No. 8 Stanford entered Saturday afternoon’s Women’s Lacrosse game allowing just 7.7 goals per game this season. In the first half alone, No. 12 Stony Brook scored 13 goals.
It was that kind of game — a game in which the Seawolves seemed to dominate in every aspect, as the team crushed the Cardinal, 17-7, in the team’s largest-ever margin of victory over a ranked opponent.
“For us, we got back to our identity, being more of a blue-collar team,” head coach Joe Spallina said. “We were playing [against] five-star players, five-star athletes. Top to bottom, we are probably three-star lacrosse players that had to make up the other two stars with a blue-collar work ethic. … I think it was probably as complete of a performance as we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
Junior attacker Courtney Murphy scored six goals and freshman goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero had 13 saves. Sophomore attacker Kylie Ohlmiller scored her fourth goal of the game with 26:17 remaining in the second half. The tally gave the team a 10-goal lead, activating the “running clock” mercy rule, that could not have been foreseen in a contest between two seemingly evenly-matched teams.
Tesoriero churned out perhaps the finest performance of her freshman campaign, saving 65 percent of the Stanford shots on goal. Her impact was felt in the opening minutes of the game, as she saved six shots in the first 12 minutes, as Stony Brook opened up a 3-0 lead.
“Whenever a goalie makes a save, it’s a huge jumpstart for the entire team,” Murphy said. “I think you get the crowd going. Anna did awesome today, she was a huge part of our success. She was able to clear the ball out and we were able to finish it — from the save, all the way to the other net.”
After the Cardinal scored a pair of goals in the first half to cut the Seawolves’ lead to 3-2, Stony Brook scored a goal just 11 seconds after the ensuing faceoff to start a 8-0 run to break the game open. Junior midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke secured eight draw controls, as she sparked the team’s transition play throughout the span.
“My goals, and a lot of Kylie’s goals too, were assisted off the fast break,” Murphy said. “That’s Dorrien killing it on the draw and pushing it. Dorrien may not get that assist, but she kind of got the hockey assist; she was able to start that play.”
Stony Brook dominated in the midfield, not only in transition, but also in the offensive third of the field, as junior Kristin Yevoli and sophomore Samantha DiSalvo combined for five goals and three assists.
“I think [Yevoli is] starting to shake off some of her injuries from early in the season and she’s a nightmare to defend,” Spallina said, “She’s going to run by a defender more often than not.”
On defense, the Seawolves limited the Cardinal’s ability to get open shooting lanes in the interior. Stony Brook senior defender Alyssa Fleming forced a match-best six turnovers, but the most memorable aspect of her game was on the offensive end.
With 24:43 remaining in the game, the two-time first-team All-America East selectee ran up the center of the field, retrieved the ball and drove to the net where she scored her second career goal to give her team a 15-4 lead. Fleming leapt in the air, arms raised in celebration, after becoming the sixth Seawolf to score in the game.
“We practiced [that play] yesterday, and we knew it was a possibility with them denying Dorr[ien] the ball,” Murphy said. “It was awesome to see her score, and I think the whole team rallied around that and that goal really killed Stanford. When a defender scores on you, I think that, like, that sucks. It kills you.”
Stony Brook is now on a four-game win streak after notching its ninth-ever win against a ranked team. The Seawolves, holding a 6-3 record, will begin conference play against the Vermont Catamounts on April 2, at 3 p.m..