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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse cruises past Campbell in historic blowout

Attacker Kailyn Hart dodges Campbell midfielder Shania Roehrich on Sunday, March 24. Hart led the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team with five goals in the victory. CHRISTOPHER SCHULZ/THE STATESMAN

In yet another blowout victory for the No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team, it continued to prove that no one in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) can hang with it.

On Sunday, the Seawolves (8-2, 3-0 CAA) dispatched the Campbell Camels (3-7, 0-3 CAA) in a 21-3 beatdown at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Though superstar midfielder Ellie Masera was given a rest day by head coach Joe Spallina, Stony Brook’s plus-18 goal margin was tied for its third-highest in program history.

The Seawolves put the game to bed before Campbell even had a chance at it. Stony Brook’s defense pitched a shutout in the first half and its offense hung 10 goals in the opening quarter. By halftime, its lead grew to 15-0. The Camels surrendered the game’s first 16 goals before finally getting on the scoreboard, but they never strung together consecutive scores at any point in time.

Getting off to a blistering start was something that Spallina had prioritized before the game.

“We talked about coming out of the locker room with some shake and swagger and I thought we did just that,” Spallina said in a postgame press conference. “We’ve always been a really good team coming out of the locker room to start games and I thought we really haven’t been that thus far this season. I think that was a point of emphasis for our team and we came out and did just that.”

During the first-quarter barrage, six different Seawolves found the back of the net. Attacker Morgan Mitchell had her coming out party with a hat trick while midfielders Charlotte Verhulst and Alexandra Fusco each scored twice. Fusco’s second goal came with just one second left in the opening frame to establish a running clock.

Desperate to find a solution, Campbell head coach Dawn Easley benched starting goalkeeper Emma Strickland after the eighth goal in favor of backup goalkeeper Natalie Mellen. However, Mellen failed to stop the bleeding and surrendered another five goals without making a single save. Easley had seen enough and re-inserted Strickland, who finished the first half and conceded another two scores.

While the Camels were playing musical chairs in the cage, Stony Brook continued to pour salt in the wound. Attacker Kailyn Hart scored four goals in the second quarter to give her five in the first half alone. In the middle of Hart’s dominance, Verhulst completed a hat trick.

Easley allowed third-string goalkeeper Alana Lepore to mind the net for the entire second half, and she too was greeted rudely. Just 54 seconds into the third quarter, midfielder Jaden Hampel scored her second goal of the day. After that, Spallina pulled all of the starters and the Seawolves went into a 13-minute stasis.

About halfway into Stony Brook’s scoring drought, Campbell attacker Lexi Goff broke the shutout off an assist from fellow attacker Bridget Ahlgren. After that, the Seawolves responded with a 5-1 run that attacker Jolie Creo engineered with a trio of assists. Five different players scored during the stretch to make it 21-2.

With just 4:30 left in the game, the Camels scored one more time when attacker Mattie Riter netted the final marker.

Stony Brook outshot Campbell 26-16 and 22-13 on goal. In total, 11 different Seawolves scored and 16 found the scoresheet.

Hart led the way for the Seawolves with five goals and two assists. Verhulst scored three goals and dished out one assist. Mitchell bagged three goals, as well. Hampel and Fusco both finished with a pair of scores.

Attacker Alex Finn did not score, but she dished out a career-high eight assists. She attributed her performance to team chemistry.

“I just think that everyone on our team has so much trust in each other,” Finn said. “I’m not looking at who I’m feeding to; whoever’s open, I’m going to feed it into them and they’re going to finish it and I know that, and I think the other girl’s know that, too. Those feeds happen unless the people off ball are working, too.”

Midfielders Cassidy Millen, Kira Accettella, Olivia Schorr, Molly LaForge and MaryKate Abernethy alongside attacker Haydin Eisfeld all scored one goal apiece. Creo did not score, but her three assists trailed only Finn. Defender Clare Levy dished out two assists while attackers Courtney Maclay and Maggie Reznick each finished with one.

Stony Brook won the battle in the draw circle 16-10 but lost the battle on the ground 18-10. It also committed just 12 turnovers to the Camels’ 15.

Verhulst, Levy and defender Avery Hines all scooped up two ground balls apiece. Hines and Accettella co-led the team with two caused turnovers. Verhulst, Levy, Fusco, Hampel and attacker Francesca Tortora all finished with one takeaway each.

Jones made her first collegiate start and stopped all four shots she faced. Backup goalkeeper Francesca Viteritti made four saves on six shots, while fellow backup goalkeeper Hannah Hudson turned away two of the three shots she faced. Goalkeeper Natalia Altebrando did not see any shots during her four minutes and 15 seconds of action.

Jones attributed the successful defensive day at the office to strong play in front of the net.

“Knowing that I have a defense that’s not only skillful but consistent just gave me a lot of clarity,” Jones said. “We all kind of kept our ducks in a row and we were able to play as a unit, not individually. It was a good experience.”

Campbell attacker Caroline Laur was the only other player to find the scoresheet for her team, as she assisted on one of Goff’s two team-leading goals.

In the revolving door that was the Camels’ cage, Lepore made their only save in seven opportunities. Strickland allowed 10 goals while Mellen was scored on five times.

The Seawolves will look to continue to feast on the CAA when they suit up against the Monmouth Hawks in New Jersey on Friday. The Hawks are 5-5 overall and 1-2 in conference action this season after beating William & Mary 14-13 on Sunday. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.

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