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No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse to face Campbell for first-ever time

The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s top players gather to celebrate a goal against Elon on Friday, March 22. The Seawolves will host Campbell tomorrow afternoon. ANGELINA LIVIGNI/THE STATESMAN

Following a comfortable victory on Friday night, the No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team looks to extend its winning ways against the Coastal Athletic Association’s (CAA) newest face.

The Seawolves (7-2, 2-0 CAA) will host the Campbell Camels (3-6, 0-2 CAA) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Sunday at noon. With Campbell being a new addition to the CAA, this matchup will be the first-ever clash between the two programs.

This season, the Camels’ offense took a huge blow when they lost attacker Rasa Welsh — the Big South Conference’s leader in points and assists in 2023 — to injury. Despite the loss, Campbell’s attack has been able to thrive without her, as the team has scored the fourth-most goals per game in the CAA with 11.89. The team has been able to shine largely due to the contributions from attackers Joslin Hanbury and Ally Heath.

Hanbury has been the Camels’ best offensive producer, as she leads them in both goals (23) and assists (nine). Heath has been lethal in front of the goal as well, as her 21 goals are second on the team. Both rank in the CAA’s top 10 amongst goalscorers.

Off the bench, fellow attacker McKenna Duncan has made a significant impact, scoring 12 goals. She has also tallied nine assists, which are tied with Hanbury for the most on the team. Attacker Bridget Ahlgren has also been a valuable goalscorer, as she has found the back of the net 13 times as a reserve.

Campbell’s attacking depth has been a significant factor in its offensive output. Outside of the aforementioned four players, attacker Lexi Goff has notched nine goals and picked up three helpers through nine games.

On the midline, midfielder Shania Roehrich has been able to provide for the Camels by doing a little bit of everything, as she has tallied nine goals and eight assists. Off the bench, midfielder Emily Wilson has registered seven goals and five assists. 

A chunk of their offensive success is owed to their draw unit, as they rank third in the CAA with 13.56 draw controls per game. Defender Katie Ochall leads her team with 39 draw controls and ranks third in the conference with 4.56 per game. Midfielder Hailey Kohlmann and Goff round out their main contributors to the draw circle, as they have controlled 27 and 14 draws, respectively.

Although Campbell has been fine while scoring goals this season, Stony Brook’s defense presents a challenge for it. The Seawolves have allowed 8.78 goals per game this season, which is the third-fewest in the CAA. Their defense has also been able to force the opposition into giving the ball away, as their nine caused turnovers per game are the fourth most in the conference.

It is unclear as to who will start in the cage for Stony Brook, as incumbent starting goalkeeper Emily Manning has struggled mightily. She owns a 10.30 goals against average and her .317 save percentage is the lowest mark in the CAA. Manning has been benched numerous times in favor of backup goalkeeper Aaliyah Jones, who has sparkled to a 3.67 goals against average and a .600 save percentage.

Leading the Seawolves’ endline are defenders Clare Levy and Avery Hines. Hines has been the biggest playmaker on their defense, as she leads the way with 18 ground balls and is second in the CAA with 23 caused turnovers. Levy sits just shy of Hines, as she has picked up 15 ground balls and caused seven turnovers.

Defender McKenzie Mitchell has started seven of Stony Brook’s nine games this season and has made an impact, collecting seven takeaways and five ground balls. The Seawolves will also rely on defenders Jordan Forte and Rachel Rosenberg. Forte has picked up eight ground balls this season while Rosenberg has caused four turnovers.

Midfielders Erin MacQuarrie, Isabella Caporuscio and Alexandra Fusco are versatile players for the Seawolves. MacQuarrie has picked up 15 ground balls and caused three turnovers. Caporuscio has collected 10 ground balls and forced five turnovers. Fusco has been good off the bench, picking up nine ground balls and causing four turnovers.

The Camels’ defense has not had nearly the same amount of success, as their 14.11 goals allowed per game are the worst in the CAA.

Goalkeeper Emma Strickland will likely be minding the cage for Campbell, and she has had a tough go of it. Her .396 save percentage sits just behind Manning’s as the second worst in the conference. Strickland’s 13.73 goals against average is the CAA’s worst rate.

The Camels’ defense will have to help Strickland out if they are to find any success. Defender Rebekah Taylor leads the team with 25 ground balls picked up and her 2.89 collected per game is the second most in the CAA. Taylor’s 11 caused turnovers are the second most on the team behind defender Chandler Stewart’s 14. Stewart’s 1.63 takeaways per game are the third most in the conference.

Ochall has been a versatile defender, picking up 20 ground balls and causing 10 turnovers. Kohlmann has also made some defensive contributions with 10 ground balls and eight takeaways.

Campbell’s defense and goaltending will have to contend with Stony Brook’s offense, which is the CAA’s best unit with 15.11 goals per game.

Leading the Seawolves’ offense is midfielder Ellie Masera, who leads the CAA and is third in the nation with 41 goals and 4.56 per game. Masera has also contributed 15 assists, giving her the second-most points (56) nationally and the most in the conference. Masera also controls eight draws per game, which is the second most in the conference.

Accompanying Masera is midfielder Charlotte Verhulst, who has tallied 19 goals and four assists. Verhulst is the team’s lead draw-taker and has controlled 24 of them herself. Levy is also a prominent figure in Stony Brook’s draw group, as she is second on the team with 33 draw controls. Midfielder Jaden Hampel also got involved in the circle on Friday and helped the Seawolves win 11 draws in 19 chances.

Up front for Stony Brook are attackers Kailyn Hart, Alex Finn and Morgan Mitchell. Finn has scored 17 goals this season and leads the CAA with 27 assists. Hart is the team’s second-leading goalscorer with 25. Mitchell has seen her touches decline with the addition of Finn, but she has still tallied four goals and four assists.

Hampel is in a similar boat as Mitchell, but she is coming off her first hat trick of the year, giving her five goals in six games.

Caporuscio and attacker Courtney Maclay have also contributed with six goals and an assist apiece.

Levy may also try to sneak one, as she has gotten more involved on offense this year. She has already scored a career-high four goals this season after scoring the same amount through her first three years.

Based on the draw control and scoring numbers, this game may turn into a track meet. However, if the Seawolves’ defense holds its ground, then it may simply turn into just another day at the office for head coach Joe Spallina and his players.

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