Sara Moeller said she was drawn to the winning atmosphere at Stony Brook when she made the decision to transfer this offseason from America East foe UMBC.
Winning, however, hasn’t come as easy for this year’s Seawolves women’s lacrosse team. A rigorous non-conference schedule to open the season saw Stony Brook drop its first two home games, but the Seawolves got themselves back in the win column at LaValle on Saturday afternoon.
Moeller had one goal and three assists and Siobhan Rafferty scored four times as Stony Brook notched the game’s first 16 goals in a 20-3 rout of UMass-Lowell (3-8, 0-2). Ally Kennedy added three goals and Bridget Considine had two goals and two assists.
Getting that first win on this field, especially coming from the conference and experiencing losses on this field, it’s great to finally get that and be on a team like this,” Moeller said.
UMBC’s top player last year, Moeller chose Stony Brook because she sought more for herself. She wanted to “spread her wings a little,” especially having grown up in Phoenix, Maryland, which is not far from UMBC.
She didn’t play in the fall in order to recover from an ACL injury, but she took the field in February before the season started to get acclimated to coach Joe Spallina’s style. The transition wasn’t seamless, but she’s starting to come into her own.
“At UMBC, it was a great experience, but the coaches here push me every day mentally and physically, and I feel myself growing each and every day,” Moeller said.
With Taryn Ohlmiller and Nicole Barretta both sidelined for about a month with what Spallina classified as “lower body injuries,” Stony Brook (5-4, 2-0) still throttled a Riverhawks team that didn’t score until freshman Samantha Blair of West Islip found the back of the net with 1:44 left in the first half. Every active member of Stony Brook’s roster played, and 12 of them scored.
“We needed a feel-good game,” Spallina said. “We’ve been through a gauntlet. We’ve dealt with injuries and different things. We’ve been a hard-luck loser against some really good teams.”
Even when Ohlmiller and Barretta return later this spring, Spallina said he wants this team to be about the sum of its parts, not a handful of individual playmakers. Although they haven’t found their identity yet, the Seawolves hope to separate themselves from last year’s historic group.
“From being on the team last year, it’s definitely a new team, new identity,” Rafferty said. “But the biggest thing we want to do is to create our own identity and show who we are. I think we’re on our way.”