Undefeated Stony Brook women seeded fifth in NCAAs
STONY BROOK (AP) — The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team and Albany’s men’s team made history this year — both programs achieved the No. 1 spot in the national rankings on the same day in late February.
It marked a first for the State University of New York system, which had never had a Division I team ranked as the best in the nation.
Heading into the postseason on Saturday night, the Great Danes had two losses but were seeded second in the NCAA Tournament. The Stony Brook women? The America East Conference champions remain undefeated after 19 games and ranked No. 1, but somehow they’re seeded fifth in the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Defending national champion Maryland (18-1) earned the top seed over North Carolina (15-3). James Madison (18-1) is No. 3 and Boston College (19-1), last year’s national runner-up, is fourth.
Stony Brook, the only undefeated women’s team remaining in Division I, had the best nonconference RPI in the nation, going 8-0 against ranked opponents and outscoring those foes by an average of 16-8.
The Seawolves rank second in scoring at 18.26 goals per game and first defensively, allowing 6.95.
“If we aren’t number one, what they’re basically saying is if you’re not in the Big Ten, if you’re not in the ACC, you can’t be a one or two, maybe even a three or a four,” Stony Brook coach Joe Spallina told the school newspaper, the Stony Brook Statesman. “So they’re going to have to look at themselves in the mirror and figure it out.”
The top four seeds get to play at home until the Final Four. At least Stony Brook, led by senior stars Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy, has a chance to have the last laugh despite the snub. The Final Four will be played at the Seawolves’ home field, Lavalle Stadium, where they’ve won 32 straight games.
Entering the tournament, Ohlmiller is the all-time leading scorer in Division I with 486 points and Murphy is the all-time leading goal scorer with 333.
The Seawolves had a first-round bye and will play Penn at home on Sunday. A victory will send them on the road against BC in the national quarterfinals. The Quakers beat Penn State 15-14 in double overtime on Friday evening.