Stony Brook Headed to First NCAA Tournament
from press release
STONY BROOK, N.Y. The No. 10/7 Stony
Brook women’s lacrosse team punched its first-ever ticket to
the NCAA Tournament by beating archrival Albany, 14-3, in the
America East title game. This is the first conference crown in
school history for the Seawolves, who were powered by six points
from Janine Hillier, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player
after totaling nine points over the two-game span.
Demmianne Cook, Alyssa Cardillo, Melissa Rotante and Amber Kupres also garnered All-Tournament honors for Stony Brook (16-2).
Cook scored three goals in the second half to help put the game away and also controlled a game-best four draws. Alyssa Cardillo totaled four points on a pair of goals and helpers, while Frankie Caridi made four stops in net as the Seawolves won their 11th-straight game
The mere seven total goals the Seawolves surrendered during the America East Championship are a tournament record. SBU’s stifling defense blanked America East Co-Player of the Year Rachel Burek.
The win ends Albany’s two-year reign as America East Champions, and the Great Danes’ season likely comes to a close with a 12-5 mark. Anna Berman stopped nine of the 23 shots she faced.
“It’s tremendous. We spoke all year about winning the conference tournament. Losing last year hurt. We spoke all year about getting better, peaking at the right time, and our kids did that. We have a special group of kids and a great group of seniors who drive the ship. I’m so happy for them and our kids. We have the greatest kids. They work so hard. This is special. Now we’re hoping to make noise in the NCAA Tournament. We feel we’ve done enough to host a game.”
--Head Coach Joe Spallina
Janine Hillier’s reaction
“We just made history today. I’m so happy for our team, the Team of the Year in the America East. We’re just excited to be on the map.”
--Janine Hillier, Most Outstanding Player
Hillier had the hot-hand early, scoring the Seawolves’ first two goals in less than four minutes.
SBU pushed the lead to 4-0 over the next two minutes, and Kupres drilled a shot on a feed from Cardillo to give the Seawolves a 5-0 lead with 16:02 remaining.
Albany scored a pair of goals before the break to put the halftime score at 5-2.
The two teams traded goals to open the second half, with Hillier feeding Cardillo less than a minute into the frame and Arianna Parker netting a free position goal to make it a 6-3 game.
Cook responded quickly with an unassisted goal at 23:10 to push the lead to four, 7-3. Emily Mercier drove to the cage for a score with 18:16 to play, and Hillier found Cardillo on the doorstep about 30 ticks later as Stony Brook gained total control of the game with a 9-3 lead. The Seawolves never looked back, scoring five more times en route to their first-ever conference crown.