After Vermont junior midfielder Alison Bolt scored her second consecutive goal to give her team a 4-1 lead early in the first half, the No. 8 Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse team trailed by three goals against a conference opponent for the first time in four years.
Head coach Joe Spallina, irate after his team’s slow start, called timeout looking to inspire his team.
Two more Vermont goals and a goaltending change later, Stony Brook finally caught fire. The Seawolves used strong draw controls and standout performances from the team’s offensive stars to score 16 consecutive goals in a 33-minute span, as they crushed the Catamounts in a 19-8 victory on Saturday afternoon.
” ‘You guys are better than this,’ ” sophomore attacker Kylie Ohlmiller said that her coach told the team during the early timeout. “Stop playing like this and get the ball down the field and into the net.’ “
Ohlmiller’s six goals were a career-high for the 2015 America East Rookie of the Year, while her nine points tied a career-best. The sophomore seemed to score in every possible way: scoring in transition, on a free position attempt and on a pair of crafty wrap-arounds.
“I think deception plays a big role, especially in my game,” she said. “I’m not the fastest player in the world and a lot of attackers, they use their speed, their first step to beat defenders. A lot of it for me is using my stick to deceive people and use my eyes especially. I’m a big eyes person.”
Ohlmiller was not alone in the offensive effort. Junior attacker Courtney Murphy and junior midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke had five and four goals, respectively. For Murphy, the five-goal outburst was her sixth such performance in her last eight games. Van Dyke has a 11-game goal streak, the longest active streak on the team.
Stony Brook led Vermont 21-7 in draw controls, including 10 faceoff wins in a row during the game-deciding run. The draw control success provided extra possessions for the Seawolves, helping them put the game out of reach.
Freshman midfielder Keri McCarthy took most of the draws for the Seawolves in the game, while junior midfielder Kristin Yevoli led the team with seven draw controls.
“If you win the draw, you rule the world,” Spallina said. “We feel like the way we play, if we can were able to win the draws, we’d be in a good spot.”
Yevoli, who described herself as “almost 100 percent” after an ankle injury sidelined her for two games early in the season, struck twine on two goals, making her one of six Seawolves to score.
Stony Brook’s starter in cage, freshman goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero, struggled early in the contest after making a career-best 13 saves in the team’s game against Stanford on March 26. Tesoriero failed to stop any of the five shots she faced on Saturday, and junior Kaitlyn Leahy replaced her midway through the first half.
After changing the goalkeeper, the Seawolves’ surge was underway. After trailing 6-3, Ohlmiller put a spin move on her opponent and snuck a shot past the legs of Vermont freshman goalkeeper Maddy Kuras.
With 3:49 remaining in the first half, Yevoli scored on a running shot from the left side of the offense to tie the game, 6-6. Later, Stony Brook used a quick passing sequence to turn a ground ball from senior defender Maegan Meritz to an Ohlmiller goal in just 12 seconds, taking an 8-6 lead with 0.8 seconds remaining in the first half.
Stony Brook scored the first 10 goals of the second half, running its lead to 18-6 with 9:59 remaining in the game, as it ran Vermont into submission. The Seawolves led the Catamounts 10-2 in ground balls in the game, which, combined with the team’s success in draw controls, prevented Vermont from much-needed possession.
Stony Brook, now 7-3 on the season, will be back in action on Wednesday night when it hosts the UMBC Retrievers at 7 p.m.. The game will be a rematch of last season’s America East semifinal game, won by Stony Brook, 16-5.
“I think we slept a little on Vermont,” Ohlmiller said, “We came into conference thinking maybe that we could roll over, let them do what they do and still win. That’s obviously not the case. I think we can learn from today that we have to come out on our game at all times.”