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Women’s Lacrosse fends off early Johns Hopkins lead, wins 10-7

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Senior attacker Courtney Murphy (No. 18, above) is three goals away from becoming the first Stony Brook player to reach 200 career goals. BRIDGET DOWNES/THE STATESMAN

No. 7 Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse trailed No. 20 Johns Hopkins 5-2 at halftime on Sunday afternoon after a dismal offensive start. The Seawolves had come back against ranked teams before, and head coach Joe Spallina assured them they would again. The team opened the period with five unanswered goals, the highlight of which was a falling scoop shot by sophomore attacker Kylie Ohlmiller, giving her squad its first lead of the afternoon. Stony Brook would hold on to win 10-7, extending its win streak to nine games.

“I guess it’s kind of something that me and [senior attacker Courtney] Murph[y] do a lot in practice that the defenders who are on us kind of complain about because we hit them a lot, and then the goalies, we hit them too, and they’re always like ‘You know you’re never going to do that in a game,’ ” Ohlmiller said. “So when me and Murph do it in a game we’re like, ‘We did it!’ ”

Junior attacker Dorrien Van Dyke kicked off the surge when she drove down the left side of the field and fired a shot across her body to score less than two minutes into the second half. Soon after, sophomore midfielder Samantha DiSalvo buried a goal to cut the deficit to one, forcing Johns Hopkins to call timeout.

After assisting DiSalvo, Ohlmiller had the favor returned 15 seconds later to knot the game at five. After Ohlmiller’s highlight goal to put Stony Brook ahead, junior attacker Courtney Murphy scored on a free position attempt. The Seawolves scored five goals in under five minutes, going from a 5-2 deficit to a 7-5 lead.

“We talked about every season having a defining moment, and that this was our defining moment,” Spallina said. “It would have been very easy for this group to roll over and play dead having played yesterday, having exerted a ton of energy yesterday, being down 5-2 against a team that had their whole season to play for. So I told them this is our defining moment of the season. We will come back and win this game.”

Johns Hopkins only managed two goals in the second half, while Stony Brook piled onto its run. Senior midfielder Dene’ DiMartino scored on a free position shot with 18:22 to go, but freshman midfielder Kasey Mitchell responded for the Seawolves less than a minute later. Van Dyke and Murphy would complete their respective hat tricks on the day in the final ten minutes.

The duo led the way for Stony Brook with three goals apiece, with Ohlmiller adding two. Van Dyke also tallied six draw controls and four ground balls on the afternoon. DiSalvo had two assists while contributing a goal, while Mitchell also added a score.

Draw controls told much of the story. The Blue Jays won six of the game’s first eight draw controls, but the Seawolves controlled eight of the second half’s first nine.

Stony Brook struggled mightily on offense in the first half, recording five turnovers to six shots on goal. The Seawolves entered their match-up averaging 14 goals per game, but scored just two in the opening 30 minutes. Junior goalkeeper Caroline Federico tallied four saves in the first half.

“We didn’t have the ball,” Spallina said when asked about the offensive woes. “We came out slow, lethargic.”

Johns Hopkins struck first, scoring the game’s first three goals. Junior midfielder Haley Schweizer got the scoring started less than two minutes into the contest. Senior attacker Jenna Reifler then fed sophomore attacker Emily Kenul, who gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. At the 20:38 mark, DiMartino scored on a fast break chance to extend the lead to three. Murphy, the NCAA’s goals leader, had a chance to respond in transition, but her shot hit the top post. She then had a free position shot miss high.  

Van Dyke put Stony Brook on the scoreboard with a free position goal at the 15:49 mark, but the Blue Jays responded with two goals of their own. Sophomore attacker CeCe Finney spun past defenders to give Johns Hopkins a 5-1 advantage. Murphy scored on a breakaway with 1:25 to go in the half to cut into the lead.

“We just came in, we talked to each other, we all said what we were doing, what we had to fix,” Van Dyke said. “I think that’s a big part of our team. We’re not afraid to call out each other when someone needs to fix something.”

Next up for Stony Brook, now 11-3 on the season, is a road match-up with conference foe Binghamton on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. Murphy will look to make history there, needing just three goals to become the first player in program history to score 200 goals in her career.

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