NCAA Women's Lacrosse
Road to a National Championship
The Seawolves are on a Mission
Stony Brook’s mission to win a national championship started six years ago when Joe Spallina took over as Head Coach in 2012. Under his leadership the program has developed into a powerhouse for women’s lacrosse with Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy breaking NCAA records on attack. In 2017 the Seawolves were 20-2, losing only to Florida and Maryland by a goal in the NCAA Quarterfinals. This season Stony Brook is the only undefeated team in Division I Women’s Lacrosse with a perfect 20-0 record. Despite this unprecedented success, the NCAA Selection Committee seeded Stony Brook #5 for the NCAA Tournament. While the lacrosse world still does not fully appreciate Stony Brook’s success, the Seawolves believe in themselves and are on a mission to make their first Final Four appearance and win a national championship at home.
Prove People Wrong
Head Coach, Joe Spallina, has done an outstanding job turning around the Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse program and leading the team to an undefeated 2018 season and #1 national ranking in major polls. Despite their perfect record, Stony Brook was only seeded #5 for the NCAA Tournament. Strength of schedule was a key factor but underneath this decision is an undercurrent that Stony Brook did not receive the credit they deserve. Being an underdog is nothing new for the Seawolves who fight to prove themselves every time they take the field. Like any challenge, Stony Brook will take this head on – determined to “Prove People Wrong” and win their first NCAA title.
2017 NCAA Quarter Finals
Maryland (13) - Stony Brook (12)
Stony Brook went head-to-head with Maryland in the 2017 NCAA Quarterfinals and while they came up short by a goal, the 58 fouls called against Stony Brook definitely played a role in the outcome. Stony Brook took the loss standing proud knowing that they almost upset the #1 team and determined to come back in 2018 to set the record straight. Maryland went on to win the 2017 NCAA Championship and Stony Brook went home knowing that in 2018 the Final Four would be played on their home field where they could win their first national championship. If Maryland and Stony Brook can make it through the Quarterfinals, they will meet in the Semifinals of the Final Four which would be an outstanding game.
Welcome to LaValle Stadium
Regardless of the seeding, Stony Brook and their fans believe they can win a national championship and have the full support of the University to realize this dream. The Seawolves have the talent, coaching and determination to rewrite the record books and win a national title at home. Stony Brook is supported by thousands of dedicated fans who come to their games weekly during the regular season with the University’s band in the stands for big games. With the overwhelming majority of the team coming from Long Island, there really is a home field advantage. Younger girls aspiring to be the next Kylie Ohlmiller wear her jersey to the games, high-five the Seawolves as they run out of the tunnel onto the field before every game, scrimmage during halftime and wait in line after games to get the Stony Brook players’ signatures.
Stony Brook is a model of excellence supporting women’s athletics and an integral part of this team’s success. The Athletic Director, Shawn Heilbron, stands on the sidelines to support Spallina and the women’s lacrosse team with their families in the stands. When Courtney Murphy broke the NCAA record for most career goals, Stony Brook President, Samuel Stanley, joined Spallina and Heilbron on the sidelines to congratulate Murphy and cheer the team on to a 15-7 win over Johns Hopkins in front of over 3,000 fans. This level of commitment by the University has helped Stony Brook realize their full potential and is a key part of this team’s success.
Road to the National Championship
Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter where you are seeded – to be a national champion – you need to win every game. The 2018 landscape of top team for women’s lacrosse is very impressive. Maryland, North Carolina, Boston College are all outstanding teams with JMU having a break out year to earn the #3 seed and starting to believe that they can win a national title. Boston College will build on their success in 2017 reaching the NCAA finals against Maryland but will be without Kenzie Kent who has decided to redshirt her senior year. For #1 Maryland and #4 Boston College – meeting Stony Brook could be a premature ending to their outstanding seasons and dreams for being the 2018 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Champions.