You may not know whether or not you’re gonna play your final home game in your collegiate career. However, you know that either way, play it like it’s your last and go out with a bang. The grad stars in Taryn Ohlmiller, Ally Kennedy, and Kaeli Huff proved that to be true.
Stony Brook entered Round 2 of the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament with a 2-5 all-time record in the 2nd round of the tournament and coming off a 14-8 win in Round 1 over Towson, remaining perfect all-time against the Tigers. They prepared for a Rutgers Scarlet Knights team that was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999 and first-ever tournament win after defeating the Drexel Dragons 16-13 at LaValle Stadium following the Stony Brook-Towson game.
After the Seawolves gave up the first goal of the game to Towson on Friday, they managed to strike first against Rutgers on Sunday afternoon with Kaeli Huff on the assist from Taryn Ohlmiller. After the Seawolves lead was a 3-2 with 21:20 in the first half, the Seawolves went on a 7-0 run that lasted until 4:45 mark of the half, with the last goal of the run giving Kaeli Huff the hat trick.
After leading 11-4 at halftime, the Seawolves continued their scoring run against a Scarlet Knights team that was known for looking dangerous in the 2nd half during the regular season by scoring the first 4 goals of the second half, 3 of them coming from midfielder Ally Kennedy, who finished the day with 4 goals overall.
At the 17:50 mark of the 2nd half, Taryn Ohlmiller captured her 4th goal of the game, which also turned out to be her 10th point of the game. With that point on the assist from Bridget Considine, Ohlmiller broke the program record for the most points by a Seawolves player in a tournament game, eclipsing Courtney Murphy’s 9-point game against UPenn in 2018. Ohlmiller had an earlier career performance on May 1 when she hit a new career-high of 8 goals at LaValle Stadium on Senior Day against the UMBC Retrievers. She also became the third player in NCAA tournament history with at least 12 points in a game, one short of UAlbany head coach Katie Rowan Thomson’s record in the 2008 NCAA Tournament with Syracuse.
Because of the record-breaking goal at that point in the game, head coach Joe Spallina called a timeout to allow the Stony Brook fans to give Ohlmiller a much-deserved standing ovation. She also moved to second all-time in career points in program history at 408, now only trailing her sister and former Stony Brook legend Kylie Ohlmiller with 498.
Kaeli Huff had a new career-high of 6 goals in the 20-8 win against Rutgers, eclipsing a previous career-high of 5 against Fresno State in 2017 when still a member of the USC Trojans. Her six 6 goals were the second-most by a player in tournament history.
With the win, the Seawolves complete their home slate of the 2021 season with a perfect 10-0 record and will face the top-seeded and title favorite North Carolina Tar Heels at Dorrance Field at Chapel Hill at noon on Saturday. The Tar Heels were coming off a rematch win against the CAA champion James Madison Dukes 14-9. The Seawolves and Tar Heels faced each other to begin the 2021 season on February 14, where UNC overcame an early 2-0 deficit to win 14-7.
The Seawolves are looking for the first-ever NCAA Final Four appearance while the Tar Heels seek their 3rd national title in program history. Winner travels to Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson for the Final Four, beginning May 28, to face the winner of #4 Boston College-#5 Notre Dame.