The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team was up 5-2 at the half, playing well as a unit and inspiring confidence in their ability to pull through when they needed to. However, as has been the story all season, the Seawolves were unable to put it together down the stretch and lost to the second-seeded Vermont Catamounts by a final score of 10-7 in the America East semifinals on Thursday, May 6.
As a result of a two-minute non-releasable penalty that forced the Seawolves to play with a man down, Stony Brook allowed three goals in just over a minute at the end of the third quarter, completely changing the momentum of a contest that the Seawolves had controlled up to that point.
The third-seeded Seawolves took an early lead off two first-quarter goals from the America East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, redshirt-freshman attackman Dylan Pallonetti. Junior goalkeeper Anthony Palma notched 11 saves in the first half, keeping Vermont scoreless in the second quarter to preserve a 5-2 lead heading into halftime.
However, the Seawolves scored only two more goals after the half. With Stony Brook up 6-4, graduate midfielder Chris Pickel Jr. was flagged for a two-minute non-releasable penalty following an illegal body check, kickstarting Vermont’s late third quarter rally. A goal by Catamounts graduate attackman Michael McCormack gave Vermont a 7-6 lead with 13 seconds left in the third.
The Catamounts began the fourth quarter with three more unanswered goals to take a 10-6 lead. Stony Brook held Vermont scoreless for the final six minutes, but Pickel’s lone fourth quarter goal was not enough to close the deficit.
Stony Brook head coach Anthony Gilardi finishes his first full season 8-6 and 6-3 in-conference, their seventh straight year at or above .500. However, since last reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2012, the Seawolves have made it past the semifinals of the America East just once.
It undoubtedly becomes a tough future for the Seawolves, with the team’s seven graduate students and all or most of their eight seniors set to depart. Playing in his final game, graduate attackman Tom Haun scored one goal to bring his career total to 116 — tied for sixth-most in program history. But Pallonetti and Palma are two of the names to watch as the Seawolves end their impressive season, albeit under less than ideal circumstances.