A week or two ago, I was browsing through some lacrosse box scores and highlights on the Stanford athletics website, researching for an article.
Since I have the attention span of a goldfish, I got distracted and browsed through the different pages of the site, including that of Stanford’s swimming and diving team,
“Oh that’s right,” I realized, “Katie Ledecky goes there. Like, THE Katie Ledecky.”
I wondered what it would be like going to college with Katie Ledecky. Like, she’s the greatest women’s swimmer of all-time. “Imagine being able to witness the greatest athlete a sport has ever seen, at your own university,” I thought.
And then, as someone that has covered Stony Brook women’s lacrosse for the last four years as a student, I realized the irony.
I’ve covered the careers of two of the greatest offensive lacrosse players to have ever played: Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy.
The numbers are jaw-dropping.
Let’s just focus on this year for now. Ohlmiller and Murphy rank No. 1 and No. 2 in Division-I in points scored. Ohlmiller has 152 points (86 goals and 66 assists) while Murphy has 127 (93 goals and 34 assists).
They’ll visit third-place, Sam Apuzzo, and the Boston College Eagles in an NCAA quarterfinal game this weekend. But even Apuzzo lags a bit behind the Seawolves’ pace. She has 115 points this season.
For Ohlmiller, she became the second player in NCAA history, men’s or women’s, to record 150 points in a single season. The first? Kylie Ohlmiller, last year. 164 points.
Now onto Murphy. On Sunday, she became the second player in the last 20 years, men’s or women’s to record at least 93 goals in a season. The first? Courtney Murphy, two years ago. 100 goals.
Over her career, Ohlmiller now has a record 493 points, 48 clear of Jen Adams in second-place and 95 more than Hannah Nielsen, who was in third-place all-time before being passed by Murphy (now with 403) this past Sunday.
Before this season, only one player in the history of Division-I college lacrosse had ever recorded more than 400 points (Adams). Both Murphy and Ohlmiller have hit the mark this year and there is a high likelihood that Ohlmiller will reach 500 points either this weekend or next.
Murphy now holds the career goals record by a staggering 43 (now over Maryland’s Megan Whittle, also a senior this season). Ohlmiller holds the career assists record by 18. These players are now statistically running away from all-time greats.
Combined, they have 896 career points and 589 career goals. No pair of teammates playing their final season together have ever achieved anything CLOSE to that. The second-highest points total comes from Adams and her classmate Allison Comito (who ironically became the Stony Brook head coach from 2006 to 2011).
The two Terps, whose final seasons came in 2001, had a combined career of 710 points and 443 goals. The duo of Gail Cummings and Kim Lambdin, who both graduated Temple in 1988, had slightly more combined career goals (450).
Ohlmiller and Murphy have combined for 589 career goals (and counting). The next best teammate total in D-I lacrosse history is 450 goals. Ohlmiller/Murphy is statistically the greatest scoring duo ever... by 30.9 percent.
A common rebuttal to the statistical success of Stony Brook players is that they play a weak schedule, in the America East, that allows them to pile up numbers.
Counterpoint: Kylie Ohlmiller has played seven games this season against teams that made the NCAA Tournament. She has 51 points (7.28 points per game) in those seven games, just off her 7.60 points-per-game clip overall.
Records have become a bit of an afterthought here at Stony Brook, as a national championship comes closer into focus. Besides, Ohlmiller and Murphy already have all the records anyway. There are no more to break.
But some in the lacrosse world still don’t seem to grasp the pure absurdity of this pairing. I doubt we will ever see a duo so dynamic ever again.