Friday, May 10, 2013

No. 10/9 WLAX edges Towson behind stellar defense, 8-6

Caridi makes seven stops, Kupres and Hillier combine for five points

College Park, Md. -- In its first NCAA Tournament game, the No. 10/9 Stony Brook women's lacrosse team played sparkling defense and put Towson away late for for an 8-6 win Friday night at the Maryland Lacrosse and Field Hockey Complex. 

Frankie Caridi made seven stops, while Amber Kupres netted a hat trick and Janine Hillier tallied two goals and one assist as Stony Brook won its 12th-straight game and improved to 17-2 on the season.

Demmianne Cook added two goals, three draw controls and five ground balls, and Claire Petersen dished out three helpers. 

Kelsea Donnelly stopped eight shots for Towson (10-9). 

Coach's Reaction
"I'm tremendously happy for our program. It's a big deal to win a game in the NCAAs, it's a big deal to be in the NCAAs. I'm proud of our kids and the way they played in the second half. Towson is a great team and very well coached. To get a win in the NCAA Tournament is a big deal, and we are excited about the opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the country."

--Head Coach Joe Spallina

Turning Point
The two squads engaged in a defensive battle in the first half, yielding just two goals apiece. 

In the second stanza, Cook netted an unassisted goal less than four minutes into the frame to give Stony Brook the lead, 3-2. Kupres followed with a goal on a feed from Hillier as the Seawolves went up 4-2 with 23:29 to play.

Jackie LaMonica closed the gap to one with a tally from Ashleigh Rohrback, but Hillier and Michelle Rubino scored the next two, both unassisted, to put Stony Brook up three, 6-3, at 15:38.

Towson hung around as Sarah Maloof got a shot by Caridi with 13:56 remaining. Two minutes later, Hillier pushed the lead back to three on a free position shot.

Petersen found Kupres on the doorstep at 8:13, and the sophomore midfielder scored to give the Seawolves a four-goal advantage, 8-4.

Ashley Waldron scored the final two goals of the game for Towson, but the Seawolves defense remained solid to ice the team's first-ever NCAA win.

By the Numbers
  • Stony Brook's speedy midfielders Kupres, Rubino and Cook helped the Seawolves go 16-for-17 on the clear. 
  • SBU held a 22-15 advantage on ground balls. Caridi and Cook picked up five apiece.
  • The Seawolves outshot the Tigers, 21-18.
  • The is the fewest goals Stony Brook has scored in a win, besting its previous mark of nine against Albany on March 30. 

News and Notes
  • Cook now has 88 goals on the season and 156 during her remarkable career. Her longtime teammate, Petersen, pushed her career assist total to 104 and season assist number to 45, the second-most all-time in SBU single-season history. 
  • Hillier has 49 goals this season, which moves her into third all-time on Stony Brook's single-season ledger. She tallied 47 last season.
  • This is the 15th time this season the Seawolves have held an opponent to single-digits in scoring. 
  • Stony Brook is the third America East team to win an NCAA Tournament game. Albany was the last team to capture a win (2011), while Boston University has picked up two victories.
  • The four goals the two teams tallied in the first half is the fourth-fewest in a half during a first or second round game in NCAA history. Dartmouth and Princeton combined for four goals in the first half in the 2004 Quarterfinals, and UMass and Yale posted four total scores in the 2nd half of a 1984 first-round contest. 

Up Next
Stony Brook will face top-seeded, No. 1/1 Maryland Sunday at noon in College Park, Md. The Seawolves fell to Maryland in a close, 8-3, decision March 17th. They have not lost since.