Attacker Kailyn Hart (foreground) passes the ball against Drexel while midfielder Ellie Masera (background) tries to get open on Sunday, April 2. Hart scored four goals in the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s loss to Loyola Maryland. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

A scoreless third quarter killed the No. 10 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s chance to pull off an upset, and ultimately came back to bite it in the end.

In the second round of the 2023 NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament on Sunday, the Seawolves (15-4, 7-0 CAA) challenged the No. 9 Loyola Maryland Greyhounds on their home turf at Ridley Athletic Complex. In the third quarter, Stony Brook dug itself a hole that was too steep to climb out of, ultimately leading to a 9-8 loss. Loyola Maryland will now face No. 1 Northwestern — the top seed in the tournament — on Thursday.

Though Loyola Maryland dominated the draw circle in the first half, midfielder Ellie Masera’s offensive brilliance allowed Stony Brook to enter the locker rooms with the game tied up.

Already with one assist on the day, Masera set the Seawolves up for some last-second magic right before halftime. With Stony Brook trailing 4-3 and the game clock under 10 seconds, Masera drove to the right and drew another double team, leaving a wide-open lane right in front of the goalie crease. Defender Clare Levy cut towards the net, and Masera fed her with a perfect off-balanced pass, allowing her to score the game-tying goal with just three seconds remaining.


Stony Brook had been dominated in the possession battle until that point. Loyola Maryland controlled seven of the 10 first-half draws, forcing the Seawolves to play a lot of defense.

Given Stony Brook’s struggles in the draw circle, head coach Joe Spallina was pleased with his team’s efforts to stay caught up with the Greyhounds.

“It’s really hard to go on a run against a team that’s able to control draws like that,” Spallina said in a postgame press conference. “I thought we did a good job of adjusting and adapting.”

The heroics at the end of the first half proved to be all for nothing, as the tide turned significantly against Stony Brook in the third quarter. Three minutes into the period, goalkeeper Hailey Duchnowski made a save and fed the ball to defender Lindsay Rongo, who began a clear attempt. As two defenders closed in on her, Rongo looked to pass the ball, but lost the handle and turned it over. Loyola Maryland took full advantage of the turnover and regained the lead with a goal from defender Katie Detwiler.


Four minutes later, Loyola Maryland midfielder Chase Boyle completed a hat trick to double her team’s lead. With just over three minutes left in the third quarter and the game still at 6-4, Levy caused a turnover and tried to turn defense into offense. She sprinted down the field with Loyola Maryland attacker Sydni Black on her coattail. Black poked the ball away from behind to regain possession for the Greyhounds.

Spallina attributed Stony Brook’s costly turnovers to fatigue.

“We had some pivotal stops and we failed on clears,” Spallina said. “That happens because you’re playing a lot of defense. Players that played a lot of defense and made plays don’t have the gas to be able to clear the ball.”

With less than two minutes to go in the quarter, Black scored a goal to give Loyola Maryland a 7-4 lead. With just 30 seconds remaining in the period, Boyle got sandwiched in between two defenders and drew a foul from Rongo, setting herself up with a free-position shot. Standing at the top of the eight-meter arc, Boyle rifled a shot over Duchnowski’s head to put the Greyhounds up 8-4 entering the fourth quarter.

In the third quarter, Stony Brook only attempted two shots, both of which were on free-position attempts. Attacker Morgan Mitchell hooked one wide to the left of the net, and Masera hit the post to come up empty handed. It was the second time in the game that Masera had hit the post on a free-position shot. The Seawolves also turned the ball over four times, all of which were caused by the Greyhounds’ defense.


Needing a comeback to salvage its season, Stony Brook started on the wrong foot. Masera controlled the opening draw control of the fourth quarter, giving her team possession. On that attacking set, attacker Kailyn Hart scored a goal on the pick and roll after getting a screen from Masera. However, the goal was negated, as Masera laid out Loyola Maryland defender Logan Olmstead and was called for a foul.

Hart’s first official goal came five minutes later. In clutch time with her team still down by four goals, Hart picked up a ground ball and sprinted all the way down the field before scoring.

Hart’s goal sparked an incredible solo run where she scored each of Stony Brook’s next four goals. However, the possession issues from the first three quarters ultimately held the Seawolves from completing the comeback.

“Momentum definitely shifted after the first goal I had,” Hart said. “Throughout the game, we didn’t have the ball as much as we wanted to, and that really hurt us in the long run.”

Her first goal was immediately answered by Loyola Maryland midfielder Sarah Engle, who scored with 8:06 remaining to restore her team’s four-goal advantage. Following that goal, Hart scored the final three goals of her four-goal run, but it was too little, too late for Stony Brook.

Hart scored her fourth and final goal with 17 seconds left to cut the Seawolves’ deficit down to one, but Wilson controlled the ensuing draw to ice the game.


Stony Brook controlled just six of the 20 draws. Though the Seawolves’ turnovers were untimely, they actually committed seven fewer giveaways (12) than the Greyhounds (19). Loyola Maryland only attempted two more shots (24) than Stony Brook did (22), but both teams landed 14 shots on cage.

Hart led the Seawolves in scoring with her four goals. Masera tallied a goal and led the team with three assists. She also picked up three ground balls and caused three turnovers. Levy and midfielders Jaden Hampel and Erin MacQuarrie all scored one goal each.

Defender Ella Whitehouse caused a career-high five turnovers to lead the team. In her last game in the NCAA, defender Haley Dillon caused one turnover.

Duchnowski saved five of the 14 shots she faced, good for a 35.7% save percentage. Loyola Maryland goalkeeper Lauren Spence saved six of the 14 shots that came her way, equating to a 42.9% save percentage.

Boyle spearheaded Loyola Maryland’s offense with four goals. Wilson contributed two goals, two assists and four draw controls. Black scored a goal and dished out two assists. She also led all players with five draw controls. Detwiler and Engle each scored one goal.

Now with its 2023 season in the books, Stony Brook will turn its focus to the offseason where it will look to build its next title contender for 2024.


Alex Streinger is an assistant sports editor of The Statesman. He is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. He is the beat reporter of the Stony Brook men’s soccer and nationally-ranked women’s lacrosse teams. He interns at Movendi International, the largest independent global social movement for development through alcohol prevention.

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