Hat tricks are nothing new for attackman Dylan Pallonetti, but recording one in the span of five minutes is asking a lot even for one of the nation’s most consistent goal-scorers. Yet that’s exactly what Pallonetti did in the third quarter of the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team’s 20-12 win over NJIT Saturday at home.
Holding onto an 11-8 lead, Pallonetti took advantage of three consecutive faceoff wins by face-off specialist Austin Deskewicz to score three goals in four minutes and 39 seconds. The Seawolves (7-4, 2-1 AE) never trailed during the game and received contributions from 11 goalscorers, but Pallonetti’s outburst led the way to their highest scoring output of the season.
Pallonetti added two more goals and two assists to finish with seven points, his most since he burst onto the scene with an eight-point game at the start of last year. Attackman Kevin Mack and midfielder Matt Anderson also had hat tricks.
“It’s always exciting to win, especially in our last go around as a member of the America East,” head coach Anthony Gilardi said in a press release. “It’s fun to get out there and get some wins and continue our quest to the end of the season — we are excited.”
A blowout was to be expected against the winless Highlanders (0-9, 0-3 AE), but it took Stony Brook until the second half to pull away. NJIT did not score often, but when it did it came in quick bursts of two or three goals.
Stony Brook went up 4-1 thanks to two early Pallonetti goals, but a quick clear and a slashing penalty on the Seawolves allowed NJIT to tie the score with three goals in under a minute.
Stony Brook was far more accurate than NJIT in the first quarter — it had 10 on-target shots to the Highlanders’ five — but goalkeeper Anthony Palma did not make any saves and the second quarter began with a 5-5 tie.
Attackman Noah Armitage began the second quarter with two goals. Once Pallonetti assisted defensive midfielder David Miele-Estrella’s first goal of the season, Stony Brook went up 9-6 and appeared to finally be in control of the game.
Stony Brook replaced Palma with goalkeeper Nick Squicciarini, who did not fare much better against the Highlanders’ speed. NJIT scored two goals in the first two minutes of the second half, recovering the ball after a missed shot each time to make the score 9-8.
Midfielder Caleb Pearson assisted a goal and then scored one of his own to make it 11-8, and Pallonetti went to work from there.
Two of Pallonetti’s third-quarter goals were unassisted; the other came with help from midfielder Wayne White.
Even once Deskewicz committed a face-off violation, Miele-Estrella took advantage of an NJIT turnover to maintain the Seawolves’ momentum and start a clear attempt that ended with a goal by Mack.
Leading 18-9 midway through the fourth quarter, Stony Brook was able to get its bench players involved. Attackman Liam Kalbacher scored the first goal of his career, and midfielder Andrew Giovinco got the team’s final goal.
“We were unselfish today,” Gilardi said. “If you look at the box score a lot of guys got involved. Just like our last game against Dartmouth, the more guys we have on the scoresheet the better offense we are playing.”
The Seawolves have three games remaining, all within the America East. Their next matchup is at Binghamton on Saturday, April 16.