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Stony Brook women stun defending champion James Madison in OT at NCAA Tournament

May 10, 2019

By David Driver
For the Special to Newsday
Used with permission

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Stony Brook graduate senior attack Nicole Barretta became emotional after her team stunned defending national champion James Madison in overtime in the first round of the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament here Friday night.

And it wasn’t because she scored the winning, sudden-death goal in the 10-9 victory over the No. 9 Dukes at the University of Maryland.

“I get another day with my team,” said Barretta, in her only season with the Seawolves after transferring from Temple. “Being with this team, I couldn’t ask for a better experience. The least I can do is have another day with these girls.”

The No. 14 Seawolves (16-4) advance to play here noon Sunday against powerhouse Maryland, which has the best RPI in the country. On top of that Barretta’s sister, Tori, is a sophomore midfielder for the Terps. They are the daughters of Larry and Kate Barretta and grew up in Exton, Pa., near Philadelphia.

Her parents and sister attended the game Friday, and now mother and father will have mixed loyalties Sunday.

“Probably the most stressed out Mother’s Day she will ever have,” said Barretta, with a grin.

The two sisters began “chirping” about the Sunday showdown after Nicole scored at the 4:41 mark of overtime as the Seawolves won their 12th game in a row.

“My dad said, ‘Stop it. I don’t want to hear it.’ It is going to be fun,” Nicole said.

Stony Brook’s Ally Kennedy, one of the top players in the country, had four goals and Siobhan Rafferty, Keri McCarthy, Sabrina Tabasso and Maryland resident Sara Moeller had one each as Stony Brook came back from a 6-3 deficit. Taryn Ohlmiller had four assists, and Rayna Sabella assisted on the winner.

JMU had a chance to win at the end of regulation but turned the ball over in the closing seconds. Seawolves goalie Anna Tesoriero had 12 saves.

“Wow, what an incredible college lacrosse game,” coach Joe Spallina said. “Tip your cap to James Madison — defending national champions. For us it was a great win. I don’t think it looked great at the half” trailing 5-3.

“They did what they had to do to win,” JMU coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe said. “In the end, we had the ball and we weren’t able to make the play.”

Kennedy, the Seawolves star, is also eager for Sunday. Stony Brook lost to Maryland in the 2017 quarterfinals.

“I am so excited to go out and play them again,” she said.