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Stony Brook men’s lacrosse earns hard-fought win at Dartmouth

Midfielder Noah Armitage (16) winds up to take a shot against Hampton on Saturday, March 2. Armitage picked up a hat trick in the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team’s win on Tuesday. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Playing on short rest for the first time this year, the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team picked up consecutive wins for the first time this year.

Now facing off with a more reputable opponent, the Seawolves (3-3, 1-0 CAA) defeated the Dartmouth Big Green (2-3) on Tuesday night at a neutral site in Connecticut. For every blow Dartmouth threw, Stony Brook found its counterpunch and won 15-12.

The Seawolves’ offense came out swinging, as attackman Dylan Pallonetti alongside midfielders Noah Armitage and Ryan Barker all bagged a pair of goals apiece through the first quarter and a half. However, the Big Green’s attack made it rain on Stony Brook’s cage, as a goal from attackman Colin McGill tied it up at 8-8 with 6:34 left in the second quarter.

Though the Seawolves lost the ensuing faceoff, an unnecessary roughness penalty by Dartmouth long stick midfielder Joe Azelby gave them a man-up opportunity. After a pair of narrow misses, Pallonetti buried one past goalkeeper Ryan Williamson on the third chance to break the tie.

After taking the lead, goalkeeper Tommy Wilk kept Stony Brook in front by denying attackman Peter Lapina’s shot before defender Carson Forney picked up the ground ball and cleared it. Once more, Pallonetti fired one past Williamson to go up 10-8. Faceoff specialist Chris Esposito kept the ball in the Seawolves’ hands by winning the next draw and Armitage capitalized by tucking one in with 2:51 left before halftime.

Stony Brook took this three-goal cushion into the break and did not relent, no matter how hard the Big Green fought back. Dartmouth blanked the Seawolves through the first nine minutes of the third quarter, allowing McGill and Lapina to each score on Wilk, cutting their lead down to just one goal.

With just under six minutes left in the third frame, midfielder Will Button broke Stony Brook’s slump with a goal of his own to make it 12-10. Both defenses held their ground over the rest of the frame, but with the clock ticking inside of 10 seconds, defensive midfielder Garrett Gibbons caused a turnover and cleared the ball before scoring on the other end to make it 13-10.

Just over a minute into the fourth quarter, the Big Green got back within two possessions when attackman Nate Davis beat Wilk to make it a 13-11 game. However, Barker responded within the next minute with a catch-and-shoot goal off a dish from attackman Nick Dupuis to restore the three-score advantage.

Afterwards, the Seawolves’ end line suffocated their opponent, as they forced four turnovers and Wilk stoned them one more time over the next 12 minutes. With just 1:16 remaining, Dartmouth midfielder Emmett Paradine scored off a Lapina dime to make it a two-goal game, but Stony Brook responded with a goal from defensive midfielder Ben Morschauser to ice it.

Head coach Anthony Gilardi was thrilled with the way his team delivered in the hip-and-tuck battle.

“Proud of the boys showing great toughness,” Gilardi said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “Midweek games are all about culture and finding a way, and the guys did that for a total team win. Excited to be heading home with a hard-fought win.”

In a very even-keeled contest, the Seawolves were narrowly outshot 45-43 overall and 26-25 on goal.

Pallonetti led the charge with four goals and three assists. Armitage and Barker each tallied hat tricks while Dupuis finished with a trio of assists. Button scored a pair of goals while midfielder Jack Dougherty, Gibbons and Morschauser all recorded one. Midfielder Richie Dechiaro also found the scoresheet with an assist.

On defense, Stony Brook lost the battle on the ground 39-37. Esposito led the team with eight ground ball pickups. After him, Morschauser scooped up seven ground balls, followed by long stick midfielder Christian Lowd with five.

Though the Seawolves narrowly lost the battle in the circle 16-15, they dominated the turnover margin. They committed just 14 turnovers to the Big Green’s 21. Defender Mikey Sabella led Stony Brook with five caused turnovers, trailed by Morschauser with two. Esposito, Pallonetti and Gibbons all registered one takeaway apiece.

McGill and Lapina were clinical for Dartmouth, as they co-led it with five points apiece. McGill scored four goals and dished out an assist while Lapina finished with two and three, respectively.

Wilk had another good game, saving 14 of the 26 shots he faced, which was good for a .538 save percentage. Williamson allowed 11 goals in 14 chances before backup goalkeeper Mason Morel relieved him and denied seven of the 11 shots that came his way.

The Seawolves will look to carry their momentum into Saturday when they host the Providence Friars at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The Friars are 3-3 this year after blowing out Merrimack 17-10 on Tuesday evening. Opening faceoff is set for noon.

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