Lacrosse nears end of conference play in New York

Freshman midfielder Katie Ramsay runs past a Cal defender in a win at McAlister Field March 23. (Josh Dunst/Daily Trojan)

As the Trojan women’s lacrosse team wraps up their final matches in the regular season, it will be traveling east this weekend for the second time to meet No. 20 Stony Brook on Sunday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.

The Trojans are currently 13-13 all-time in East Coast games and are 0-2 on Stony Brook’s home turf.

The Seawolves have had a successful season this year, with an impressive roster of notable players who help put points on the board. Junior midfielder Ally Kennedy leads SBU with 41 goals,  46 points, 29 ground balls and 60 draw controls. Coming in at a strong second for the Seawolves’ roster is sophomore midfielder Siobhan Rafferty, who has scored 30 goals and has 16 ground balls. SBU’s senior goalie Anna Tesorierohas also shouldn’t be overlooked, with a .456 save percentage and a 7.86 goals-against average.

The Seawolves hold a strong four-game win streak since their narrow 11-10 loss to Florida. The Seawolves are the nation’s fifth-ranked defense because of their 7.36 goals-against average.

The Trojans are coming in strong, ranked No. 13 after their 16-0 win against Oregon. USC has come far in the rankings this season since the start of the 2019 season, during which they ranked No. 21.

USC had a season-long nine-game winning streak until it was snapped in a narrow 9-8 loss to No. 23-ranked Colorado.

The loss against Colorado marked USC’s 11th all-time loss on their home turf, but they redeemed themselves by playing a clean match against Oregon.

“Lacrosse is notably a game of momentum, within individual games and seasons,” junior midfielder Kerrigan Miller said.

The All-American midfielder is one of USC’s leading players this season. Miller’s efforts have allowed her to rack up 16 goals, 32 draw controls, 39 ground balls and a team-high 28 caused turnovers this season alone.  

“In playing such talented teams this weekend, our team will need to derive its confidence from this week of preparation and commitment to our game plan,” Miller said.

Another key player is USC sophomore goalie Riley Hertford, who has put in the work both on and off the field, helping the Trojans in defense this season and making her presence known since the departure of superstar goalie Gussie Johns last year. Hertford leads the league with an 8.47 goals-against average and tops all players with an aggressive 3.4 ground balls per game.

A key component forthe Trojans this weekend is working in unison and strong communication on the field as they compete against the Seawolves Sunday.

“Our team plays to win, yet no win is achievable without trust in one another on both ends of the ball,” Miller said.