Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse was in control of its own destiny heading into Friday’s game against Binghamton at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The team could have been as high as a No. 3 seed in the America East tournament with a win.
With 2:51 remaining in overtime, LaValle Stadium erupted into cheers as the game winner found the back of the net.
It was the Bearcats’ fans that caused the uproar.
Binghamton’s sophomore midfielder Joe Licata buried home the game-winning goal with just under three minutes left in the overtime period to spoil Senior Night for Stony Brook, as the team fell 6-5 in their regular season finale.
“At this point in the season there are a lot of one-goal games,” Stony Brook head coach Jim Nagle said. “You can’t hang your head, you just have to keep playing. You are who you are and overall [it was] just a disappointing night.”
Senior attackman Alex Corpolongo scored the go-ahead goal in the third quarter to give the Seawolves a 5-4 lead. Corpolongo extended his scoring streak to 31 consecutive games with the goal and the senior pumped his chest to get the crowd going.
However, it was the final time Stony Brook would score in the game.
“We just had to do a better job of finishing the ball as a team,” senior attackman Ryan Bitzer said. “We are going to work on that this week.”
After going down 3-1 in the first quarter, the Seawolves stormed back to tie the game. Freshman attackman Cory VanGinhoven and senior midfielder Jeff Reh both scored in the final six minutes of the opening frame to tie the game at three apiece.
Despite the loss, Bitzer was able to crack Stony Brook’s top ten career assists list. With dishes to Reh and freshman attackman Chris Pickel Jr., Bitzer now sits ninth all-time in assists for the Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse program.
Stony Brook’s five goals was its second-lowest scoring output this season. They scored four goals against No. 7 Rutgers back on Mar. 10. A majority of Friday’s game was possession based, as both teams stood their ground and controlled the offensive tempo in their respective offensive zones.
“It was a very hard fought game,” Nagle said. “Very big defensive battle, Binghamton’s [senior goalkeeper Tanner Cosens] was the difference in the game.”
Cosens ended the night with 13 saves, including two stops in the fourth quarter that could have given Stony Brook a two-goal lead. He kept the Bearcats in the game with two blocks off his stick in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Junior midfielder Stephen Petrelli scored the unassisted goal for Binghamton to tie the game at five with 1:21 left in the fourth. The cheers suddenly switched sides in the stadium, as the Bearcats fans began to cheer for their team while the Seawolves’ fans quieted.
Stony Brook held its opponent to six goals for the second time this season despite the loss; both teams went scoreless in the second quarter.
“Defense did a great job tonight,” Bitzer said. “Coach said it was the best they played all season and I agree with that.”
Stony Brook has solidified its place as the four-seed in the America East Championships after finishing the regular season with an 7-6 overall record. They will travel north to play No. 1 seeded Albany on Thursday. The time has yet to be announced.