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No. 11 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse defeats Bryant in dominant fashion

Attacker Haydin Eisfeld (foreground) looks for a pass from fellow attacker Alex Finn (background) during a game against Bryant on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Eisfeld picked up the first two points of her career in the win. CHRISTOPHER SCHULZ/THE STATESMAN

Even with a full year apart, the America East Conference (AE) still has not figured out how to beat the No. 11 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team.

In the Seawolves’ (2-0) second game in a three-day span, they overwhelmed the Bryant Bulldogs (2-2) on Tuesday, en route to a 17-3 win at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Stony Brook took a trip down memory lane and dismantled an AE team by forcing 27 turnovers and producing eight different goalscorers.

On each of their first five attacking sets, the Bulldogs coughed the ball up against the Seawolves’ vaunted defense. Stony Brook capitalized on the defensive dominance, as four different scorers combined to put it up 5-0. With 3:48 left in the first quarter, Bryant attacker Kenna Kaut finally attempted her team’s first shot and scored on it.

Following Kaut’s tally, the Seawolves scored another five in a row, with attacker Alex Finn and midfielder Ellie Masera both completing hat tricks to go up 10-1 with 10:28 left in the first half. Stony Brook went cold afterwards and did not score again until after halftime.

However, its defense held its ground, surrendering just one goal and forcing seven turnovers during the drought.

Head coach Joe Spallina sensed a more locked-in defense on Tuesday.

“Our approaches were better,” Spallina said in a postgame press conference. “We made them uncomfortable [by] stepping up on their strong hands. I thought we played with more purpose defensively.”

Just under four minutes into the second half, attacker Courtney Maclay got the Seawolves back in the scoring groove with her first goal of the year. Just 50 seconds later, the Bulldogs erased Maclay’s effort with a goal from midfielder Emily DeGeorge. However, Bryant never saw the back of the net for the rest of the afternoon.

Stony Brook shut out the Bulldogs over the final 25:28 while four different scorers engineered a 7-0 run, including another goal from Maclay and attacker Jolie Creo’s first two scores of the year. Attacker Kailyn Hart also found the scoresheet for the first time on the day with just 1:38 left, rifling one past Bryant goalkeeper Sam Centofante for her sixth goal through the first two games.

A vast reason for the Seawolves’ offensive explosion were the performances of midfielder Charlotte Verhulst and defender Clare Levy in the draw circle. Stony Brook controlled 16 of the 23 draws, giving it a lopsided advantage in the possession battle.

After the game, Masera — who scored five goals and dished out an assist — tipped her cap to Verhulst and Levy.

“I have a lot of confidence in both Clare [Levy] and Charlotte [Verhulst],” Masera said. “I think Charlotte’s done miraculous things for us. The first game we were just trying to get the kicks out. If it’s not my day, I know Clare can pick up my slack as well as Charlotte.”

Finn built off her excellent debut with the Seawolves and finished with three goals and two assists. Though Finn is being used primarily as a playmaker, she has goalscoring prowess and is still looking to expand upon that.

“One thing that I’m trying to work on is dodging more because that opens up more of those feeding lanes,” Finn said. “I think it’s great because a lot of the girls that are up top are such great dodgers, so it opens up their cutting lanes and I’m happy to feed them.”

Maclay finished with three points (two goals and one assist). Attacker Haydin Eisfeld picked up the first goal and assist of her career against the Bulldogs. Midfielder Isabella Caporuscio also found the back of the net for the first time as an NCAA Division I player. Verhulst scored her third goal of the year, while Levy scored her first.

Midfielder Alexandra Fusco found the scoresheet with an assist on Eisfeld’s goal.

Overall, Stony Brook outshot Bryant 34-9. It only committed 15 turnovers, giving it a plus-12 margin for the day.

Defender Avery Hines, Caporuscio, Levy and Maclay all caused two turnovers apiece. Behind them, the Seawolves rotated three goalkeepers: Emily Manning, Natalia Altebrando and Aaliyah Jones. Altebrando led the group with two stops, while Manning and Jones each stoned one shot. Altebrando let two slip by, while Manning was scored on once.

Stony Brook will continue its four-game homestand on Friday when it welcomes the Arizona State Sun Devils to LaValle Stadium. The Sun Devils are 3-0 after beating Pittsburgh 18-11 last Thursday. Opening draw is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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About the Contributor
Alex Streinger, Assistant Sports Editor
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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