Junior midfielder Sarah Pulis during a game against Ohio State on Feb. 15. Pulis scored the game opener against the Florida Gators on Feb. 29. SAMANTHA ROBINSON/THE STATESMAN

After two scorching hot wins to kick off their season, the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team took their first loss of the season on Saturday, losing 12-10 against the No. 8 Florida Gators in Gainesville.

Like they have done repeatedly this season, the Seawolves took a commanding lead right out of the gate. After junior midfielder Sarah Pulis scored the game opener, senior attackers Ally Kennedy and Taryn Ohlmiller scored two apiece to take up a 5-1 lead with only 11 minutes remaining in the first half. 

However, the Gators wouldn’t roll over. Junior attacker Kassidy Bresnahan began a 4-goal run for Florida with 8:48 left in the first half, quickly followed up with back-to-back goals by sophomore midfielder Maggie Corbo. Junior attacker Grace Haus completed the run with 5:11 left in the half, and Florida entered halftime tied at five.

After freshman attacker Kailyn Hart scored her seventh goal in the season to retake the lead for the Seawolves in the second half, Florida went on the offensive and scored three straight goals. Goals from Kennedy and junior midfielder Rayna Sabella tied it up at eight, then the Gators and Seawolves traded goals until Florida went up for good with two minutes left in the game.

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The biggest factor, statistically, was the save differential. Despite the Seawolves putting 23 of their 24 shots on goal — an absurd 96% — Florida redshirt-freshman goalie Sarah Reznick saved 13 shots. 

“It’s a disappointing day for us,” head coach Joe Spallina said in a press release. “I thought Florida deserved to win. They won so many of the little battles that are necessary to win when playing a top-10 team. I thought their goalie stepped up big with 10 second-half saves. And we did too many uncharacteristic things.”

While the loss is a rough one coming against another top-10 opponent, it’s worth noting that the game in Gainesville marked the Seawolves’ first game after a two-week break. Although Stony Brook will hardly make excuses for the loss, the game would be a tall order for any team, even those at the very top.

The Seawolves won’t have another two-week break this season, as the team is right back at it when they return to face the two tiger teams at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, with Towson University on Thursday at 5 p.m. and then Princeton University three days later.

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“We have a big week ahead,” Spallina said.

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