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No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse eliminated from NCAA tournament by of No. 3 Syracuse

Attacker Kailyn Hart carries the ball in her stick against Drexel on Saturday, May 4. Despite Hart’s five-point game, the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s season came to a close in the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

In the final collegiate game for most of its starters, the No. 14 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team was overwhelmed from the jump.

For a second straight year, the Seawolves’ (18-3, 8-0 CAA) season ended in the second round of the national tournament in front of a hostile crowd — this time at the Syracuse University Soccer Stadium — courtesy of the No. 3 Syracuse Orange (15-5, 8-1 ACC) on Sunday. Stemming from its struggles in the center circle, Stony Brook could not get anything going on either side of the ball in a 15-10 loss.

Head coach Joe Spallina threw four bodies at Syracuse draw specialist Kate Mashewske in the first half. However, none had anything to offer for Mashewske, who controlled 16 of the 19 draws in that time frame. The Orange capitalized on their continuous possessions to tire out the Seawolves defense that gave up a season-high 11 first-half goals.

Spallina credited Mashewske as being the game changer.

“The difference in the game was that draw taker and the magical stick that she had,” Spallina said in a postgame press conference. “We had to exert a lot of energy to gain any possessions.”

Although Stony Brook remained without answers for Mashewske in the third period, its defense stepped up. On the back of three Syracuse turnovers and four saves from goalkeeper Emily Manning, the Seawolves only conceded a pair of goals in the frame, giving their offense several chances to cut into the lead.

Still, nothing appeared to be going right for Stony Brook, as even its usually reliable attack did not show up. The Seawolves only converted on two of their eight possessions in the quarter, setting themselves up for a steep climb in the fourth period.

Down 13-8 at the start of the final frame, Stony Brook won a rare draw control as it pushed for a comeback. However, on the ensuing attacking set, midfielder Ellie Masera bounced a pass intended for a cutting midfielder Alexandra Fusco, resulting in a turnover.

Masera’s fourth giveaway of the day developed into a goal by Syracuse attacker Gracie Britton on the other end. Just over five minutes later, Syracuse attacker Emma Tyrrell added another for her team to make it 15-8 and essentially close the chapter on the Seawolves’ year.

For consolation purposes, Stony Brook tallied the contest’s final two scores, which served as the last goals of midfielder Jaden Hampel and defender Clare Levy’s respective collegiate careers.

The Seawolves were outshot 28-25 by the Orange. Stony Brook scooped up 16 ground balls compared to Syracuse’s 19 and were +4 (16-12) on the turnover differential.

Mashewske set a new single-game program record for the Orange with 20 draw controls. Overall, Syracuse won the battle in the circle 22-7, the Seawolves’ largest disparity of the season.

Attacker Kailyn Hart led Stony Brook’s offense with a hat trick alongside two assists. Masera and Hampel scored a pair of goals each. Fusco, Levy and midfielder Charlotte Verhulst registered a goal apiece.

Masera and attacker Morgan Mitchell rounded out the Seawolves’ four total assists by dishing out one each.

Manning saved eight shots for a .363 save percentage. Conversely, Syracuse goalkeeper Delaney Sweitzer also made eight stops for a .444 mark.

Tyrrell posted five goals and one assist to headline the Orange’s attacking effort.

With its national championship window with this core now officially closed, Stony Brook will look toward building its next contending squad for seasons to come.

In a final farewell, Spallina acknowledged the impact of his departing players.

“I love our kids,” Spallina said. “Our kids are studs. They’re awesome people, awesome women, they’ll make the world a better place. We have such a connection because it’s real. What they’ve done for the university, we’ve been in the NCAA Tournament 11 straight times. It’s just a special group.”

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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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