Senior midfielder Mike McCannell in a game against Binghamton on April 16. He led the team with five goals. ETHAN TAM/THE STATESMAN

For the first time in over a year, fans watched Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Stony Brook offered limited tickets to the Seawolves’ April 16 matchup against the Binghamton Bearcats and required proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination upon entry.

The Seawolves stomped the rival Bearcats 22-8, scoring the most goals in a single game since a 25-goal 2017 game against Brown and the most goals in head coach Anthony Gilardi’s time with the team. Four players recorded hat tricks, led by senior midfielder Mike McCannell’s five goals. His six points matched the career-high he set last week against NJIT.

“Everyone that we have is a talented player,” McCannell said in an interview with The Statesman. “When everybody gets their opportunities, we capitalize on them. So it doesn’t matter who has the ball or what position you’re in; when we get our looks everybody can make the most of it.”

The Seawolves got an early lead behind goals from senior midfielder Matt Anderson and graduate attacker Tom Haun. A 2-goal run by the Bearcats tied the game up at three with 5:17 left in the first quarter. However, a goal from graduate attacker Cory VanGinhoven off an assist from senior defender Devin O’Leary kicked off the Seawolves’ own three-goal run to end the quarter. 

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The second quarter belonged to graduate midfielder Chris Pickel Jr., who scored three straight goals to help lead the team to a 10-6 score at the half.

It was in the second half where the Seawolves pulled away, shutting out the Bearcats completely in the third quarter while the team racked up 11 straight goals. Binghamton finally scored twice with under six minutes remaining in the game.

Besides McCannell, the team was led by graduate midfielder Matt DeMeo’s four goals and hat tricks from Pickel Jr. and Haun. VanGinhoven, Anderson, senior midfielder Patrick Kaschalk, freshman attacker Andrew Giovinco and junior FOGO Austin Deskewicz each added a goal; redshirt-freshman attacker Dylan Pallonetti added one goal and three assists and junior midfielder Mike Fiorentino scored the first goal of his career. 

On the defensive end, senior defender Danny Cassidy had two caused turnovers and three ground balls while junior goalie Anthony Palma had 10 saves on a 55.6% save rate.

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“We talk about what we talk about all the time — play good team offense,” Gilardi said. “Be unselfish, share the ball, move off-ball … and we got really good shots. We didn’t take bad shots, we hit the one-mores, and that’s very tough to defend and that’s why we were able to score as many goals as we did.”

After a tough 3-game skid in the middle of the season, the team has responded with striking ferocity. They are undefeated in conference play and have scored in double digits in their last six games.

Now the team will have their next big test, as they look to avenge a heartbreaking quadruple-overtime conference opener loss to UMBC on Saturday, April 24 at home at LaValle Stadium at noon. 

“We have to have our best week of practice this week,” Pickel Jr. said. “It’s very important, and our mindset is that it’s a ‘revenge game’ and we are coming back. And we mean business this time.”

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