Dylan Pallonetti in the game against Fairfield on Feb. 13. Pallonetti was named in Newsday’s Top 100 Boys Athletes of the 2010s in high school. FRANCESCA MEVS/THE STATESMAN

After one of the most historic seasons in a red and blue jersey, expectations are as high as ever for sophomore attacker Dylan Pallonetti in his second season for the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Pallonetti has been a star ever since attending Ward Melville High School, where he had a prolific career in his four years there. Along with winning two state championships and one national title in 2018, Pallonetti added to his already stacked resume during his senior year by winning Suffolk County Player of the Year as well as being named an Under Armour All-American in 2019. 

After being named in Newsday’s Top 100 Boys Athletes of the 2010s in high school, it’s safe to say that expectations were through the roof for Pallonetti’s college career. 

He first attended the University of Maryland, where he redshirted the virus-shortened 2020 season. Without ever putting on a Terrapins uniform in live game action, Pallonetti decided it was time to come home.

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“I thought the culture was great,” Pallonetti said about his first impressions of Stony Brook in an interview with The Statesman. “The coaching staff was great. They made the transition pretty easy.”

Upon transferring to Stony Brook, Pallonetti immediately showed what all the hype was about. In his collegiate debut, Pallonetti put up team-highs of six goals and seven points in the 20-8 season-opening win against the Sacred Heart Pioneers. It was the most goals scored by a debuting player in program history and only a taste of what was to come. 

Pallonetti went on to have arguably the greatest rookie season in the program’s history at the campus, which is only minutes away from his childhood home.

As a freshman, his resumé was elite. He earned America East Rookie of the Week honor seven times, the most for one player in the history of the conference. He led the America East with 55 points and paced his team with 36 goals. He started 14 games and scored in all of them, also racking up 31 ground balls and six caused turnovers.  

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Pallonetti was named First-Team All-America East and made the America East All-Rookie team. To top it all off, Pallonetti was named America East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, becoming the first player in the history of the conference to take home both awards in the same season. 

It doesn’t seem like there is much to improve upon in Pallonetti’s second season, but he states that there are always ways to better his game. 

“I think working on my off hand, I did a good job of that in the offseason,” Pallonetti said. “So just doing that and just going out there and going hard all the time.”

Pallonetti was named a captain by head coach Anthony Gilardi for the 2022 season, alongside midfielders Mike McCannell and Wayne White, long stick midfielder Christian Lowd and defender Michael Sabella.

“We’ll just continue to get some more with Dylan taking the next step in his evolution as a leader and a player here,” Gilardi said. 

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It would be easy for a player like Pallonetti to have a big head from being the award-winning star of his team, but he makes it clear that lacrosse is a team sport and he is confident in his teammates. When asked if there are any weaknesses that the team needs to address, Pallonetti responded, “No, I think we just need to play our game and stay focused and it’ll work out.”

With the announcement that Stony Brook will be competing in the Colonial Athletic Association next year and the subsequent America East ruling that all Stony Brook sports teams are ineligible for postseason play, Pallonetti is not letting the change in plans be a hindrance, remaining focused on the season ahead of them. 

It’s evident that the Seawolves’ top offensive threat is passionate about the game, and he’s never wavered in his belief in it. Pallonetti has a lot riding on his shoulders heading into his sophomore season, and he and his cast have a lot to prove in 2022. 

But, if his rookie season is any indication of what is to come for the rest of his Stony Brook career, Seawolves fans have a lot to look forward to.

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