In a conference matchup, the Elon University lacrosse team could not keep up with the No. 6 ranked team in the nation, Stony Brook University, losing 17-5.
The Seawolves led the entire time in its first series matchup against the Phoenix.
Stony Brook is in the midst of their inaugural season as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, boasting a 6-2 record, with its only losses coming against the current No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country, Syracuse University and Northwestern University, respectively.
“Stony Brook is so well coached, and they're so athletically talented,” head coach Josh Hexter said. “It's easy to get mesmerized coming into the game.”
No player shined brighter on the big stage than freshman goalie Caitlin Walsh. In her seventh start, she made 13 saves, tying her career high, against one of the best offenses in the nation.
“I've learned that we can play really well as a team, and even when we get down in the game, we can bring it together,” Walsh said. “I know I can step up in big moments and help our team.”
Walsh finished with a 43.3% save percentage after facing 35 shots from the Stony Brook offense. A six-goal performance from junior midfielder Ellie Masera and a seven-point performance from senior attacker Kailyn Hart headlined the powerhouse Stony Brook unit.
“At the end of the day, it's mental, keeping composed, leaning on my teammates, and being there for them,” Walsh said. “Making sure they're there for me, seeing the field and doing the best I can.”
Though the low-scoring performance from the Elon offense, first-year midfielder Anna Hackett continued her impressive campaign. Hackett scored two goals which led the team.
“Anna Hackett is going to explode onto the scene soon,” Hexter said. “Once she recognizes, believes and understands what we all understand, how good she is, she is going to be unstoppable.”
Sophomore midfielder Cierra Hopson, senior attack Hannah McCarthy and senior midfielder Kaley Ehnow added goals. Senior defender and team captain Julia Dalmass led the way in ground balls and draw controls with four each.
Elon will look to bounce back from an 0-2 start to conference play with a matchup on the road against the Towson University Tigers (7-3) on April 1. The game is scheduled to start at noon.
“Belief,” Hexter said. “We need to be able to play with that kind of belief that we did in the third quarter for a whole 60 minutes. That kind of fearless play is what we need. If we can do that for 60 minutes, I think we will be tough to beat.”