Few college athletes, regardless of sport or gender, attract the type of fanfare that Kylie Ohlmiller did on Friday night at LaValle Stadium.
The senior, a fan favorite for her ever-flowing confidence and ever-impressive highlight reel, was the center of attention before (and during) top-ranked Stony Brook’s game with No. 22 Johns Hopkins. Young fans donned her signature eye-black style and waited in line for a bobblehead in her likeness.
Ohlmiller — who joined Jameel Warney as the only Stony Brook athletes to ever have a bobblehead — had six goals and five assists as the Seawolves dominated Hopkins, 15-7, in front of a program-record 3,123 fans. No. 1 Stony Brook is 13-0.
“It was unreal,” Ohlmiller said. “It’s been pretty amazing to see how we’ve turned this program around into Long Island’s team in general. Just to see the amount of people lined up outside for this one game, it was just really, really cool. It’s very humbling because it’s a tribute to all of our hard work.”
Ohlmiller had three goals and two assists as Stony Brook took a 7-2 lead into halftime. And what would Kylie Ohlmiller Bobblehead Night be without one of her behind-the-back specialties? She did just that midway through the second half as the Seawolves took an 11-5 lead.
“I’ve never hidden from the fact that she’s the best player in the world,” coach Joe Spallina said. “She’s the best player in NCAA lacrosse. I’m not going to hide from that. I’ve been saying that for years.”
Taryn Ohlmiller added four goals and an assist and Anna Tesoriero anchored the defense with 10 saves. Ally Kennedy had seven ground balls and Brooke Gubitosi had five.
Mackenzie Heldberg (Smithtown West) had one goal and two assists for Johns Hopkins (8-6).
Ohlmiller got the loudest ovation during pregame introductions and signed autographs afterward. She is, as Spallina often says, a “rock star.”
Aileen Lawton, 9, of Ronkonkoma, was one of hundreds of young fans showing support for the Seawolves after lining up two hours before game time for a chance at a bobblehead. She was the first to be handed the collectible, which features Ohlmiller in her red No. 17 jersey. Wearing her club lacrosse jersey over a Seawolves T-shirt, Lawton was excited to unbox it “because she’s my favorite player.” She likely wasn’t the only one in attendance with that opinion.