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Archive for April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 — Fulcrum Week, Part 3: Stony Brook vs. Penn State

Game time: 4 p.m. tomorrow

Location: LaValle Stadium, Stony Brook

The records: Stony Brook 14-0, 1st ranked in polls, Penn State 9-6, 15th ranked in polls

Key players: Stony Brook: Kylie Ohlmiller (sr., m), Courtney Murphy (sr., f), Anna Tesoriero (jr., g). Penn State: Katie O’Donnell (jr., m), Maria Auth (so., f), Madison Carter (jr., A/M)

Key matchup: O’Donnell vs. Olhmiller; these two should play a top-level game of “Can You Top This?” Question is, what about the supporting cast? Ohlmiller has been playing at such a high level that you forget her wingwomen — chiefly Murphy, who is only the all-time goal-scoring leader in NCAA Division I history. Auth and Carter are brilliant attackers, but the PSU attack triangle have exactly 15 assists between them

The skinny: This game is the last chance for Stony Brook to bolster its tournament resume against a ranked team. Yes, the team has done extremely well in building an undefeated record, but plays in an America East league which is likely to send, at most, two teams to the postseason tournament.

Heading into the weekend, Stony Brook had only the seventh best rating in the Ratings Percentage Index, that calculation of strength of schedule and the value of the schedule of opponents’ opponents. If the Seawolves lose this game, it’s entirely possible that the NCAA Tournament Committee may do what it did last year: send them on the road for the quarterfinal round. One year ago, remember, Stony Brook went 18-1 but only received the No. 8 seed, and had to go to No. 1 Maryland. SBU gave Maryland its most difficult match in the tournament, losing 13-12

Note: Go to Instagram (@totc) tomorrow after the game is over for my Unfiltered perspective on the contest.