Graduate midfielder Chris Pickel Jr. in a game against Binghamton on April 16. Pickel tied the game up with eight seconds left on the clock in a game against Vermont. ETHAN TAM/THE STATESMAN

A crucial clock error cost the No. 19-ranked Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team in the toughest way possible as the Seawolves lost their second straight game on Saturday, May 1 on the road against the Vermont Catamounts 14-13.

Graduate midfielder Chris Pickel Jr. tied the game at 13 for the Seawolves with only eight seconds remaining. Vermont won the ensuing faceoff and senior attackman Liam Limoges got the ball past Stony Brook junior goalkeeper Anthony Palma before the buzzer in a heartbreaking defeat for the Seawolves.

The referees met and determined that Limoges scored before time expired. However, upon further review, it appears that numerous seconds elapsed between Vermont winning the faceoff and the clock starting, giving the Catamounts more time than they should have had to execute the game-winning buzzer-beater.

UMBC, owning the tiebreaker, won the No. 1 seed and the right to host the America East playoffs with a defeat of NJIT earlier in the day. However, the Seawolves still could have claimed a share of the America East regular season title with a win. Instead, Stony Brook will enter the tournament as the third seed following back-to-back losses to UMBC and Vermont. 

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It is an unfortunate end to a regular season defined by the team’s bounceback six-game winning streak following their midseason skid. Stony Brook ends the regular season at 8-5, going 6-3 in America East play.

The Seawolves, down by three goals in the second quarter, scored eight of the next 11 to take an 11-9 lead by the end of the third. However, Vermont scored three in a row to go up 13-12 before Pickel’s goal appeared to give Stony Brook a chance to win the game in overtime.

Redshirt-freshman attackman Dylan Pallonetti led the scoring with a hat trick while graduate midfielder Matt DeMeo, graduate attackman Tom Haun and Pickel had two apiece.

The team still has a shot at redemption, as the Seawolves’ opponent in the Thursday, May 6 semifinals of the America East playoffs in Baltimore are these same Vermont Catamounts. With all three of their conference losses coming by one goal each, the Seawolves are still very much in the hunt for the America East championship. However, they must find a way to close out these close games in order to make that dream a reality.

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