Junior attacker Chris Pickel Jr. during a game against Princeton at home on April 6. In a winning game against Vermont on Saturday, Pickel Jr. aided with offensive contributions. EMMA HARRIS/THE STATESMAN

In a key matchup with playoffs on the horizon, the Stony Brook Seawolves improbably came back to defeat the America East-leading Vermont Catamounts by a final score of 10-9 on Saturday, April 20.

Despite Vermont scoring five straight unanswered goals to start the game and leading 7-2 at the half, Stony Brook mounted an explosive offense in the second half and outscored Vermont 8-3. The Seawolves were led by freshman midfielder Layton Harrell, who had his second hat trick of the season as well as the game-sealing goal from junior attacker Tom Haun with 3:24 left in the game. Other offensive contributions came from junior midfielder Connor Grippe, sophomore midfielder Mike McCannell, junior attacker Chris Pickel Jr., senior midfielder Owen Daly and junior midfielders Harrison Matsuoka and Thomas Dugan.

“So proud of our team’s resiliency today against an excellent Vermont team,” head coach Jim Nagle said in a press release. “The team never stopped believing in themselves or each other. It was a great team effort.”

The win moves Stony Brook into first place in the America East Conference, with a conference record of 4-1 and an overall record of 8-5. With only one game remaining on the season and playoffs just around the corner, the win at Vermont was critical and one the Seawolves couldn’t afford to lose.

The Seawolves will look to end their season as the number one team in the conference and host the America East Tournament throughout the playoffs, facing second-ranked conference rival Albany at home on Friday, April 26 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium at 7 p.m.