For a moment, it looked as if the No. 6 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s 10-game win streak was coming to an end.
The Seawolves (13-2), who had not trailed at halftime since March 10, ended the second quarter down 6-5 at No. 24 Yale on Monday. Goalkeeper Kameron Halsall had allowed four first-quarter goals, and Stony Brook had missed six of its first eight shots.
But midfielders Kyla Zapolski and Rayna Sabella and attacker Kailyn Hart each scored two goals in the third quarter to lead Stony Brook to a 14-10 win — their first comeback victory of the season.
Hart finished with six goals, matching the career high she set just last week. She was supported by a defense that held the Bulldogs (10-4) to four shots in the second half.
“This was a solid win for our team in a trap game coming off Saturday night’s senior night and an afternoon Monday road game,” head coach Joe Spallina said in a press release. “We dug ourselves a first-quarter hole but I think we stepped up when we needed to and found a way. A win like today goes a long way in making us battle tested come May.”
The victory, Stony Brook’s third-straight against a ranked team and fourth in six games this year, is slightly disappointing given the teams’ expectations for the NCAA Tournament. The Seawolves will not face another ranked team in the regular season, and a dominant win would have gone a long way towards impressing the selection committee and helping Stony Brook lock up a top seed.
Hart scored Stony Brook’s first goal four minutes into the game, but its defense failed to contain Yale attacker Taylor Everson. Everson assisted two goals in the first quarter and scored one of her own to put Yale up 4-1.
Hart added two more goals in the second quarter, but Stony Brook failed to sustain momentum on offense and watched Yale go up 6-5. Hart and attacker Ellie Masera missed difficult shots with five seconds left on the clock, which would have tied the game.
By the third quarter, Stony Brook had figured out Yale’s offense. The Seawolves outscored the Bulldogs 6-1 in the third quarter behind three caused turnovers and six ground balls. Defender Haley Dillon caused one of those turnovers to finish with four on the day.
Stony Brook took the lead for good after Sabella’s goal four minutes into the third quarter, but the most impressive play of the team’s 9-4 second-half run came from Zapolski. Sprinting across the field from the left, Zapolski faked out two Yale defenders to launch a shot over her back shoulder and give the Seawolves a 9-7 lead.
Masera scored twice in the fourth quarter to secure her sixth-straight hat trick and give Stony Brook the ability to slow down the pace of the game. Her 74 points and 57 goals lead the team this season, and it is unlikely that anyone will overtake her with only one game remaining.
The Seawolves will conclude their regular season at Albany on April 30, as they look to cement their case for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.