On a wet Tuesday night under the lights at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, senior men’s lacrosse player Mike Rooney gave the ball up to teammate Brody Eastwood for one of his six goals on the evening at 11:33 of the second quarter.
Not only did that assist and his overall performance in the game keep Rooney entrenched among the nation’s leaders in points, but it also gave the Long Islander his 200th career point for the Seawolves in the team’s 17-9 win over Quinnipiac.
“It feels good, I’ve worked hard for four years so it’s nice,” Rooney said about the accomplishment, acknowledging that it is not about his individual performance on the field. “I’m just really focused on playing as best I can for the team and helping out as best I can.”
Rooney may not take credit for his jaw-dropping start to the season, but he has done more than just show that he can play lacrosse. The East Islip-native is making everybody around him better, as evidenced by his three assists to go along with another four goals.
“It’s awesome,” Eastwood said of Rooney hitting the 200-point milestone, becoming the fourth player in program history to do so. “I actually had no idea until you guys said it, but that’s unreal. I’m really happy for him.”
Sophomore Alex Corpolongo gave Stony Brook a one-goal lead with a long range shot just before the break, but Rooney helped put the nail in the Bobcats’ coffin with two goals in the first 7:19 of the third quarter that Quinnipiac would never be able to recover from.
Over the last couple of seasons, Rooney has only gotten better, steadily improving from 42 points his sophomore year, 53 last season and now 63 points, with six regular-season games and presumably postseason play still to come.
“I think that’s really been the good thing to see with Mike, just his maturity,” Head Coach Jim Nagle, who saw the first Seawolf under his lead reach the milestone, said. “Clearly he’s playing his best lacrosse at the end of his career, which is good to see.”
It was not just the team’s leader in assists who excelled in the game, though. Sophomore faceoff specialist Jay Lindsay turned in another impressive performance, winning 18 of 24 faceoffs while also scooping 13 ground balls and dishing an assist in the win.
“He was dominant on faceoffs,” Nagle said about Lindsay. “He’s another guy, he’s improved so dramatically on his ground ball play that he’s really turned himself into a real good player.”
Rooney used the perfect terminology to describe how the Seawolves, who have won seven of their last eight games and earned the most victories for a Stony Brook team since 2011, have played so well.
“I just feel like we’re clicking,” Rooney said. “We’re working hard in practice, we’re carrying over onto the field, and we’re just playing hard really, that’s what it is.”
It is working for the Seawolves, who next confront a Princeton team ranked in the top-15 in the country in every poll at home on Saturday at 3 p.m..