On Saturday afternoon, the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team battled back from an early deficit to defeat the No. 12 Princeton Tigers in a 13-10 thriller.
“[It was] a classic college lacrosse game between two great academic institutions. I was very, very proud of my team,” Head Coach Jim Nagle said.
The Seawolves got off to a slow start, letting up four goals in the first quarter while only scoring one.
Princeton’s star midfielder Kip Orban, who will play in the MLL in Charlotte next year and leads all midfielders in the nation in goals per game, set an aggressive tone early, burying two shots in the first quarter. Orban would go on to have five goals on the day, two of which were unassisted.
“He’s just a great player, he really is. He’s big, he’s strong, he shoots the ball with two hands and he can get a shot off quickly. I think a lot of times you see with these big shooters, they take a long time to get rid of the ball,” Nagle said.
The Seawolves’ sole first-quarter goal came at the hands of freshman midfielder Matt Robison. This was Robison’s first goal in a Stony Brook uniform.
“He played like a senior today,” Nagle said.
Stony Brook bounced back quickly, as junior attack Brody Eastwood scored directly after a Jay Lindsay-faceoff win and a dish from sophomore midfielder Jeff Reh to kick off the second quarter.
“We weren’t possessing the ball like we should have and were always throwing it away and making very long possessions for the [defense]. But I thought we really picked it up after that first quarter,” Eastwood said.
Eastwood would prove to be the leading scorer of the game for the Seawolves with five goals. This puts Eastwood at the 40-goal mark on the season for the second straight year.
“My teammates were finding me great. I can’t do anything without my teammates,” Eastwood said.
By halftime, Stony Brook held a 7-6 lead, as sophomore midfielder Alex Corpolongo, sophomore midfielder Ryan Bitzer and junior midfielder Chris Hughes all found the back of the net.
Hughes would end the game with five points—two goals and three assists.
At the 5:39 mark in the second, Princeton’s Austin deButts was penalized 30 seconds for an illegal procedure. From there, the Tigers would be a man down three more times for a total of 2:30 minutes. This opened things up for the Seawolves, who capitalized on three of their four man-up opportunities.
“We do a lot of work on man-up and we take a lot of pride in our man-up. I think today it really showed,” Hughes said.
Princeton would tie the game at eight via a 8:37 third quarter goal by Orban, but after a senior midfielder Mike Rooney goal off of a junior midfielder Challen Rogers assist with 7:33 remaining in the third, Stony Brook would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the contest.
The Seawolves scored six times in the last two quarters, with the likes of Eastwood, Hughes, Rooney and junior attack Matt Schultz tallying goals.
But the win can largely be attested to exceptional goal play by freshman Brandon Maciejewski, who showed remarkable composure down the stretch, especially for a freshman, as he notched four saves in the fourth quarter and eight total on the day. Maciejewski played the full 60 minutes in goal.
“The kids so calm all the time, never gets raddled. He played great for us today,” Hughes said about his teammate.
“He had ice water in his veins,” Nagle said.
With this win, Stony Brook, which currently sits at the 29th spot in Division I rankings, has a legitimate chance of propelling itself into the top twenty.
“The polls don’t really play into what we do. We’re just focused on being the best team we can be,” Nagle said.
Stony Brook looks to transfer its surging momentum into a conference matchup against UMass Lowell when the Seawolves head to Massachusetts on Friday, April 10.