By putting up double figures in the second quarter alone, the No. 6 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team got itself back into the win column.
After suffering a huge upset loss, the Seawolves (10-3, 5-0 CAA) bounced back in their return to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Saturday. They honored their eldest players by decimating the William & Mary Tribe with a 20-6 win on senior day. Stony Brook put the game to bed early, taking a 14-3 lead into halftime after outscoring the Tribe 10-1 in the second quarter.
After ending the first quarter on a 3-0 run, the Seawolves took a 4-2 lead into the second frame. Just a minute and a half in, a foul by William & Mary midfielder Paige Gilbert opened a window for Stony Brook’s offense to run away with the game. Midfielder Erin MacQuarrie took full advantage of the opportunity and fired a free-position shot past William & Mary goalkeeper Elise Palmer.
MacQuarrie’s goal ignited Stony Brook’s offense, conversely sending William & Mary into a tailspin. Twice within the next 22 seconds, the Seawolves controlled a draw and turned it into a quick goal, extending their lead to 7-2. Stony Brook dominated in the circle, picking up the first seven draw controls of the quarter and converting the first six into scores.
Within the first 7:19 of the second quarter, Stony Brook went on a 9-0 run to take a 13-2 lead. Attackers Kailyn Hart and Morgan Mitchell and midfielder Ellie Masera each scored twice during that stretch. Midfielders Jaden Hampel and Charlotte Verhulst chipped into the blowout with goals of their own. William & Mary midfielder Miranda Bate broke the Seawolves’ streak with a goal at the 2:24 mark, but Verhulst restored their 11-goal lead by scoring again with 21 seconds left.
Leading 14-3 by halftime, Mitchell, Hart and Verhulst had already completed hat tricks.
Head coach Joe Spallina attributed the second quarter dominance to the team’s strong finish in the opening frame.
“We finished the first quarter the right way,” Spallina said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “The first five minutes of the second quarter was sheer domination, and that’s kind of who we are.”
The Seawolves added three goals apiece over the next two quarters to put the finishing touches on the victory. They landed 28 shots on cage for the day, which was four times the amount that William & Mary generated. The 20 goals tied a season-high.
Stony Brook outshot William & Mary 38-10 on Saturday. The Seawolves’ domination came from its advantage in the draw circle, owning an 18-10 advantage in draw controls over the Tribe. Masera was key in them dominating the draw circle, as she controlled 10 draws for her team.
After struggling with draw controls on Wednesday, Spallina said it was a point of emphasis to rebound in that department.
“When we dominate that stat, we dominate the scoreboard,” Spallina said. “Those stats replicate each other and that’s something the coaching staff and players worked at.”
After being held scoreless against Rutgers, Masera led the Seawolves with six points, scoring four goals and adding two assists.
Mitchell played a key role as well, tallying three goals and one assist. She credited the team’s collective play for putting her into positions to succeed.
“Today we were all in sync,” Mitchell said. “We had assisted, dodging goals and just as a whole we were in sync together.”
Verhulst and Hart rounded out the five Seawolves with a hat trick. Hart led the team with 10 shots to go along with her eighth hat trick of the year. Verhulst was efficient, scoring on three of her four shots on goal.
MacQuarrie and attacker Jolie Creo were instrumental in facilitating the offense. The two of them dished out two assists each while also scoring one goal apiece.
Stony Brook collectively tallied eight assists. Verhulst said she thrived off the team’s ball movement.
“We never move the ball like we did today,” Verhulst said. “There were a lot of assisted goals today. It was just great to be able to be less of a dodging team and get assists today.”
Spallina shared a similar sentiment.
“There was a lot of unselfish ball movement,” Spallina said. “We passed to set up the dodge instead of dodging for ourselves.”
Stony Brook also won the battle on the ground, scooping up 16 ground balls, which was seven more than William & Mary.
Stony Brook’s defense played a pivotal role in the win by causing 14 turnovers. William & Mary committed 20 total turnovers, which doubled the Seawolves’ total.
Hampel was all over the place for Stony Brook, doing both the flashy things and the dirty work. She came off the bench and posted a hat trick with three goals while also adding an assist. On top of that, she co-led the team with three ground ball pickups and two caused turnovers.
Alongside Hampel, defenders Haley Dillon, Ella Whitehouse and Lindsay Rongo all caused two turnovers. Dillon also scooped up three ground balls.
Attacker Kelsi LoNigro found the scoresheet during garbage time, scoring a pair of goals in the second half.
The Seawolves will have a lot on their plate on Saturday when they battle the Towson Tigers in Maryland. The Tigers have the exact same record as Stony Brook, as they are 10-3 on the season and 5-0 in conference play. They will play No. 25 Johns Hopkins on Wednesday before their battle for first place with the Seawolves.