After Saturday’s win against UMass Lowell, senior attacker Sam Jaffe was doing handstands on the 40-yard line. There was plenty to celebrate: it was the team’s Senior Day, they had just won by 16 points and the victory was the eleventh straight for Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse.
Looking ahead, however, Jaffe dropped the celebratory spirit and adopted a serious tone.
“We still got a long ride,” she said. “We’re not done yet, I’ll tell you that.”
First, Stony Brook, seeking its fifth consecutive titlem will need to win this weekend’s America East Championship at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
Since head coach Joe Spallina’s first recruiting class in 2014, Stony Brook is 16-0 against the three prospective America East opponents in regular season play and 8-0 in the America East tournament.
The Seawolves are more than prepared to finish out the America East season, armed with two Tewaaraton Award nominees, senior midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke and junior attacker Kylie Ohlmiller, the best scoring freshmen in the nation in attacker Taryn Ohlmiller and the nation’s top defense. Stony Brook leads the nation with a 9.24 scoring margin and a 6.88 goals-against average.
First up is the fourth-seeded New Hampshire (3-13 overall, 3-3 conference) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Stony Brook has outscored the team 83-24 over the course of the last four seasons.
When Stony Brook visited New Hampshire this March, Kylie Ohlmiller had 10 points and Taryn Ohlmiller scored five goals in a 14-2 victory. Junior defender Brooke Gubitosi contributed a career-high six caused turnovers. The Seawolves were up 10-1 at the half.
Since the two teams last met, Stony Brook has won eight straight games, while New Hampshire has recovered to a degree, going 3-3.
New Hampshire’s top five scorers have a combined 122 points, eight shy of Kylie Ohlmiller’s 130 going into Friday. Together with freshman attack Taryn Ohlmiller’s 82 points, the sisters have outscored New Hampshire’s entire team this season 212-185.
After New Hampshire comes Albany or UMBC, who play at 8 p.m. at LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves have outscored the No. 2 seed Albany, Stony Brook’s likely competitor for the championship and higher-seeded team in the matchup, 74-42 since 2014. Stony Brook has also outscored Albany a combined 28-18 in the last three championship games.
Albany is ranked 17 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse women’s media poll and the US Lacrosse Magazine poll, and is unranked in the IWLCA coaches poll. Stony Brook sits at No. 4 in all three national polls. Albany, lead by senior midfielder Sarah Martin, whose 91 points this season position her as the second-best scorer in the nation, presents the best threat to Stony Brook.
Stony Brook beat Albany 10-9 in last season’s America East Championship game on a free-possession goal by then-freshman Kasey Mitchell as time expired. In 2015, another close battle ended in a 11-8 Stony Brook victory. The Seawolves also beat the Great Danes 18-11 earlier this season in a physical game with a combined 43 fouls between both teams.
Albany’s opponent in the first round on Friday, No. 3 seed UMBC, has lost their five match-ups against the Seawolves since 2014 by a combined 57 points, including a 16-5 loss in the 2015 postseason.
The winners of Friday’s games will face off in the championship at noon on Sunday at LaValle Stadium.