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No. 12 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse’s comeback falls short against No. 15 Johns Hopkins

Attacker Kailyn Hart (14) passes the ball to midfielder Ellie Masera (12) against Villanova on Saturday, March 2. Hart and Masera co-led the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team with five points apiece on Saturday against Johns Hopkins. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

By allowing seven straight goals to open the third quarter, the No. 12 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team dug a hole that was too deep to climb out of.

As the only two NCAA Division I women’s teams invited to the 2024 Crown Lacrosse Classic, the Seawolves (5-1) and the No. 15 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (7-2) squared off at a neutral site in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday. Stony Brook did not make the most of its exclusive opportunity, as poor goaltending sunk it to a 14-12 loss.

After entering halftime down 6-5, things went off the rails for the Seawolves at the start of the third quarter. Johns Hopkins scored the first seven goals of the period on the back of solid defense and its draw control unit. The Blue Jays played keepaway from Stony Brook by controlling five of the initial seven draws in the frame and causing a pair of turnovers.

Johns Hopkins midfielder Ashley Mackin came off the bench to spearhead the 7-0 scoring run with three goals of her own. The Blue Jays also got contributions from midfielder Maeve Barker from the reserve squad, as she tucked in a pair of goals during the scoring spree to complete a hat trick.

With 3:54 left in the third quarter, attacker Kailyn Hart finally stopped the run and whipped one past Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Madison Doucette for her third goal of the game. Just two minutes later, Hart scored again off a feed from attacker Alex Finn from the X position.

Hart’s consecutive scores sparked a 7-0 run for the Seawolves to get them back within one goal.

Midfielders Erin MacQuarrie and Charlotte Verhulst each scored before the third quarter ended, and Finn opened the final frame by scoring off an assist from midfielder Molly LaForge. Just past the 10-minute mark, Hart scooped up a ground ball off a caused turnover by midfielder Jaden Hampel and cleared it up the field, creating a three-on-one breakaway. Hart dished it to her right, where midfielder Ellie Masera caught it and beat Doucette to keep the run alive.

With just 7:23 remaining in the game, midfielder Isabella Caporuscio capped off the streak with a long-range goal from the wing off another dime from LaForge to make it a 13-12 affair.

Verhulst won and controlled the ensuing draw and Stony Brook chewed the clock for over the next minute before Hart drew a foul from defender Quinlan O’Brien. Hart was awarded a free-position opportunity to tie things up, but Doucette denied her as part of her massive day.

That was the Seawolves’ last good chance to tie it up. With just over five minutes remaining, Masera hooked her shot wide to the right of the net and Verhulst turned it over on the second chance. After that, the Blue Jays maintained possession for much of the rest of the game.

With just under two minutes remaining, Johns Hopkins midfielder Abbey Hurlbrink rifled her free-position shot past goalkeeper Aaliyah Jones to put the final nail in the coffin.

Head coach Joe Spallina hoped for better out of his group.

“Disappointing result,” Spallina said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “Hopkins played a great game and we dug ourselves a hole too big. We showed heart coming back, but that result isn’t good enough for us.”

Doucette had a huge day in the cage for the Blue Jays, saving 14 of the 26 shots she faced. Opposite her, goalkeeper Emily Manning started the game and conceded nine goals in 10 chances before Jones replaced her. Jones did not fare much better, surrendering five goals in seven save opportunities.

Overall, Stony Brook outshot Johns Hopkins 34-24. The Seawolves lost the battle in the circle 16-14, but they committed just 16 turnovers to the Blue Jays’ 20. They also won the battle on the ground 22-16.

Hart led Stony Brook with four goals and an assist. Masera co-led the team with five points, bagging two goals and a team-best three assists. Finn scored once and dished out two assists. Caporuscio found the back of the net twice. Verhulst, MacQuarrie and midfielder Jaden Hampel each scored once.

LaForge’s two assists were her first two points of the year. Defender Clare Levy also helped out with one dime.

Verhulst and MacQuarrie co-led the team with three ground balls each. Caporuscio’s two caused turnovers led the team on a day where nine different players combined to total 10 takeaways. MacQuarrie, Hampel, Finn, Masera, Manning and defenders Rachel Rosenberg, Avery Hines and Jordan Forte all chipped in one caused turnover.

The Seawolves will have to shake this loss off quickly, as they will return to the field on Monday to host the No. 10 Denver Pioneers at Kenneth. P. LaValle Stadium. The Pioneers are 3-3 this year and are coming off a 14-10 loss to No. 1 Northwestern on Friday. Opening draw is scheduled for noon.

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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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