The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team was trounced by the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, Feb. 16, falling 17-4. Penn State was ranked fourth in the country heading into Saturday’s matchup, having won in both of its games prior to the matchup at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
“We ran into a very good team today,” head coach Jim Nagle said in a post-game press conference. “They are well coached and a very seasoned team. We had a game plan that proved to less effective than we wanted it to be. We are going to be a great team and have a lot of faith and confidence in the guys, but it was a disappointing first game here against a very good team.”
Penn State ran up the score to 11-0, with junior attacker Mac O’Keefe leading the way with six goals in the first half. The Nittany Lions carried on the offensive onslaught in the second half after redshirt-junior attacker Grant Ament found the back of the net, just two minutes into the third quarter. Ultimately, the team earned the first 15 goals of the game and capitalized on its longest scoring run this season.
Stony Brook sophomore midfielder Mike McCannell found a hole through the safeguarding Penn State defense and scored the first goal of the game and of the season, his 16th career one. The Seawolves slowly chipped away at the lengthy deficit, with junior attackers Tom Haun and Cory VanGinhoven and sophomore defenseman Devin O’Leary closing the game with consecutive goals.
“I wouldn’t say it dampens our confidence,” Haun said in a post-game press conference. “It’s still early in the season. It’s still a long road ahead of us. We definitely gotta step back and evaluate ourselves and regroup from this game because it wasn’t good at all. We just gotta grow from this.”
After a long offseason of training and preparation, Nagle has confidence that this season will still be a great year.
“We are more experienced and we are definitely very optimistic about the upcoming year despite the outcome of today’s game,” Nagle said.
The Seawolves will now go on a two-game road stretch against Brown University on Feb. 23, and then face Long Island rival Hofstra University on Feb. 26.