Senior midfielder Alex Corpolongo (No. 7, above) runs against Notre Dame in a fall game Oct. 8, 2016. He scored the game-winning-goal over Sacred Heart on Feb. 14.ARACELY JIMENEZ/THE STATESMAN

Senior midfielder Alex Corpolongo (No. 7) attacks the goal against Notre Dame on Oct. 8, 2016. He scored the game-winning goal over Sacred Heart on Feb. 14. ARACELY JIMENEZ/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team started the season off on the right track, overcoming a three goal deficit at the half to eventually win the back-and-forth game on a last minute goal to defeat Sacred Heart, 12-11.

For much of the afternoon, the Seawolves were playing catch up with the Pioneers, but Stony Brook kept the game close as Sacred Heart’s lead never stretched beyond three goals. The Pioneer’s defense forced Stony Brook into long possessions, disallowing close near-crease looks.  

The Seawolves gained momentum in the third quarter after freshman midfielder Wayne White scored a goal on a man-up advantage. He soon scored another goal and classmate attacker Tom Haun followed suit by burying one of his own. Sacred Heart also made a goalie change to start the third period leading, 8-5; Dutton Brooks was replaced by Greg Price, who was the goalie of record.  

From there, it was a tit-for-tat affair where neither team could muster more than a one goal lead. Sacred Heart’s midfielder Julian Garritano imposed his will on Stony Brook, scoring five goals on eight shots and kept the Pioneers in the game during the fourth quarter.

But when it came down to big moments, Stony Brook junior goalie Brandon Maciejewski made crucial saves, and although Sacred Heart scored later on in the possession, he robbed junior midfielder Bryce Jurk cold with a stick save as the clock hit 1:50 in the fourth quarter, preserving an 11-10 lead.  

The save drew a Sacred Heart timeout that sparked an offensive assault, culminating in one of Garritano’s five goals and establishing an 11-11 tie.  

But the heroics of sophomore midfielder Alex Corpolongo, who buried the game-winning goal with 40 seconds left in playing time, made Garritano’s herculean effort for naught.  

In a bizarre sequence, Haun scored a goal in the first period that was initially saved by Brooks. The ball landed mere inches over the goal line and required referee verification. The referees briefly conferred in the crease, looking down at the ball before raising their arms overhead confirming the goal.

Stony Brook will return to action on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. when it takes on St. John’s on the road.