Hartford men's lacrosse player Ryan Compitello.

Hartford men's lacrosse player Ryan Compitello. Credit: Steve McLaughlin

 Brothers Tom and Ryan Compitello learned lacrosse as youngsters, played together at Hauppauge High School, but went their separate ways in college. Tom, a year ahead, went to Stony Brook University, Ryan decided on Hartford. Both schools compete in the America East Conference.

By upsetting Albany last week, Hartford (7-3) is involved in a two-team race with Stony Brook (5-3) to determine home-field advantage in the conference tournament, where the winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The teams meet Saturday in Hartford.

“Obviously, beating Albany was a huge win for their program,’’ Tom, a 5-10, 190-pound senior attack, said. “We don’t want to go anywhere in the conference tournament, we want everything to stay in Stony Brook.’’

Ryan, a 5-9, 185-pound junior attack, added: “We’re trying to turn the corner and get into the tournament. There’s a lot at stake with Stony Brook. We are up for the challenge and hopefully can make a little noise in the conference.’’

Both are integral members of their team’s offense. Tom has nine goals and 10 assists, Ryan has 13 and 16. No scouting report is needed for either player.

“The coaches know what he’s done,’’ Tom said of his brother. “They'll watch film. They’ll try to dig a little.’’

This could be the last time the brothers face each other. Hartford has lost three straight to Stony Brook, two since Ryan arrived. “It would be nice to have a little notch on the belt,’’ Ryan said.

About 20 family members will be at the game. Thomas, the players’ father, sets the rooting tone. Ryan said, “My dad has a red fleece embroidered with Hartford’s logo on one side of the chest and Stony Brook’s on the other.’’

DUKE, DENVER AND DANOWSKI ON LI

Duke coach John Danowski will bring the Blue Devils to Bethpage High School on Saturday to play Denver, coached by former Long Islander Bill Tierney. The 2 p.m. game is sold out.

The Town of Oyster Bay will add temporary seating, bringing capacity to about 6,000, at the Howard C. Vogts Football Field. All proceeds benefit the Bethpage Educational Foundation, according to assistant superintendent John DeTommaso, who was a graduate assistant coach at Hofstra under Danowski, a longtime Long Islander.

Danowski is anxious see his daughter, Kate, coach the girls varsity team at Bethpage, which hosts MacArthur after the Duke game. He has never seen her coach the sport. “I’ve watched her JV games in basketball,’’ he said. “So, if she’s anything like that, she’s going to do great.’’

Kate is a special-education teacher. “Kate loves to teach,’’ her father said. “I can remember coming home from work. We had this playroom in the basement. We would sit down and play teacher and student. I was the student. I’m really proud of her evolution.’’

Kate, 28, said: “I’ve learned everything from my father, the type of student-athletes you look for, that school comes first, how to work with kids. The lacrosse part becomes easier after you establish a team that wants to be there for the right reasons. He’s done an awesome job of being a father first and lacrosse coach second.’’

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JORDAN MCBRIDE

Senior attack, Stony Brook University

McBride scored seven goals in a 16-5 victory over UMBC. He has 19 this season, two behind Kevin Crowley for the team lead. McBride, the active NCCA leader in career goals with 153 and hat tricks with 26, was drafted 14th overall by the Rochester Rattlers the Major League Lacrosse draft.