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The Statesman

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Lacrosse loses lead, rallies to win over Sacred Heart

(MANJU SHIVACHARAN / THE STATESMAN)
In spite of a very tight game, Men’s Lacrosse won against Sacred Heart. (MANJU SHIVACHARAN / THE STATESMAN)

After a tight game against Maryland, the No. 1 team in the country, the Stony Brook Men’s Lacrosse team came out firing in the first half against Sacred Heart. Firing on all cylinders, it looked like the Seawolves were back on track, before a lapse of focus almost cost them the game in a 14-13 win.

Midfielder Challen Rogers wasted no time in making an impact against the Pioneers, scoring two goals in just over a minute at the end of the first quarter to start the offensive assault for the Seawolves. After torching a tremendous Maryland defense to nearly complete a phenomenal comeback against the Terrapins, life was much easier early on against the mid-major Pioneers.

With a series of set plays, Stony Brook’s leading goal scorer, sophomore Brody Eastwood, got himself on the board early and often by sneaking behind the defense for easy putaways right in front of the goalkeeper. The native of Victoria, British Columbia continued his impressive start to the season, bringing his total goal count to 20, more than double that of any other Seawolf.

Eastwood has been efficient around the net, scoring on over half of his shots on the season. Although he has yet to get into the assist column, Eastwood leads the team in shooting percentage by converting 55.6 percent of the time.

Everything was going great for Stony Brook, who got to double digits with 10 goals in the first half, something they did not reach in an entire game against Maryland. The crowd was into it, with the nearly 1,000 fans at Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium cheering for every goal scored in the first half onslaught.

However, they play two halves for a reason. Between Stony Brook slowing down, and Sacred Heart continuing to work hard, the 10-6 Seawolves lead not only disappeared, but shifted to the Pioneers.

With 8:18 of the contest, the Pioneers regained the lead on a Brian Masi goal to put Stony Brook in a bad situation.

Rogers spoke of what coach Jim Nagle emphasizes with the team, saying, ”Like coach preaches, next play. We just always stay positive.”

Positive he was, ending the Pioneers’ run by knotting things up at 13 goals apiece with his fourth goal of the evening on top of three assists, statistically phenomenal for a midfielder.

With 1:16 left in the game, junior Mike Rooney, who opened the scoring, closed it, putting the Seawolves ahead for good with his second of the night.

Coach Nagle was happy with some parts of the game, especially the offensive performance early on, as he said, “The first half was about as good as they’ve played since I’ve been here.”

Rogers summed up the game with all that really matters at the end of the day.

“Getting the win’s pretty big for us.”

The Seawolves are back in action, looking to stay in the win column at Fairfield on Saturday afternoon.

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