The most exciting goal scored by the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team Saturday wasn’t early in a close game. It was late in a blowout.
With Stony Brook leading UMass Lowell by double-digits on Senior Day, coach Joe Spallina let his seniors see extended playing time, and it was Sam Jaffe’s goal with 3:24 left in a rout that got the most joyous response from the 860 fans in attendance.
Jaffe cut across the cage and scored off an assist from Kylie Ohlmiller, who had three goals and five assists and became the first player in America East history with 300 career points, in the Seawolves’ regular season finale, a 20-4 win. Stony Brook (16-1) finished America East play 6-0, its third straight undefeated season in conference.
“She’s usually getting the crowd going. She’s our energy source,” Spallina said of Jaffe, who also had two assists. “It’s important to her. I think that the fans know that because she’s usually jumping up and down and getting everybody fired up, and now she had the opportunity to actually have people cheering for her, which is great.”
Spallina’s seven seniors were in the starting lineup before yielding to the regular unit midway through the first half. Dorrien Van Dyke (four goals, two assists), Alyssa Guido (one goal, three ground balls), Kristin Yevoli (one goal, three draw controls), Jessica Volpe, Ashley Gomes, Nichole Doran and Jaffe each made an impact and were honored in a pregame ceremony and a postgame montage on the video board.
“This is the biggest, strongest team I’ve ever been part of,” Jaffe said. “We’ve built this culture up since my freshman year, and I score a goal, but really, it was all of us.”
Stony Brook led 3-2 before Taryn Ohlmiller kickstarted a 7-0 run by smacking a loose ball in front of the cage into the net. Stony Brook led 11-3 at halftime, and a 5-0 run at the beginning of the second half put the game away.
After the postgame video, the seniors were left thinking about the future. Of course, the Seawolves aren’t done playing at LaValle, with their America East tournament semifinal against New Hampshire set for Friday at 5:30. Still, players got choked up talking about the senior class.
“We don’t even call each other a team. We are a family,” Van Dyke said. “I think days like today are really important just for the culture of the program and just for each group coming in seeing how much each group cares for each other.”
Redshirt-junior Brooke Gubitosi had four caused turnovers and four ground balls and will always look back fondly at her time with her teammates.
“They’re all my best friends,” she said. “It’s really hard to see them go. I wish they could stay with me another year, but I’m excited to see what they do after lacrosse.”
But Jaffe and the rest of the seniors made it clear that there’s still more lacrosse to play this season.
Said Jaffe: “NCAAs, we’re coming for you.”