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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook men’s lacrosse beats Hofstra to clinch first-ever CAA tournament bid

Midfielder Matt Anderson takes the ball upfield into in a game against Fairfield on Saturday, April 22. Anderson scored five points with four goals and an assist on Saturday in a win against Hofstra. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

In a win-or-go-home matchup, the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team hung on to narrowly edge out its Long Island rivals and clinch its first playoff berth in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

Spending a rainy Saturday night in Nassau County, the Seawolves (8-6, 5-2 CAA) wrapped up the regular season with a dramatic 11-10 win over the Hofstra Pride. Though a quiet fourth quarter almost cost them the season, a dominant third-quarter run helped Stony Brook earn the third seed in the CAA tournament.

Earlier in the day, Towson clinched a playoff berth with a 15-10 upset win over the No. 13/14 Delaware Blue Hens. Towson’s victory turned Stony Brook’s showdown with Hofstra into a must-win; a loss would have given the Pride the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seawolves.

The first half was a defensive grudge match, as the game was tied 4-4 by intermission. The final seconds of the half proved that there was no love lost between the interstate rivals. As both teams departed for the locker rooms, attackman Dylan Pallonetti was knocked to the ground by a Hofstra player. Pallonetti pleaded his case to the officials, but no action was taken against the Pride.

Stony Brook started to gain some separation for the first time in the third quarter. After tying the game with a goal towards the end of the second quarter, midfielder Matt Anderson started off the half with a goal just 19 seconds in. Attackman Jonathan Huber added another goal three minutes later to take a two-score lead. The lead was cut in half just 45 seconds later when Hofstra midfielder Matt Elder scored. 

Midfielder Noah Armitage restored Stony Brook’s two-goal lead when he ripped a shot past Hofstra goalkeeper Mac Gates at the 8:27 mark. Over two minutes later, midfielder Will Button leapt into the air to catch a pass from attackman Blake Behlen and then bounced a shot past Gates to make it 8-5.

Stony Brook got right back to work in the fourth quarter. Faceoff specialist Robbie Smith opened the scoring when he won the opening faceoff, raced through the defense and scored his second-career goal. Just 51 seconds later, Pallonetti put Stony Brook up by five with his second goal of the night.

Elder snapped Stony Brook’s 5-0 run with his second goal of the night at the 13:29 mark. Anderson answered with his career-high tying fourth goal of the night to restore the team’s five-goal cushion. However, the Seawolves’ offense went to sleep after that.

A goal by Hofstra midfielder Rory Jones with just over 11 minutes left sparked a big rally by the Pride. Hofstra’s defense held Stony Brook scoreless for the remainder of the game, opening the door for some late-game theatrics. Hofstra attackmen Gerard Kane and Ryan Woodland each scored a goal during the run, cutting Stony Brook’s lead down to 11-9. With 3:21 left in the game, Jones scored his second goal of the night to make it a one-possession game.

With a roaring crowd behind them, the Pride won the ensuing faceoff and called a timeout. As the Pride looked to tie the game, midfielder Ryan Sheridan’s pass was deflected by long stick midfielder Christian Lowd, who scooped up the ground ball to cause a turnover.

With 2:45 remaining and a fresh 80 seconds left on the shot clock, Hofstra had yet another chance to even things up. Coming off some ball movement, Jones raced towards the goal and was tripped by defender Riley Hegarty, giving Hofstra a man-up opportunity for the next minute.

With 1:43 left, Hofstra midfielder John Madsen ripped a shot towards the net to tie the game, but goalkeeper Jamison MacLachlan knocked it away. The ball dribbled just outside of the crease and was picked up by Lowd. The ball eventually made its way to Anderson, who was swarmed by two defenders. Anderson sent a risky cross-field pass to midfielder Caleb Pearson. It was within inches of being intercepted, but the ball just got past for the successful clear.

With more time left on the game clock than the shot clock, Stony Brook needed to attempt one more shot with less than a minute to play. Luckily for the Seawolves, Hofstra defender Tom Ford was called for slashing to reset the shot clock, allowing them to play keep-away. They chewed the clock down to 12 seconds until Button turned it over.

After getting possession back, Hofstra turned the ball over on a clear attempt to end the game and its season.

Anderson led the offensive attack for Stony Brook, scoring five points with four goals and an assist. Pallonetti and Huber scored two goals each, while Button, Armitage and Smith all tallied one. Huber and Button each dished out an assist as well. Behlen was key in distributing the ball, as he led the team with four assists. 

Hofstra did a good job creating opportunities, out-shooting Stony Brook 45-30. Despite this, only 21 of its shots were on goal, which was only one more than the Seawolves. 

Hofstra won the possession battle as well. It won the face-off battle 19-6 and scooped up 15 more ground balls (38) than Stony Brook (23).

MacLachlan had a big day in the cage, saving 11 of the 21 shots he faced. He finished the regular season with 166 saves and 11.86 saves per game, both of which lead the CAA. His 51.4% save percentage on the season ranked him third in the conference.

Lowd was crucial for Stony Brook’s defense, recording a team-high eight ground balls and three caused turnovers. Sabella and Hegarty were both effective, tallying three ground balls each.

Head coach Anthony Gilardi did not speak to the media after the game.

Now as the third seed in the CAA tournament, the Seawolves will take on the second-seeded Drexel Dragons in the semifinals on Thursday. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. The Dragons are 8-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play after beating Monmouth 16-7 on Friday. Stony Brook lost to Drexel 15-14 in overtime on April 8.

The CAA playoffs will be hosted at Delaware Stadium — Delaware’s home field.

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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell, Assistant Sports Editor
Kenny Spurrell is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a senior English major and journalism minor at Stony Brook University. He began covering sports for The Statesman during the Fall 2021 semester. Since then, he has covered men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football. His passion for sports derives from his many years of playing basketball, football and baseball. He is a Long Island native from Selden, N.Y. and has dreams of becoming a sports journalist.
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