Kylie Ohlmiller led Stony Brook (2-0) to a statement win over the Bryant Bulldogs (0-1) in the Seawolves home opener on Saturday afternoon.
Ohlmiller, the junior attacker, achieved a career-high of seven goals and five assists which helped factor into more than half of Stony Brook’s offensive explosion in a 20-5 victory. The victory helped erase a somewhat sour taste in the Seawolves’ mouths that they experienced two weeks ago against Towson. The team earned a 10-9 victory in a gritty performance, but had expected to win in a more dominant fashion. That wasn’t an issue against Bryant.
“We decided as a team to put Towson behind us,” Ohlmiller said. “Yes, we got the win which was big, but we tried to put it behind us and focus on today. We focused on coming out the way we know how to come out and that’s hard, aggressive and playing fast.”
Ohlmiller wasn’t kidding. The Seawolves put on a torrential pace in the first 16 minutes of the game, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. Four of Ohlmiller’s goals came in less than four minutes, and she scored a hat trick in just 56 seconds.
Stony Brook Head Coach Joe Spallina was pleased with his team storming out of the gate and using the season opener against Towson as motivation.
“[The Towson game] allowed me to coach them a little harder this week,” Spallina said. “They responded to it. I think [our team] was humbled a little bit and I think we got a bit of a reality check. They were really open-minded to improving the past two weeks, and they did.”
A major reason that one of the most dynamic offenses in America managed to only put up 10 goals against Towson was because one of its star players, senior attacker Courtney Murphy, suffered a broken left hand early in that game. Murphy toughed it out and finished the game with one goal, only to reveal her hand afterwards, which Spallina described as “a boxing glove.”
Two short weeks later, Murphy’s play made it looked like the injury had never happened. She notched six goals, including her own hat trick that came in 2:11 in the midst of the first half.
“[Murphy]’s different. She’s the identity of our team,” Spallina said. “Somebody who wasn’t going to sit out a game, and I thought that inspired the team a little bit. Thank God she’s better now, because she’s a special player.”
Murphy said that her doctor gave her the option of whether to play or not. The decision was an easy one for her.
“It’s my last year,” she said. “I definitely didn’t want to miss a bunch of games.”
While the “dynamic duo” of Ohlmiller and Murphy, as Spallina called them, put up 13 of the team’s 20 goals, the rest of the team’s starters did their part in the offense.
Junior midfielder Samantha DiSalvo scored three goals and two assists, senior midfielder Dorrien Van Dyke had a goal and three assists and sophomore midfielder Keri McCarthy added two goals and two assists in the Seawolves onslaught.
McCarthy’s four points were not what stood out the most to her teammates, however. McCarthy was the key contributor to Stony Brook’s 74 percent draw control rate, which is what set up the offense to begin with.
“Keri had a great week at practice,” Murphy said. “[Spallina] talked to a couple of us captains and asked us how we felt about [McCarthy’s practice] and he really took our input into consideration. I think Keri was a huge spark to our team today and was confident due to a great week of practice. We’re really looking forward to her stepping up this year, and we’re proud of her.”
Perhaps somewhat lost in Stony Brook’s dominance was the first collegiate point of freshman attacker Taryn Ohlmiller. She was able to score the Seawolves 20th goal of the afternoon with 1:36 remaining in the game.
“I’m pumped that my little sister got her first goal today,” Kylie Ohlmiller said. “Hopefully she can start rolling and play a big role in our offense this year.”
For Bryant, freshman attackers Caitlin Breglia and Maggie Pressler each scored two goals.
The Seawolves will head to Marist for their next game on Tuesday, Feb. 21.