohlmiller had four goals and four assists, and her assist to Courtney Murphy with 17:20 left in the first half made her the second player in NCAA history to reach 400 career points. She’s now 42 from tying Jen Adams’ record of 445.

Murphy inched closer to the NCAA career goals record with four tallies, putting her seven away from tying Gail Cummings’ 289.

The Catamounts are 4-7, 0-2.