After trading goals with Brown all game long, it seemed like Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse would finally make a run for the lead.
Senior midfielder Chris Hughes shoveled in a goal on his way to the ground after being bodied with an illegal check that sent a flurry of yellow flags spiraling in the air. Junior midfielder Alex Corpolongo capitalized on the man-up opportunity, adding another goal that put the Seawolves within one as the clock dipped below seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
But as it had done all day, No. 9 Brown curbed any momentum and responded with two goals of its own, capping off the Bears’ 16-14 win over the No. 19 Seawolves at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams played a back-and-forth game, as neither squad was able to string together three consecutive goals.
“The whole game I felt like we had a shot,” Corpolongo said. “We knew coming in it was going to be competitive. We knew they are a very talented team, and we know we are as well… We felt like we were right in it the whole game.”
Brown junior attackman Dylan Molloy, the 2015 Ivy League Player of the Year, posted a hat trick to go along with his six assists, but senior attackman Matt Schultz was answered with a stellar four-goal and three-assist game of his own.
“[Molloy] is a good player,” Schultz said. “He’s going to do some stuff on the offensive end that will help them. We just gotta try and contain him.”
The Seawolves, who led Division I Lacrosse in shooting percentage last year, uncharastically went 14-46 on shooting on the day.
“Today just wasn’t our day shooting, and I think maybe we need to take a little more pride in our work in that area,” head coach Jim Nagle said.
The Bears contained senior attackman Brody Eastwood, a prolific scorer who is on pace to break the Seawolves’ career goal-scoring record this season, to zero goals on two shot attempts. With his production successfully suffocated by face checks, the Seawolves had to look to other players to take control on offense.
“We can’t force the ball to go to where they’re denying,” Nagle said. “We share the ball, and other guys gotta step up. There are going to be more opportunities.”
Corpolongo, coming off a career-high four goal game against St. John’s, continued his scoring ways. The junior netted a hat trick, including an early snipe from the outside off of a Schultz feed that found its way into the top corner of the cage in a hurry.
Senior midfielder Challen Rogers notched two goals and two assists, propelling him to a team-leading eight assists on the season.
Despite these efforts, it was stellar play from Brown goalie Jack Kelly, who amassed 20 saves on the day and stifled multiple one-on-one shots on the edge of the crease, that proved to be the difference maker.
“We should never let a great goalie affect our shooting, but I thought today it did a little bit,” Nagle said. “But hats off to him. I mean, 20 saves, I can’t remember the last time a goalie has had 20 saves on us. I thought that was probably the biggest difference in the game.”
The poor afternoon shooting was made worse by the Seawolves’ woes in the face-off circle. Brown led 23-10 on draws, meaning that Stony Brook missed out on several possession opportunities that could have translated into goals.
Stony Brook heads to Connecticut on Saturday to take on the winless Fairfield Stags in the team’s first road game of the season.