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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


No. 12 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse upset No. 5 Syracuse in overtime

Midfielder Ellie Masera dodges a Villanova defender as she clears the ball on Saturday, March 2. Masera scored the game-winning goal on Tuesday night at Syracuse. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

Four years after triumphing in a thriller at the Carrier Dome, the No. 12 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team did it again.

In what is now known as the John Mezzalingua Associates (JMA) Wireless Dome, history repeated itself when the Seawolves (5-0) upset the No. 5 Syracuse Orange (3-3) in a 13-12 overtime classic on Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, midfielder Ellie Masera came up clutch for Stony Brook and netted the game-winning goal to secure the upset.

With 7:23 left in the fourth quarter, Syracuse attacker Emma Ward went top shelf on a free-position shot to put her team up 11-9. Ward’s finish was the Orange’s third consecutive free-position goal after falling behind 9-8 just four minutes prior, and they looked to put the game away after controlling the ensuing draw.

On that attacking set, Syracuse midfielder Natalie Smith drew a foul from defender McKenzie Mitchell to give her team another free-position opportunity. However, goalkeeper Emily Manning stoned Smith’s shot. Midfielder Emma Tyrrell scooped up the rebound for the Orange and fed it to fellow midfielder Maddy Baxter, but Manning denied her too to keep the game in reach for the Seawolves.

Now with under six minutes remaining, Stony Brook entered do-or-die territory. After looking to find an open cutter from the X, attacker Alex Finn fed it to midfielder Charlotte Verhulst on the doorstep, who tapped it past Syracuse goalkeeper Delaney Sweitzer with 5:32 left.

Three minutes later, attacker Kailyn Hart drew a foul from defender Katie Goodale in the fan, setting herself up for a free-position shot. Hart rifled one past Sweitzer to tie the game with 2:32 remaining in regulation. Just under a minute and a half later, Finn dished it from behind the cage to a cutting Masera, who found the back of the net despite Sweitzer’s sprawling effort.

Despite the late deficit, head coach Joe Spallina trusted his players to pull off the rally.

“We showed characteristics of a top team,” Spallina said in a postgame press conference. “We have a senior group, and when you have a senior group, it’s player driven … We told them coming in, ‘They’re going to make plays, it’s not going to be perfect. You’ve got to be able to answer a punch with a punch.’”

The Seawolves held onto their 12-11 lead until there were just 10 seconds left, where Baxter tied the game off an assist from Tyrrell to send it to overtime.

The all-important draw control to open the extra period looked to be initially controlled by the Orange. However, Masera poked the loose ball away from Syracuse midfielder Kate Mashewske and picked it up before charging up the field. While streaking into the offensive zone, Baxter tripped Masera from behind to give Stony Brook a woman-up opportunity.

The Orange’s penalty kill survived, but their hopes to win did not. With 15 seconds left on the shot clock, attacker Morgan Mitchell found Masera wrapping around the cage. With her back turned to the net, she moved from left to right in sync with the pass. While falling to one knee, Masera triggered a low shot into the bottom left corner of the cage to stun the JMA Wireless Dome’s crowd and walk it off.

The Seawolves won the battle in the circle 15-14. Masera led the team with nine draw controls, followed by defender Clare Levy with four. They also committed 14 turnovers to Syracuse’s 15. Overall, Stony Brook outshot the Orange 31-27.

Hart led the way in the scoring department with five goals and an assist. Finn co-led the team with six points by scoring one goal and dishing out five assists. Masera tallied four goals. Mitchell and Verhulst both finished with a goal and an assist. Midfielder Jaden Hampel scored her first goal of the season while attacker Caitlin Dellecave gave out an assist.

Defender Avery Hines caused three turnovers and scooped up three ground balls. Considering the players she faces off with during the week, Hines felt very prepared for this game.

“I practiced against better girls every single day,” Hines said. “Today I came in with a lot of confidence knowing that we were going to perform. We practiced a lot; we performed like we needed to and I think we all really showed up today.”

Midfielder Erin MacQuarrie led the squad with four ground balls. Hampel and midfielder Alexandra Fusco each picked up two ground balls. Verhulst, Manning and McKenzie Mitchell each caused one turnover apiece.

Despite the pair of clutch saves, Manning struggled, saving just four of the 16 shots she faced. Opposite her, Sweitzer finished with nine saves and 13 goals allowed.

Tyrrell led Syracuse with three goals and an assist. Ward and attacker Olivia Adamson each tallied two goals and two assists apiece.

The Seawolves will look to keep riding the wave against another ranked opponent this Saturday when they take on the No. 15 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays at a neutral site in North Carolina. The Blue Jays are 5-2 this year and are coming off a 13-10 win over the University of Southern California on Sunday. They will play Vanderbilt on Wednesday before their matchup with Stony Brook.

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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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