After stumbling early, the No. 6 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team finished strong to beat its third ranked opponent of the year.
The Seawolves (4-0) wrapped up their trip to San Diego on Friday with a 14-11 win over the No. 17 Stanford Cardinal. Stony Brook found itself down by as much as six goals in the second quarter before flipping a switch to remain unbeaten.
After Stanford midfielder Annabel Frist scored her second goal of the game with 13:15 left in the first half, Stony Brook trailed 6-0. Defensively, the team committed nine fouls and allowed a pair of free-position shots. The Seawolves’ biggest struggle was in the faceoff departure, as they lost the draw-control battle 6-1 during that stretch.
The Seawolves woke up during the final 10 minutes of the second quarter. A pair of goals from midfielder Ellie Masera and scores from attackers Jolie Creo and Morgan Mitchell cut their deficit to three by halftime.
Stony Brook carried its momentum into the second half, opening it up with a 4-1 scoring run to tie the game at eight apiece. Frist briefly gave Stanford the lead back with her third goal of the game at the 6:17 mark of the third quarter. However, midfielder Erin MacQuarrie tied the game back up with her second goal of the night.
With 10 seconds left and the game tied 9-9, attacker Kailyn Hart drove towards Stanford’s goal and found midfielder Masera in the arc. With her back facing the goal, Masera fired a behind-the-back shot that found the back of the net to give Stony Brook its first lead of the game.
Stony Brook locked things down from there, outscoring Stanford 4-2 in the final frame. Masera struck again early in the fourth quarter to double the Seawolves’ lead. Nearly four minutes later, midfielder Jaden Hampel scored to make it 12-9. Creo joined the party and extended Stony Brook’s lead to four goals with fewer than eight minutes to play.
Stanford attacker Jay Browne got a goal back, but it was too late for her team. Stony Brook slowed down the tempo and drained the clock before Hart restored the team’s four-goal lead. A meaningless fourth goal from Frist put the finishing touches on the scoreboard, and Stony Brook secured the victory.
The Seawolves’ defense came alive after being down 7-4 at halftime. They forced five turnovers in the third quarter, limiting the Cardinals’ shooting opportunities. After accumulating 11 shots on goal through the first 20 minutes, Stanford challenged goalkeeper Hailey Duchnowski just four times in the final two periods.
Though Stony Brook lost the draw-control battle 16-12, it came out on top in other vital departments. The team scooped up a season-high 26 ground balls to the Cardinals’ 21. Creo led the way, as she picked up five ground balls. In addition, four other players recorded three ground balls each.
The Seawolves also had a significant advantage creating shots on offense, as they outshot Stanford 35-20. Stanford goalkeeper Kara Rahaim was forced to make a season-high 15 saves.
Masera led the way offensively for the Seawolves with five goals and two assists. Creo, Hart, MacQuarrie, and Mitchell all tallied a pair of goals each. Hampel and Hart both recorded two assists.
Stony Brook played a clean game, finishing +10 in turnover differential. The defense caused three more turnovers than Stanford did. Though the defense made Duchnowski’s job easier down the stretch, she struggled mightily. She saved only four of the 15 shots she faced, good for just a 26.7% save percentage.
Head coach Joe Spallina did not speak to the media after the game.
Stony Brook will get six days off before returning to the field on Friday, where it will face its most formidable challenge yet. The Seawolves will travel to Illinois for a big showdown with the No. 3 Northwestern Wildcats. The game will begin at 8 p.m. The Wildcats are 4-1 this season and are coming off a 24-7 blowout win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. They will face Youngstown State on Sunday before the matchup with Stony Brook.