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No. 13/15 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse wins overtime thriller in regular season finale

The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team celebrate midfielder Jaden Hampel’s (11) overtime winner against Stanford on Thursday, April 25. The Seawolves ended their regular season on a 10-game winning streak. GEORGE CARATZAS/THE STATESMAN

After a stalemate in regulation time, a game-winning goal from midfielder Jaden Hampel lifted the No. 13/15 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team to victory to conclude its regular season.

The Seawolves (15-2, 8-0 CAA) met their match when hosting the No. 19 Stanford Cardinal (10-4, 6-0 Ivy League) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Thursday afternoon. Hampel’s game-winning tally in overtime handed Stony Brook an 11-10 triumph to close out the regular season on a 10-game winning streak. 

Hampel’s shot came after an action-packed chain of events. A yellow card on midfielder Erin MacQuarrie in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter forced Stony Brook to begin overtime shorthanded, but Stanford squandered the woman-up opportunity. 

Despite the disadvantage, head coach Joe Spallina instilled faith in his team that it would regain possession and win the game. 

“[Spallina] was like, ‘We’re going to get this ball back and we’re going to score,’” midfielder Ellie Masera said in a postgame press conference. 

The Cardinal started the overtime period with the ball in their own defensive end of the field. Masera pressured the ball handler and caused a turnover just eight seconds in, but a foul was called and Stanford retained possession. Just nine seconds later, midfielder Isabella Caporuscio poked the ball loose and corralled it to give the Seawolves a chance to score. 

The stop allowed Stony Brook to settle into its offensive set, passing the ball around before Hampel cut into space and was found by Masera. She switched hands before firing a shot past two defenders and beyond the reach of Stanford goalkeeper Lucy Pearson, scoring her lone goal of the game when it mattered most. 

The walk-off shot was her second attempt of the day, something that Hampel expressed as the reason to stay ready when opportunities are limited. 

“When I saw the opportunity, I thought, ‘Oh, I can’t waste this,’” Hampel said. “I think the hype from all the plays prior just set me up perfectly.”

It was clear from the jump that it would be a competitive matchup. Midfielder Charlotte Verhulst drew first blood just 14 seconds into the contest, with midfielder Kailyn Hart tallying a score of her own 40 seconds later. Things cooled down for the Seawolves after that, as they were rendered scoreless and surrendered a goal throughout the remainder of the frame. 

Stanford found its footing in the second quarter, evening the score at two apiece less than a minute into the period. After tying the game with a goal, attacker Jordyn Case assisted on a score by midfielder Katy Gilbert to take the lead at the 12:32 mark. 

The Cardinal continued their momentum when attacker Jay Browne hit a cutting Case, who sent a bouncer past the stick of goalkeeper Aaliyah Jones to take a two-score lead and force Stony Brook to call a timeout. 

Spallina’s words in the huddle must have sparked inspiration. The Seawolves scored four goals and conceded none for the remainder of the quarter, going into the break with a 6-4 lead. 

The two sides traded blows to start the second half, but Stanford remained within striking distance. After attacker Aliya Polisky cut the Cardinal’s deficit to one goal, Browne’s second tally of the day evened the score up at seven apiece at the 4:54 mark of the third quarter. However, a score by Hart reclaimed the lead for Stony Brook before the final period. 

Riding high after leading for the majority of the game, the wheels began to fall off for the Seawolves in the fourth quarter. At the 11:07 mark, Polisky sent a pass over the net to a cutting midfielder Ailish Kelly, who sent in a shot to tie the game. Less than a minute later, Polisky dodged through traffic and scored herself to give Stanford a 9-8 lead. 

The momentum stayed on the Cardinal’s side when attacker Sarah Jaques scored on a free-position shot to take a two-goal lead with less than 10 minutes to play. 

Stony Brook managed to stop the bleeding when Masera drove behind the net to distract the defense and then passed it to Caporuscio, who sent in a shot from 10 yards out. 

Just under the five-minute mark, midfielder Alexandra Fusco drove towards the net on a free-position opportunity. She fended off a Stanford defender and finished through contact, dribbling the ball past Pearson to tie the game at 10 all. 

Spallina noted that nail-biters like Thursday’s matchup are a good learning experience for the team. 

“I thought today was probably more valuable than us playing a perfect game,” Spallina said. “I think it’s important when you’re in those situations in the NCAA Tournament that you’re battle-tested. I think a game like today makes us battle-tested.”

Masera, Hart and attacker Morgan Mitchell all tallied two goals in the game, respectively. Masera recorded three assists and controlled eight draws. Mitchell finished with one assist. 

Outside of the trio, five other Seawolves added to the scoring column. Hampel, Caporuscio, Fusco, Verhulst and attacker Alex Finn all tallied one goal apiece in Stony Brook’s balanced attack. Finn and MacQuarrie notched an assist each.

Making one of the biggest plays of the game with her forced turnover in overtime, Caporuscio gave credit to her teammates for giving her the opportunities to succeed. 

“The one thing about this team is that everyone’s always got your back,” Caporuscio said. “You know who’s beside you and you do whatever you can to make a play.” 

A welcomed sight for the Seawolves was the return of defender Clare Levy. After missing the previous four games due to injury, Levy tallied three ground balls and a turnover in her return. 

The conclusion of regular-season play brings the start of the 2024 Coastal Athletic Association Championship. Next Thursday, the top-seeded Seawolves will host either Elon or Towson, who will play on Saturday for the fourth seed. Opening draw is set for noon. 

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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell
Kenny Spurrell, Assistant Sports Editor
Kenny Spurrell is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a senior English major and journalism minor at Stony Brook University. He began covering sports for The Statesman during the Fall 2021 semester. Since then, he has covered men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football. His passion for sports derives from his many years of playing basketball, football and baseball. He is a Long Island native from Selden, N.Y. and has dreams of becoming a sports journalist.
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