MANJU SHIVACHARAN/THE STATESMAN
Junior midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke (No. 22, above) scored two goals during Sunday’s game against Florida. MANJU SHIVACHARAN/THE STATESMAN

The No. 8 Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse team trailed No. 3 Florida by just one with 1:13 to play, giving junior attacker Courtney Murphy a chance to send the game into overtime. With her back to the net, Murphy tried flipping in a goal, but instead ended up on the turf and the Gators gained possession. That was Stony Brook’s last chance, and the team would fall 7-6 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.

“On that last play [Courtney] Murph[y] got basically tackled inside,” head coach Joe Spallina said. “Goalie wound up making a save, but she got shanked in the crease. Got to be a call there.”

Led by junior midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke, the Seawolves stormed back from a three-goal deficit to get as close as they did.

After a quiet first half in which Stony Brook fell behind 5-2, Van Dyke scored one goal and assisted on another in the opening two minutes of the second half. She then scored a free-position goal to tie the game with 14:19 on the clock.

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“I just happened to get the ball, made the right plays,” Van Dyke said. “I think what coach said at halftime really lit a fire in me, just saying how if we have the ball, they can’t really stop us. Which was kind of the case, they were struggling a little bit on defense.”

However, Florida struck back immediately, taking the ball off the draw control and scoring 12 seconds later. The teams then exchanged goals leading up to Murphy’s last-ditch effort.

Stony Brook looked in control to begin the game, as the team led 2-1 16 minutes into a potential second upset over Florida in as many seasons. The Gators committed six turnovers to the Seawolves’ zero before a Van Dyke free position shot ricocheted off the post.

“Oh it went in, and then it went out,” Van Dyke said. “I think that was a little disappointing, but next time I’ll shoot it in a different place and hopefully it stays in.”

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The miss swung the momentum in Florida’s favor. Senior midfielder Nicole Graziano tied the game for Florida on the other end, then proceeded to score three consecutive goals before the break.

“That’s a big play there, because it goes 2-1, 3-1 to they get it, they score, they get the ball back,” Spallina said. “That was tough.”

Graziano finished with four goals and an assist to lead Florida. Van Dyke scored two goals and assisted on one for Stony Brook. Sophomore midfielder Samantha DiSalvo, sophomore attacker Kylie Ohlmiller, junior attacker Alyssa Guido and senior attacker Taylor Ranftle each scored one.

Coming off a standout performance in her freshman debut, goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero finished with five saves and a .417 save percentage against Florida. She made one crucial error, turning the ball over to Graziano, who scored.

“I thought that if we didn’t give them transition, we felt like in a settled set we would be really good,” Spallina said. “I think they scored three goals in transition, and the one that my goalie just made a poor decision on, kind of threw it right to their player.”

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The Gators entered the game 6-0, averaging 14.8 goals per game, but scored just seven on Sunday. Florida finished with 11 draw controls to Stony Brook’s two.

Junior midfielder Kristin Yevoli, who scored three goals in Stony Brook’s season opener at Bryant, missed today’s contest with a lower body injury, as did freshman midfielder Kasey Mitchell, who had her appendix removed.

Last season, the Seawolves upset the then-No. 7 Gators in Florida behind six points from Ohlmiller. Florida was also fueled by getting to play on Long Island, where a large part of its roster is from. A section of the stadium was filled to the brim with blue and orange gear.

“They have ten kids from Long Island, so they want to come show out big,” Van Dyke said. “We didn’t want that to happen in our house, unfortunately the ending was a little bit different than what we wanted it to be.”

A win would have been a Seawolves program record for highest-ranked opponent beaten in women’s lacrosse. Next up for Stony Brook is a home match-up with Yale on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m.

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