Taryn Ohlmiller put an exclamation point on her final game at LaValle Stadium on Sunday.
The Stony Brook attack, who returned for a graduate season after last year’s women’s lacrosse season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, knew that win or lose, she’d never play another home game as a student-athlete. What she didn’t know was how she would cement her college legacy.
Ohlmiller set a program record for points in an NCAA Tournament game with 12 (four goals, eight assists) as Stony Brook beat Rutgers, 20-8. She surpassed Courtney Murphy’s record of nine points in 2018 and is one of only three players in NCAA Tournament history with at least 12 points in a game.
The eighth-seeded Seawolves will play at top-seeded North Carolina on Saturday in the quarterfinals. It’s Stony Brook’s third time in the quarterfinals in the last four seasons, but SBU has never reached a Final Four.
"I think this is absolutely the best game our team has played this whole season," Ohlmiller said. "We’re playing our best lacrosse right now, and I think if we just keep going the way we’re going, just an ‘everything about us’ mentality, I think that we have a great shot here."
Ohlmiller’s eight assists tied an NCAA Tournament record.
"We had QB1 today," coach Joe Spallina said. "She was dishing and our players cut a little differently when it’s in [her] stick."
Kaeli Huff had six goals, with three coming off feeds from Ohlmiller.
"Her vision is unbelievable," Huff said. "Sometimes you cut and you don’t even think you are open, but she knows you have that extra step. Sometimes you’re not even expecting it, but she’s such a good feeder. She has such a quick stick and she’s able to feed to anyone."
Stony Brook (16-2) scored seven unanswered goals in a span of 13 minutes, 47 seconds to take a 10-2 lead and scored the first four goals of the second half to go ahead 15-4.
"There’s no other team in the country I’d rather have at this point," Spallina said. "We are playing our best lacrosse, we’re healthy and we’re one win away from doing something no one wants us to do."
North Carolina (19-0) earned a 14-7 win in SBU’s season opener.
"I look at this team from that first game and it feels like years ago," Huff said. "It feels like a completely different team."
Spallina said North Carolina has "arguably the best college lacrosse roster of all time" but added, "A ton of respect for North Carolina, but this isn’t about them. This is about us. This is about us going in there and fighting our rear ends off and living to fight another day.
"We’re 60 minutes away. We don’t have to be better 18 times. We don’t have to be better for three hours. We have to be better for 60 minutes of lacrosse.
"We’ll go into that game with zero fear. Stony Brook lacrosse doesn’t bend their knee to anybody. We’re going to go in there and we’re going to do what we gotta do."