No. 10/7 WLAX ousts Albany for AE title, NCAA berth

Stony Brook captains holding the 2013 America East Championship trophy
 
Stony Brook captains holding the 2013 America East Championship trophy
 
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May 5, 2013

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

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 11 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 Rachael 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.

Coach’s Reaction

“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

Turning Point

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.

The Numbers Game

  • Mercier netted a hattrick for Stony Brook
  • Caridi left to a large applause with under three minutes to play, giving way to senior Hannah Perruccio, who was instrumental in last year’s turnaround season when Caridi was injured. Perruccio did not allow a goal.
  • Stony Brook controlled 12 draws compared to seven for Albany.
  • The Great Danes turned the ball over 17 times, and Michelle Rubino caused a game-best three turnovers to contribute to a stellar defensive effort by the Seawolves.

News and Notes

  • The 11-goal margin of victory is the largest-ever in an America East title game. 
  • Stony Brook has not lost since March 17th, when it fell to top-ranked Maryland despite holding the Terps to their lowest goal total of the season.
  • Cook now has 154 goals in her remarkable two-year career at Stony Brook.
  • Hillier’s six points against the Great Danes are the second-most in an America East Championship game by a Seawolf, one behind the seven Cook recorded against Vermont.
  • Stony Brook became the 12th team to run the table in conference play during the regular season and win the league title.
  • Albany scored a total of five goals against SBU all season, with two coming in the regular-season meeting March 30, which the Seawolves won, 9-2.
  • No. 1 seeds are now 5-2 all-time in America East Championship history when playing the No. 2 seed.
  • SBU's 16 wins are a program record, two more than the mark it set last year (14).  

Up Next

Stony Brook will learn its NCAA bid tonight during a selection show on NCAA.com.