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Stony Brook men’s lacrosse blows out St. John’s in non-conference finale

Attackman Dylan Pallonetti leads the offense against Brown on Saturday, March 4. Pallonetti scored seven points on Wednesday against St. John’s for the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Good things did in fact come in three for the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team, as a trifecta of hat tricks carried it to its best performance of the year.

In their non-conference season finale on Wednesday, the Seawolves (3-4) decimated the winless St. John’s Red Storm 18-8 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. They turned in their best offensive performance of the season, scoring 18 goals. Attackmen Dylan Pallonetti and Jonathan Huber along with midfielder Matt Anderson all posted hat tricks in the win.

After the Seawolves jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, St. John’s rallied to cut their lead down to just one goal. Just six seconds after the Red Storm’s 3-0 run, faceoff specialist Declan Mitchell responded by winning the faceoff and racing downfield to score his first career goal. His goal kickstarted a 5-0 run, allowing Stony Brook to take a six-goal lead.

Head coach Anthony Gilardi tabbed Mitchell’s goal as the turning point in the game.

“In the second quarter they got two quick ones,” Gilardi said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “Declan Mitchell did a fantastic job getting a fastbreak goal just to calm everyone down and we were able to settle back in.”

After Pallonetti turned the ball over, the Red Storm snapped Stony Brook’s scoring run. St. John’s midfielder Caiden Vlasimsky scored with 30 seconds left in the half, but the Seawolves still owned a 9-4 lead at intermission.

Stony Brook’s offense exploded once again in the third quarter, scoring the four goals. Anderson started the streak by scoring back-to-back top-shelf goals. Midfielder Noah Armitage then bounced in a man-up goal on the team’s only opportunity of the day. Midfielder Caleb Pearson capped off the run with his first goal of the season to give Stony Brook a 13-4 lead. 

By that point, the game was over. St. John’s scored a couple of meaningless goals throughout the third and fourth quarters, but Stony Brook answered them all and then some. Huber completed his hat trick just inside of five minutes to play in the third quarter, and Anderson completed his with 3:15 left in the final frame.

Stony Brook outscored St. John’s in all four quarters. Anderson said that the offensive explosion stemmed from soul-searching done earlier in the week.

“This week in practice, we really took a step back and evaluated ourselves,” Anderson said. “It paid off today with the highest number of goals we scored all season.”

Pallonetti was dominant while leading the offense, scoring seven total points with four goals and three assists. He has now scored in all 35 games he has played for Stony Brook. 

He credited the spacing his teammates created for his performance on Wednesday.

“We do a great job of moving off ball,” Pallonetti said. “Everyone’s always moving around so it’s just dodge and find the open guy and there was a lot of guys open.”

Anderson and Huber were the team’s second-leading scorers with three goals apiece. Anderson recorded an assist. Huber led the team with six shots on goal.

Armitage posted four points with two goals and two assists. Attackman Blake Behlen contributed a goal and an assist as well. Midfielder Sean Carlo and attackman Ronnie Kraemer both added one goal apiece. Attackman Richie Dechiaro scored the first goal of his NCAA career to put the finishing touches on the final score.

Stony Brook outshot St. John’s 50-38. The Seawolves also landed 30 shots on the cage, which was nine more than their opponents. They also dominated the battle on the ground, scooping up 55 ground balls to St. John’s 34. 

Mitchell led the team with 15 ground balls. He helped the Seawolves control the X by going 22-for-27 on faceoffs.

Although Stony Brook dominated the game, it turned the ball over 28 times and went just 22-of-32 on clears. This made things tougher on goalkeeper Jamison MacLachlan at times. Despite the extra chances the Seawolves gave up, MacLachlan held his ground, saving 13 of the 20 shots that came his way.

Gilardi had major praise for his goalie.

“Jamison made big saves,” Gilardi said. “He’s a really talented goalie. When he’s on it, we feel like we can beat anybody.”

St. John’s only had five goal-scorers. Vlasimsky posted a hat trick on only four shots, while fellow midfielder Luke Mangan scored two goals.

The Seawolves will be back in action on Saturday when they open up conference play against the Hampton Pirates in Virginia at noon. The Pirates are 2-4 on the season and are after an 18-9 loss to Lafayette on Tuesday.

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