The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team came into the season with high expectations. Ranked No. 12 in the nation going into the season in the Nike/US Lacrosse Top 20, the team had their work cut out for them early on Feb. 8 against the No. 4 Syracuse Orange. But at the Carrier Dome on Monday night, the Seawolves took down the Orange 17-16 to kick off the season with a 1-0 record.
The night got off to a rough start for the Seawolves, as they went down 6-2 with under 9:30 in the first half after Syracuse went on a 4-goal run. It seemed like the team was overmatched against the Orange, but that was when the Seawolves came back to life. Ignited by Preseason All-American senior midfielder Ally Kennedy’s first goal of the season, the Seawolves went on a 5-1 goal run to enter halftime tied at seven apiece.
Then in the second half, the Seawolves took it to the Orange in dominating fashion. For nearly 15 minutes, the Seawolves’ defense held the Orange completely scoreless while offense ran it up to 16-9. The feat was made more impressive given that Syracuse boasted the power of senior attacker Emily Hawryschuk, who Inside Lacrosse named the third-best college men’s or women’s lacrosse player.
Despite a surging Orange front at the end of the game that saw the Seawolves struggle with draw controls, the lead was enough to keep the Stony Brook win alive. Syracuse had cut the lead down to just one, but the Seawolves secured the final draw control and were able to run out the clock for the victory.
It was an offensive showcase from faces new and old for the Seawolves. Senior attacker Taryn Ohlmiller led the Seawolves’ charge with her career-high six goals, followed closely behind by Kennedy’s four goals. Junior midfielders Sarah Pulis and Jesse Arline added another three and two goals respectively, while freshman attacker Kailyn Hart put in two in her first-ever game, including a stellar behind-the-back shot during the Seawolves’ offensive barrage. Hart was joined by other freshmen, midfielder Kira Accettella, attacker Kayla Downey, and midfielder Charlotte Verhulst in all making their first-ever college start for the Seawolves.
Not to be outshined by her new teammates, redshirt-sophomore transfer goalkeeper Kameron Halsall stepped between the sticks for the first time for the Seawolves and showed up with 10 saves as the team’s new starting goalie.
“We couldn’t have started this season on a better note,” Ohlmiller said in a press release. “Going into it we knew it was going to be a tough game, but all of our hard work this preseason showed tonight. I’m so proud of every person on this team and we’re just going to keep earning the respect we deserve every week.”
“I’m so proud of our kids,” head coach Joe Spallina said in a press release. “This is a tremendous road win for our young team – one that will go a long way. We dealt with adversity early and late and got it done. Top-five wins aren’t easy and this group earned it.”
With their opening game victory, the Seawolves now return to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to face the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Feb. 15 at noon.