The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team was defeated by UMBC on Thursday, May 2 by a final score of 14-8. The loss came at home at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium and in the first round of the America East Playoffs, ending the Seawolves’ season and killing their playoff hopes early.
The Seawolves entered the matchup as the top-ranked team in the playoffs and as the America East regular season champions, boasting a conference-best 9-5 overall record with a 5-1 conference record. The team also had eight players named to All-Conference teams as well as having the Defensive Player of the Year in senior LSM Ryland Rees and Coach of the Year in head coach Jim Nagle. UMBC entered with a 4-8 record and held the fourth seed in the playoffs.
Despite the rankings, UMBC dominated from the beginning. The Retrievers started off hot by outscoring the Seawolves 3-1 in the first quarter and followed it up with five straight, unanswered goals to close out the half. Led by junior attacker Brett McIntyre’s first-half hat trick and four total goals, two-goal games from senior midfielder Josh Jordan and sophomore attackers Trevor Patschorke and Steven Zichelli, as well as one goal games from junior attacker Ryan Frawley, freshman attacker Jack Thomas and freshman midfielders Keith Dukes and Taylor Bohanan, the Retrievers outplayed the Seawolves.
Offensively, the Seawolves were stagnate in the first half outside of a lone goal from junior attacker Tom Haun, who finished the game with a hat trick himself. The second half saw more scoring from freshman midfielder Layton Harrell — who scored two goals — and senior LSM Ryland Rees and junior attackers Jack Hannigan and Connor Grippe all scoring one goal each.
Despite the tough loss, head coach Jim Nagle preferred to look at the accomplishments and positive moments of the team’s 2019 season.
“It was a great season for our guys,” he said in a postgame press conference. “I really love our team and the commitment and effort that they gave. They were just a great team and they were a real pleasure to coach. I told them that as they walked off the field or in the locker room. We are obviously disappointed, but there were some good accomplishments as well on the year. I’m proud of the team even though tonight was a tough pill to swallow.”
As for next season, however, Nagle said he isn’t quite ready to think about that yet.
“We’ll kinda take some days away from it.” Nagle said. “Like I said, it’s just a tough pill to swallow, and you hope that when you look back on the season, you reflect on the bigger picture and the full journey and some of the accomplishments that the guys made and more importantly, just what kind of team they were because they were a really special group. Hopefully we keep that going. We got a lot of guys coming back that played a lot of minutes.”