The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team held the No. 16 Brown Bears to three goals over 12 shots in the first half on Saturday, Mar. 12.
But attackman Devon McLane minimized the Bears’ first half struggles with three goals in just three minutes of play. He secured a hat trick in the third quarter alone, giving Brown a comfortable three-point lead to topple the Seawolves by a final score of 10-7.
Despite stellar defense of their own, the Seawolves couldn’t edge their way past Brown goalie Connor Theriault. Theriault collected 18 saves and allowed only seven goals against Stony Brook.
The Seawolves also struggled against Brown’s defense. Stony Brook finished with 22 turnovers, 15 of which were caused by the Bears. By the final horn, Brown had also held the Seawolves to 21 clears in 30 opportunities.
“Frustrating game with us up 5-3 at half and then we struggled in the third quarter with decision-making and clearing,” head coach Anthony Gilardi said in a press release.
Stony Brook falls to 4-2 on the young season, while the Bears improve to 5-1. Both teams entered play highly regarded across the league. Brown was the eighth-highest scoring team in the country before facing the Seawolves. Stony Brook was ninth in the country in ground ball percentage (36) and sixteenth in scoring offense (16.5) before traveling to Providence.
Stony Brook won the first half with tight defense and opportune scoring plays. Midfielder Mike McMahon got the Seawolves on the scoreboard with his fourth goal of the season in the opening five minutes. Attackman Dylan Pallonetti also cashed in with a goal of his own to even the score at two apiece by the end of the first quarter.
The Seawolves went on a 3-0 run in the second quarter thanks to midfielders Wayne White and Matt Anderson. White scored to give the Seawolves a 3-2 lead to begin the quarter. Anderson followed closely behind with his first goal of the day to extend Stony Brook’s lead by two. Just seconds after a goal by Brown midfielder Ryan Aughavin, McMahon assisted Pallonetti for his second of the day to keep Stony Brook’s two point lead in check.
Palonetti finished the day with two goals, while Anderson finished with a team leading three goals along with his third hat trick of 2022.
Brown got its first man-up opportunity just minutes before halftime, but Stony Brook prevented a goal thanks to a save by goalie Anthony Palma. Palma finished with 11 saves and 10 goals allowed.
Stony Brook couldn’t score on their only man-up opportunity, which came with two minutes left in the second quarter.
Face-off specialist Renz Conlon dominated the X for Stony Brook. He won all eight faceoffs before the half, and finished 16-for-21 with 8 ground balls.
Everything was clicking for Stony Brook entering the second half. But Brown looked like a different team returning to the field in the third quarter.
The Bears staged a two-point comeback thanks to McLane. McLane, a junior attackman who sat on the bench for the entire first half, put up a four spot in just the third quarter alone.
After the Bears tied up the score at five on a goal by attackman Darian Cook, McLane went on an absolute tear. He secured a hat trick in his first three minutes of playing time. He also set the Bears on a 6-0 run that the Seawolves couldn’t keep up with.
Brown got its second man-up opportunity with two minutes left in the third. This time, the Bears made Stony Brook pay with McLane’s fourth goal of the quarter.
McLane finished with a game-leading five goals.
“Brown took advantage with a six-goal quarter and we just couldn’t make enough positive plays to stop their run or comeback,” Gilardi said. “At the end of the day, we just didn’t play as tough as we needed to and that is on me.”
Despite dropping their second game in a row, the Seawolves gave a strong defensive performance. They held a dominant Brown offense to just 10 goals on Saturday, marking the Bears’ lowest scoring output of the season.
The Seawolves look to turn things around when they return home to face UMass Lowell on Wednesday, Mar. 16.