In the final regular season game at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium for a talented senior class, the No. 14-ranked Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team rallied from a four-goal deficit in the third quarter to take the UMBC Retrievers to overtime for the second time this season. But just like the last meeting, the Seawolves fell in overtime — this time by a final score of 14-13 on Saturday, April 24.
The game started off slow for Stony Brook as the Seawolves fell behind by two early, before taking the lead at the end of the first quarter. However, by the end of the half, the Retrievers were already back up by two goals with a score of 8-6, scoring four of the last five goals before entering the break.
Working on momentum, UMBC found itself up by four goals as the Retrievers went shot-for-shot with the Seawolves until late in the quarter. It was then that Stony Brook went on its own four-goal run that tied the game back up. After more back-and-forth scoring, the game went into OT all knotted up at 13, where UMBC would eventually take the game and end the Seawolves’ six-game win streak.
“It comes down to me not doing a good enough job having us ready to play,” head coach Anthony Gilardi said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “It starts on Monday and Tuesday and it kind of rolls over to Saturday. As a talented team like we are, I don’t think that we showed that for the majority of the game. We fight and we claw and it is a credit to the team we have, but I didn’t do a good enough job having us ready and our energy and excitement and execution was not there.”
Now having lost to UMBC twice, with both games in overtime, the Seawolves must find an answer to the Retrievers come postseason time. Asked how to get over the hump against the Retrievers, Gilardi had a simple answer.
“We’re a talented team,” he said. “We’ve just got to play like it.”
With 28 seconds remaining in overtime, UMBC senior attackman Ryan Frawley got open in front of the net, receiving the pass and firing it into the back of the net. Stony Brook had not lost since March 12 against then-No. 7 Syracuse.
A pregame ceremony was held for the team’s 13 seniors and graduate students. Graduate attackman Cory VanGinhoven, graduate midfielder Matt DeMeo and redshirt-freshman attackman Dylan Pallonetti each led the team with hat tricks.
The season is not over yet, with the finale coming on the road on Saturday, May 1 against the Vermont Catamounts, who are right on the Seawolves’ heels in the America East standings. Stony Brook and UMBC are tied for first place, both with 6-2 conference records, but the Retrievers own the tiebreaker having swept the Seawolves this season. Vermont and Albany linger behind at 5-2 each.
As Gilardi pointed out, the team needs to be ready.
“Any time you lose, I think it shakes you up a bit,” he said. “We were on a roll here and it wasn’t our best week of practice. Now we have to have more of [the players’] attention and we’ve got to attack it individually every day.”