Before the Ohlmiller sisters and the media attention and the national championship conversation, there was Dorrien Van Dyke.
“New rule, seniors coming back,” head coach Joe Spallina joked as he walked by Van Dyke’s post-game interview after Saturday’s 20-4 win against UMass Lowell at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
The win improved Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse’s record to 16-1 and solidified the team’s third consecutive season of undefeated America East play. It was also the last regular season game and the team’s senior day.
“We’ve had a great four years and still a lot more games left,” Van Dyke said after the game.
The senior midfielder, whose name is scattered across the Stony Brook record book, scored four goals and added two assists after she became the third highest scorer in program history during Friday’s game against Hofstra.
Junior attacker Kylie Ohlmiller had eight points, the first of which came less than three minutes into the game and gave her 300 career points. She is the first player to do so in America East history.
The star’s 130 points put her within 18 of the all-time single-season record, set in 22 games in 2001 by Maryland great, Jen Adams. At her current pace, Ohlmiller will reach 148 points in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The younger Ohlmiller sister, freshman attacker Taryn Ohlmiller, now leads all freshmen nationwide with 82 points after a five- goal, two-assist day. Defensively, redshirt-junior defender Brooke Gubitosi had four ground balls and four caused turnovers, including three intercepted passes. Sophomore goalie Anna Tesoriero logged six saves in the cage, raising her nation-leading goals-against average to 6.88.
The game ended with senior attacker Alyssa Guido pestering UMass Lowell’s third goalie of the game by not letting her get a pass off. Moments later, with 38 seconds to go, Guido stole the ball and got a shot off into an empty goal to cap off Stony Brook’s eleventh straight win.
“She’s an outstanding player,” Spallina said. “That won’t be the last you’ll see of [number] 29.”
It is easy to imagine after the success he has had with the seniors — Spallina’s first recruiting class — he would happily implement his “new rule” if he could. Particularly if it meant keeping Van Dyke, who is set to depart Stony Brook for the United Women’s Lacrosse League after graduation.
“Her recruiting was a full-blown pregnancy. It was nine months for her to make a decision. Labor pains and all,” Spallina recalled. “Thank god she chose here. She’s had a storied career.”
Her storied career is not over yet. After starting in every game since she arrived, the Northport native is set to help lead the Seawolves into the postseason.
“We still got a long ride,” senior attacker Sam Jaffe said after the game. “We’re not done yet, I’ll tell you that.”
Jaffe herself had a career day, assisting on two goals early before getting one for herself with less than four minutes to go in the blowout. The goal, Stony Brook’s nineteenth of the game, prompted by far the biggest crowd reaction of the day.
“She’s usually the one getting the crowd going. She’s like our energy source,” Spallina said of the fan favorite. “And now she actually had the opportunity to have people cheering for her.”
Jaffe celebrated her last regular season game with an enthusiastic handstand at the 40-yard line while the team waited to watch a tribute video to the senior class on the jumbotron. She has played a significant role in establishing what Spallina called “a winning culture.”
“This group has been a driving cog behind our success. They were a group that had to come in and perform at a high level immediately,” Spallina said of the senior class. “And they have.”
This year’s team is the highest nationally-ranked team of Spallina’s tenure, and could go deeper into the postseason than they have since he arrived. The second round of the NCAA tournament is the farthest the team has gotten in the last four years. The longer they play, the more time the seniors have before they must say goodbye.
“Usually I’m the stoic one – my wife calls me the ‘tin man’ sometimes because of my lack of emotion – but this group…” Spallina trailed off. “I watched that [tribute] video two days ago. I was blinking a lot.”
The Seawolves — perfect in America East play for the third consecutive year — host New Hampshire in the America East semifinal Friday at 5:30 p.m.. A year ago Saturday, Stony Brook beat New Hampshire 17-4 in the semifinal, and on March 21 of this year, the team beat New Hampshire 13-4 in Durham. The America East Finals will be hosted at LaValle Stadium on May 7.