On the heels of a confidence-inspiring win over No. 15 USC, the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team took to the Carrier Dome to play the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, Feb. 27, and lost by a final score of 16-6.
From the beginning, the Seawolves looked outmatched. Down early, the team could not hit their shots when they needed to in order to keep the game close early. While Syracuse ran up six straight goals after a 2-1 start, the Seawolves were stuffed time and time again in what ended as a standout 11-save performance by Syracuse graduate goalkeeper Asa Goldstock. When halftime came around, the Seawolves were down 12-3.
The second half saw much of the same as the first. Syracuse ran the table and Stony Brook seemingly had no answers.
Graduate midfielder Ally Kennedy finished scoreless for just the second time in her career, the first of which came in her second career game back in 2017. The team finished 0-for-4 on free position attempts while Syracuse was a slightly better 2-for-5, and Syracuse dominated the possession battle on the draw (16 wins to Stony Brook’s eight) and on the possession clock as well.
Even worse for the Seawolves, Syracuse played without star player Emily Hawryschuk, a graduate attacker who went down with a leg injury in a practice the day before the game.
The team’s lone bright spot was senior midfielder Siobhan Rafferty, who has continued her comeback story from last season’s ACL injury by leading the team with four of Stony Brook’s six goals.
“Syracuse was excellent in every aspect of the game and deserved the game,” head coach Joe Spallina said in a postgame press release. “We were beaten everywhere, and it starts with me. We got off to a rough start and could never get on track think. We lacked composure and allowed bad to go to worse.”
Now sitting at 2-2, there are many questions that the team must answer.
While having your only losses come to No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Syracuse would be acceptable at most schools, a No. 5 Stony Brook squad with national championship aspirations realizes that those will be the same teams they will likely see down the road if they make the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament.
With the combined losses coming at a scoring deficit of 30-13 against the top two teams in the country, Stony Brook will likely hit the drawing board to figure out a game plan that will succeed against those teams in a potential tournament game matchup.
“We have not lost one like this in a long time, and it will be telling how we respond this upcoming week,” Spallina said.
Stony Brook begins conference play on Friday, March 5. The Seawolves will look to extend their impressive 42-game win streak against America East opponents when they take on the UMBC Retrievers in Baltimore, Maryland.