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Stony Brook reaches America East women's lacrosse championship game

Stony Brook attacker Courtney Murphy drives to the

Stony Brook attacker Courtney Murphy drives to the goal against New Hampshire on Friday, May 2, 2014. Credit: Steven Ryan

Before the season, Stony Brook women's lacrosse coach Joe Spallina predicted that Courtney Murphy would score 50 goals this season. With at least one game remaining, she has scored a freshman-record 54, including six Friday as the Seawolves beat New Hampshire, 13-5, in the semifinal round of the America East Championship.

Stony Brook (15-3) will try to earn an automatic NCAA Tournament bid Sunday against Albany, which beat Vermont Friday night, 12-8.

Spallina said of Murphy, "She's the real deal. We thought with our offense, she would have to score 50 goals if we were going to be successful. If she didn't score 50, we probably wouldn't be sitting here.''

It took Stony Brook -- and Murphy -- a while to get going against the Wildcats (7-10). New Hampshire's Laura McHoul scored first and SBU didn't tie it until Kristin Yevoli's unassisted goal with 12:21 left in the 30-minute half. That came just after Spallina called a timeout.

"I thought we showed our age early on and were kind of tight,'' he said. "I kind of got into them a little bit . . . I needed to give them a little shock therapy and told them the finality of it: 'If you don't start performing, we're going to be on the outside looking in Sunday. If you want to watch somebody else steal your trophy in your own backyard, just let me know and we'll stop getting after it.' They took to it pretty quick.''

Murphy and Emily Mercier then scored to give SBU three goals in a span of 2:10. After Laura Puccia brought New Hampshire within 3-2, freshman Dorrien Van Dyke and Murphy gave the Seawolves a 5-2 halftime lead. Murphy scored four goals in the second half. "She had a stellar performance. Six goals. Awesome,'' Van Dyke said. "She's a great finisher and plays great every game.''

"I think it was just nerves in the beginning 'cause this is a huge game and we needed to win it,'' Murphy said. "Coach basically told us we needed to want it more and that we need to want it every minute on the field. Once I scored my first goal, I was definitely more calm and collected. I think after that, it just came to us as an offense.''

Murphy's goal total broke the 2006 mark of 46 set by Kaitlin Leggio. Van Dyke has 62 points, breaking Leggio's freshman mark of 56.

Hofstra women lose. Andi Raymond scored with eight seconds remaining to give top-seeded Towson a 6-5 victory over the fourth-seeded Hofstra women's lacrosse team in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia.

After Towson (10-7) took a 5-3 lead, April Iannetta scored a free-position goal with 4:26 to play and Jenn Ward tied it with 38 seconds left for Hofstra (8-10).

Junior attacker Brittain Altomare, one of five Pride players to score, recorded a point for the 37th straight game when she tied the score at 3-3.

Towson will face James Madison or Delaware in Sunday's championship game.

New York Sports