The No. 1-ranked Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team has one of, if not the best, players in the country, possibly even ever. Senior attacker Kylie Ohlmiller inches closer each game to breaking NCAA records, continuing to prove doubters wrong each day.
Despite all the attention on her, she still manages to keep her main focus plain and simple.
“Yeah, I’m definitely excited to have my name and Stony Brook’s name up there,” Ohlmiller said. “But yeah, looking forward to getting past that and getting a win. My biggest thing is making sure we get a win in the next game and making sure we get wins throughout the board so we’re home for the next month or so and we can have a million more senior days.”
Ohlmiller’s big-time performance helped the Seawolves cruise to a 20-6 Senior Day victory over the New Hampshire Wildcats Sunday afternoon at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
The senior had three goals and seven assists, good for 10 points. She has a combined 21 points, with nine goals and 13 assists, in the two-game span. After Sunday’s performance, she needs only two points and five more assists to break the NCAA Division I records for career points and career assists respectively.
Ohlmiller assisted on four of the team’s first five goals, three of them leading to goals by redshirt-senior attacker Courtney Murphy. The redshirt-senior ended the contest with six goals and an assist, with her second goal of the night making her the first player in NCAA history to score 300 career goals.
“Yeah, it was cool because it came from Kylie [Ohlmiller],” Murphy said. “I was hoping she got her record today because I know the feeling of how it feels when you break that record. I’m excited for her next game to break it because there’s no one else really deserving to break it than her.”
Eleven seniors were honored before the Senior Day game, in which head coach Joe Spallina started 10 of his seniors. Senior defender Carolyn Carrera took over the draw control duties, as she is listed as No. 2 on the depth chart for that position, right behind junior midfielder Keri McCarthy.
Carrera, who transferred from Hofstra, had a team-high and career-high 12 draw controls, with the Seawolves winning 25 of the 28 draws attempted in the game. Spallina now has the option of starting either McCarthy or Carrera in the draw circle.
“Is there a controversy at the draw circle? Yep, yep yep,” Spallina said. “I love it, love it, love it. Listen, we are who we are because of that. I think there’s gonna be a draw competition, and what more can you ask? It was great.”
Carrera, who recorded 66 draw controls in all 33 games she played at Hofstra from 2015 through the 2016 season, was just pumped to get back to the circle.
“It was awesome, I was excited to get back in there,” Carrera said. “Just to have that opportunity again. I’ve been working hard for this.”
Friday night drew 3,123 people for the team’s game against No. 22 Johns Hopkins, the largest crowd for a single game in women’s lacrosse program history. Many of the fans were lining up two hours in advance of the 7 p.m. start time.
All were there for one player and one player only: Kylie Ohlmiller.
“It was unreal,” Ohlmiller said. “It’s been pretty amazing to see how we’ve turned this program around into Long Island’s team in general. Just to see the amount of people lined up outside for this one game, it was just really, really cool. It’s very humbling because it’s a tribute to all of our hard work.”
Ohlmiller joins Stony Brook Men’s Basketball alumnus Jameel Warney in being the only two athletes in Stony Brook history to get a bobblehead made for them. On said bobblehead night, the senior scored six goals and assisted on five more as she led the Seawolves to a 15-7 victory over the Blue Jays.
Ohlmiller’s 11 points on the day were a season-high, and she was one point away from tying her career-high. She was also one goal short of her career-high in that category. Head coach Joe Spallina did not shy away from praising his star player.
“I’ve never hidden from the fact that she’s the best player in the world,” Spallina said. “She’s the best player in NCAA lacrosse. I would put my name on that. I’m not going to hide from that. I’ve been saying that for years.”
This was a game the Seawolves had marked on their calendar. It’s no secret that the team is miles ahead of its America East counterparts talent-wise, so after three of its last four games against conference rivals, Spallina needed to see the fight in his team, and changed his game preparation back on Monday.
“We made some changes this week,” Spallina said. “It was a week where I was difficult. It was a planned week. For me, it was ‘nothing is good enough for me’ this week. I needed to get the bite back in us. If the common denominator was all them hating me, I’m fine with that.”
One thing in particular that changed was the positioning of sophomore attacker Taryn Ohlmiller. The younger Ohlmiller usually plays behind the net alongside her sister. However, she was moved to play more in front of the net, with Murphy playing behind.
The result of that move was Taryn Ohlmiller scoring a season-high four goals.
“I think it threw the defense off because everyone is so used to me playing behind,” Taryn Ohlmiller said. “It also opened up a lot of offense for Kylie [Ohlmiller] and [Murphy] and we had eyes up top and down low too. I think that was a really good dynamic for our offense.”
The defensive game plan was switched around as well. Junior goalkeeper Anna Tesoriero made 10 saves and picked up three ground balls. She was much more active as well, moving behind the net to get ground balls and picking off several across-the-net passes by Johns Hopkins.
“All week, we worked on picking off passes from behind the net,” Tesoriero said. “We had Kylie [Ohlmiller] and [Murphy] come in from behind, like they usually do. Having feeders and players like them kind of prepares me for whatever other teams have to throw at us.”
Stony Brook will have the rest of the week off until this coming Saturday in a home game against UMBC at 3 p.m.