The moment is always there for sophomore midfielder Caleb Pearson who has always been ready to capitalize given the opportunity. With his game-winning goal on Tuesday, March 3 against the Sacred Heart Pioneers, Pearson has won the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team all three of their overtime games.
The team now sits at 5-1.
The game started off well for Stony Brook. The Seawolves took a 3-0 lead by halfway through the first quarter off goals from senior attackers Connor Grippe, Tom Haun and midfielder Chris Pickel Jr.
When Sacred Heart finally got a goal in net, the Seawolves returned two back from senior attacker Cory VanGinhoven and Haun’s second goal of the game to open up the second quarter. Then, the Pioneers answered with five unanswered goals to end the first half and open the second.
The two teams would trade blows, with the Pioneers being ahead with their goals. With only 4:18 left in the game, the Seawolves were down by two. Then, with 2:54 left, Pearson came up big by bringing the game within one off an assist from junior midfielder Mike McCannnell. Then, less than a minute later, freshman attacker Noah Armitage scored the game-tying goal to send the contest into overtime.
In overtime, Pearson’s magic came out yet again, as the sophomore phenom gave the Seawolves the extra-period win.
“The first time is something. The second time is something. The third time is unbelievable,” Pearson said in a press release. “I absolutely hate going to overtime. It’s the worst thing because you don’t know where it’s going to go. I’m just glad we could get the win. I’m happy it’s over.”
As for head coach Anthony Gilardi, he noted Pearson isn’t intended to score — he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, and has the ability to shine in those moments. “It’s not set up for him by any means,” Gilardi said. “He just takes advantage of his opportunities.”
Playing at the neutral site of Saint Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, New York, the Seawolves avenged their overtime loss to the Pioneers last season while bringing the team to their best record to open the season since 2016.
The team will take back to the road to face the Bryant Bulldogs in Smithfield, Rhode Island, to continue to build on their wins as the season goes on.
“We’ve played a lot of games in a short amount of time,” Gilardi said. “I think we’re just continuing to fight right now. I’m proud of the guys. They found a way to just continue to stick together and believe. No matter what happens, whether we’re up or down, our guys believe. That’s the best part of this team right now.”