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No. 14/15 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse remains unchallenged in the CAA

Attacker Kailyn Hart celebrates after scoring a goal against Delaware on Saturday, April 6. Hart set a single-game, career-high by netting seven goals in the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s 17-4 win on senior day. MACKENZIE YADDAW/THE STATESMAN

On a special senior day, the No. 14/15 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team showed up and showed out.

The Seawolves (10-2, 5-0 CAA) celebrated 18 graduating players when they welcomed the Delaware Blue Hens (8-4, 1-3 CAA) to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Saturday. One of those honorees — attacker Kailyn Hart — headlined a 17-4 blowout win by scoring seven goals to set a new single-game, career-high.

Although its offense struggled with its efficiency early on, Stony Brook’s defense held strong to give the unit time to right the ship. The Seawolves misfired on their first four shots before attacker Hayden Lachenmeyer gave them a 1-0 lead five minutes into the contest.

Following Lachenmeyer’s tally, Stony Brook scored on consecutive attacking sets to make it 3-0. On the other side, Delaware turned the ball over on its first seven possessions. By the time the Blue Hens even threatened goalkeeper Aaliyah Jones with a shot that sailed high, there was just 2:45 left in the opening quarter.

Following Delaware attacker Danielle Livornese’s attempt, the Blue Hens retained the ball but committed a turnover on the ensuing approach. The turnover — which was their eighth of the game at that point — inspired four unanswered goals by the Seawolves to end the frame and put them up 7-0.

In what was his 200th win at the helm of Stony Brook, head coach Joe Spallina was pleased with his team’s hot start.

“I thought our energy was awesome,” Spallina said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “We knew what we needed to do. Completely different starting lineup and there was no dropoff. We have a lot of really good players but by rule, only 12 are allowed on the field.”

The Seawolves’ dominance carried over to the second period. On its first attacking set of the quarter, attacker Alex Finn received the ball at the X and surveyed the field for options. After 11 seconds, Hart made a sharp cut and Finn fed her the ball. From there, Hart laced a shot high into the net for what was already her fourth goal of the contest.

Hart attributed her big day to her off-ball movement.

“I saw that the cuts were open,” Hart said. “That’s something that I’ve been working on a lot throughout this whole year with having a great feeder like Finn.”

With 12:13 remaining in frame, Delaware finally broke through thanks to midfielder Morgan Gore. However, Stony Brook ended the first half on a 3-1 run to go into halftime up 11-2.

The Seawolves continued to add to their advantage in the third quarter, as midfielders Charlotte Verhulst and Ellie Masera scored a goal each to put Stony Brook up 13-2. The Blue Hens responded with a man-up goal by attacker Jaclyn Marszal, but Hart promptly scored a man-up goal of her own four minutes later to erase her efforts.

With a running clock less than five minutes into the fourth period, the Seawolves managed to score another three goals, two of which came from Masera.

After being sidelined the previous two games, Masera was glad to be back.

“It’s tough to have to sit out,” Masera said. “But honestly, it works out. I have a great team, they don’t need anyone. It’s great to be out there, I love being out there.”

Delaware got some consolation by netting the affair’s final strike, but the game was long over.

The atmosphere of this particular senior day reminded Spallina of the type of program he has built.

“Most kids are jumping in their fifth year to go to other places,” Spallina said. “Ours want to stay. If you need a reference to what our program is about, how kids believe in what we do, I think the fact those kids are there doing that is what it’s about. They epitomize what my vision was when I took over here.”

Stony Brook outshot the Blue Hens 32-7. It also controlled 18 of the game’s 24 draws and scooped up 16 ground balls compared to Delaware’s 14. The Seawolves ended the day with a +9 (22-13) turnover differential.

Hart’s seven goals led Stony Brook, while Masera and Verhulst netted a hat trick apiece. Masera and Verhulst also controlled 11 and five draws, respectively.

Lachenmeyer and attacker Maggie Reznick scored the first goals of their collegiate careers. Midfielder Jaden Hampel and defender Clare Levy rounded out the Seawolves’ scoring with a goal each.

Finn dished out five assists and Verhulst handed out a pair. Reznick, Masera, Levy, attacker Morgan Mitchell and midfielder Alexandra Fusco all had one assist apiece.

Defender Avery Hines caused a career-high six turnovers.

Jones and goalkeeper Emily Manning each minded the cage for a half. Jones was unable to stop both of the shots that came her way, while Manning made two saves and allowed two goals.

Conversely, goalkeepers Steph Marszal and Sophia Foohey split time for the Blue Hens in the net. Marszal allowed 10 goals and made six stops for a .375 save percentage, while Foohey conceded seven goals and saved three shots for a .300 mark.

Jaclyn Marszal was Delaware’s most productive offensive weapon with a goal and a pair of assists.

The Seawolves will continue their homestand on Tuesday, when they will return to nonconference action against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Stony Brook will seek revenge against Rutgers, who defeated it in upset fashion last season. The Scarlet Knights are 6-6 this year and are coming off a 14-8 win against Hofstra. They will play No. 9/9 Johns Hopkins on Saturday before taking on the Seawolves. Opening draw for Tuesday’s affair is set for 6:31 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Alex Streinger
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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