The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team honored its seniors with a 12-11 victory on Friday in the final home game of the season against UMass Lowell. The team held a ceremony before the game honoring long stick middies Kyle Abdellatif and Tyler Anderson, midfielders Matt Philbin and Matt Robison, defenseman Rob Talay and goalkeeper Brandon Maciejewski. The team fell down late, but delivered a fourth period comeback to send its senior class out victorious.
The Seawolves scored at will in the first period, tallying seven goals from six different players. Sophomore attackman Tom Haun started up the offensive performance by netting a goal on the opening faceoff. Freshman midfielder Mike McCannell was the lone figure with three goals, scoring off faceoff wins by Philbin in both plays.
Stony Brook opened the second period with a goal from freshman attackman Jack Walsh to make it 8-0, but the team’s momentum came crashing down afterwards. UMass Lowell won the next faceoff and proceeded to score seven straight goals to close out the period, shrinking Stony Brook’s lead to just 1 at halftime.
UMass was outshot 11-3 in the first period, but ended the half just two shots behind Stony Brook. Senior attackman Matt Balter led the way on the push, earning two goals and three assists in the period.
“We had a big lead,” head coach Jim Nagle said. “Which was kind of surprising because they are such a talented team, especially offensively. They eventually got rolling and we had some unlucky breaks that got us rattled for a little while, but we fought through the adversity and came out with a win.”
McCannell gave the Seawolves some breathing room in the third period when he drilled a shot past freshman goalkeeper Hunter Braun with 10:33 remaining for his second hat-trick of the season, but it was short lived. The River Hawks scored three straight goals to end the period, erasing the deficit and taking the lead into the final period. The Seawolves had a chance to stop the bleeding at this point, but couldn’t capitalize on any of the six turnovers the Hawks committed.
Junior long stick middie Ryland Rees reenergized Stony Brook in the fourth period, scoring off the opening faceoff to tie the game at 10. Stony Brook maintained its push into UMass’ territory, finding sophomore attackman Chris Pickel, Jr. in front of the net for the go-ahead goal with just over eight minutes left.
Stony Brook played protectively with the lead, winding down the clock with a faceoff win and two ground ball pickups to keep pressure on the attack. Haun found an insurance goal with 3:18 remaining in the game that proved to be the difference, as UMass scored on a final push with one minute left. Stony Brook closed out the victory on a ground ball pickup in the final seconds.
The Seawolves secured a place in the America East Championships with the victory, making it the 17th straight year the Seawolves will appear in the tournament. The team closes out the regular season with a road trip to Binghamton to play the Bearcats on Friday, April 27.