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Stony Brook men’s lacrosse’s season ends in Battle of Long Island

Long stick midfielder Christian Lowd attempts a shot against Hofstra on Saturday, April 27. Lowd scored twice in the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team’s season-ending loss. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team allowed its crosstown rival to play spoiler in its regular season finale.

All the Seawolves (4-10, 2-5 CAA) needed to do on Saturday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to clinch a berth to the 2024 Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) championship was to defeat the already-eliminated Hofstra Pride (6-9, 3-4 CAA). Instead, the visitors came out of the 14th edition of the Battle of Long Island as the victors in a wire-to-wire, 11-9 fashion.

With 6:52 left in the game, Hofstra attackman Anthony Mollica scored to make it 10-6, adding to a lead his team had held for all but the opening four and a half minutes of the contest to that point.

With its year on the brink of ending, Stony Brook showed life. With 4:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, midfielder Noah Armitage capitalized on a man-up opportunity to cut the Seawolves’ deficit to three after Hofstra short-stick defensive midfielder Richie Hickis was called for an illegal body check.

On the ensuing faceoff, Hofstra faceoff specialist Chase Patterson won the battle at the X against faceoff specialist Chris Esposito. However, Esposito did not give up and hunted down Patterson on the sidelines alongside a pair of teammates, forcing a turnover.

With Hickis still on the sidelines, Armitage bagged yet another man-up goal. After Esposito came out on top on the next faceoff battle, head coach Anthony Gilardi called a timeout before Stony Brook could run its attacking set.

Gilardi drew up a play which saw attackman Dylan Pallonetti at the end of the rainbow, and he did not disappoint. After midfielder Jack Dougherty fed Pallonetti — who was waiting on the right side of the 20 yard line — he unleashed a high shot past Hofstra goalkeeper Sean Henderson to make it a one-goal affair.

Neither side could cleanly come up with the ensuing faceoff, leading to a pair of collisions in front of the Pride’s bench. The scuffle led to a penalty apiece, but the Seawolves drew the short end of the stick. While Patterson was handed a 30-second illegal procedure penalty, the officials got attackman Will Button for a cross-check, sitting him out for one minute and giving Hofstra possession.

With just under two and a half minutes left, the Pride took their time in their man-up approach. After 53 seconds had gone off the clock, midfielder Griffin Turner beat goalkeeper Tommy Wilk from distance to essentially close the chapter on Stony Brook’s season.

Gilardi believed the loss was indicative of the team’s entire year.

“The consistency was just never there for us all season,” Gilardi said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “Whether it’s practice, who’s healthy, who’s going full-speed, who’s not, it’s been a challenge for us all season.”

The Seawolves were outshot 43-40 and lost the ground ball battle 30-24. They were -3 on the turnover differential (13-10) and won nine faceoffs compared to Hofstra’s 15. While Stony Brook went 16-20 on its clears, the Pride were a perfect 17-17 in that department.

Attackman Nick Dupuis headlined the Seawolves’ offensive effort with a goal and four assists. Pallonetti, Armitage and long stick midfielder Christian Lowd scored a pair of goals each. Button and midfielder CJ Harris also notched a goal apiece.

Outside of Dupuis, Armitage, Dougherty, midfielder Garrett Gibbons and attackman Justin Bonacci rounded out Stony Brook’s assists with one each.

Wilk made 13 saves for a .542 save percentage. Conversely, Henderson stopped 15 shots for a .625 mark.

Mollica and attackman John Madsen led Hofstra’s attack with a hat-trick apiece.

With a disappointing 2024 in the books, the Seawolves will be busy in the offseason as they look to replace 15 graduating players.

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