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No. 11/12 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse kicks off CAA play with low-scoring win

Defender Clare Levy clears the ball against Villanova on Saturday, March 2. Levy scored a career-high two goals on Saturday at Towson while collecting four ground balls and two caused turnovers. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

Despite giving it a run for its money, the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) still has no answer for the No. 11/12 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team.

With an 11-8 victory over the Towson Tigers (2-5, 0-1 CAA), the Seawolves (6-2, 1-0 CAA) still own the largest active winning streak over conference opponents across all NCAA Division I sports. On Saturday afternoon in Maryland, Stony Brook snapped a two-game slide on the back of its persistent offense and savvy defense.

The Seawolves got off to a poor start in the circle, as they failed to control the first three draws. However, Towson only turned one of those draw controls into a goal, and it turned the ball over on the other two. Stony Brook cashed in on those giveaways with a pair of goals from midfielder Ellie Masera to take a 2-1 lead.

After the Tigers tied it through attacker Hannah Delahaye’s second score of the first quarter, midfielder Charlotte Verhulst controlled the ensuing draw and restored the Seawolves’ lead. On a woman-up opportunity, Verhulst received a pass at the eight-meter arc, faked a pass to shake a defender and fired a shot past Towson goalkeeper Jo Torres.

The Tigers’ struggles to keep control of the ball cost them in the second quarter, as attacker Milana Zizakovic coughed it up on the opening possession, leading to a goal by attacker Courtney Maclay on the other end. After controlling the ensuing draw, defender Clare Levy used her speed to dodge her way past a defender and bounced a shot past Torres to make it 5-2. Verhulst capped off the 4-0 run with her second goal of the day at the 8:27 mark, but Towson’s defense stiffened up after that.

Stony Brook did not score for the rest of the first half and turned it over three times, allowing both Zizakovic and attacker Halley Koras to score and make it a 6-4 game.

Within the first minute of the second half, Towson attacker Lindsey Marshall ripped one past goalkeeper Emily Manning to make it a one-goal game. However, Masera and Maclay put out the fire and finished on back-to-back attacking sets to restore the three-goal advantage.

With 4:11 left in the third quarter, Marshall beat Manning once again to cut the Seawolves’ lead down to just two goals. Over the rest of the frame, Torres saved a shot from attacker Kailyn Hart and the Tigers forced a turnover on midfielder Jaden Hampel to keep it an 8-6 game.

Trailing by a pair of goals, Towson came out in the fourth quarter with a bang. The Tigers controlled the first two draws of the period and allowed attacker Mia Rehkemper to create for their offense.

With the shot clock winding down, Rehkemper recovered a blocked shot and lobbed it up to Koras, who caught it and went behind the back to beat Manning low to her right. On the next attacking set, Rehkemper fired one into the eight-meter arc, where Marshall caught it from the middle and fired it past Manning to tie the game.

After tying it up, Towson controlled its fourth consecutive draw and chewed the clock inside of 11 minutes. However, Manning saved a shot from Delahaye to put a dent in the Tigers’ hopes of taking the lead. Defender Avery Hines picked up the ground ball and set up a clear attempt for fellow defender Abigail Sabella, which she converted.

Now in the offensive zone, Hart drove down the lane and was tripped from behind while shooting, allowing her to rifle a free-position shot into the top shelf with 9:15 left in the game. Once it retook the lead, Stony Brook did not look back. The Seawolves’ defense forced a pair of turnovers and got a save from Manning over the rest of the game, allowing Masera and Levy to put it out of reach with consecutive goals.

In one of its quietest offensive displays of the year, Stony Brook outshot Towson 29-17 overall and 20-13 on goal. The Seawolves won the battle in the draw circle 12-11 and committed just 15 turnovers to the Tigers’ 17. However, they lost the battle on the ground 16-14.

As usual, Masera led Stony Brook with four goals. Verhulst, Maclay and Levy all scored twice. Hart tallied a goal and an assist. Attackers Mitchell Morgan and Alex Finn dished out an assist apiece.

On defense, Levy and Hines co-led the team with four ground balls and two caused turnovers apiece. Verhulst, midfielder Alexandra Fusco and defender Rachel Rosenberg all finished with one caused turnover.

Manning saved five of the 13 shots she faced while Torres made nine stops in 20 chances.

Head coach Joe Spallina did not speak to the media after the game.

Marshall scored three goals and dished out an assist to lead Towson. Koras scored twice and picked up an assist.

The Seawolves will return to action next Friday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to host the Elon Phoenix. The Phoenix are 5-4 and 1-0 in CAA play this year after beating Monmouth 16-13 on Saturday. Opening draw is scheduled for 6:31 p.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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