The mounds of snow lined the sidelines along sun-drenched DaSilva Memorial Field on the St. John’s campus. It was mid-60s warmth for men’s lacrosse on this February Sunday. But Stony Brook came out midwinter cold, allowing four goals and scoring none in the first quarter.
The Seawolves, though, say they live by “Pirates’ Creed.”
“That’s like we never lose hope; we always have heart,” freshman attackman Cory Van Ginhoven said.
Stony Brook lost a lot of firepower from a 12-win team, but after that first quarter, it was hard to tell. The Seawolves shook off the bad beginning, scoring the next 14 goals on the way to a 14-5 victory and a 2-0 start.
The freshman class accounted for eight of the goals. Van Ginhoven scored three of them and assisted on two others. Senior attackman Ryan Bitzer (Riverhead) contributed one goal and five assists, and senior midfielder Alex Corpolongo had two goals and two assists.
“I think we could be just as good [offensively], if not better than last year,” Corpolongo said after improving to 2-1 against his brother, Justin, a Red Storm junior midfielder.
Mike Madsen (Locust Valley) scored twice to highlight the four-goal burst by rebuilding St. John’s (0-2) against goalie Brandon Maciejewski. Then came the second quarter.
Van Ginhoven flipped a shot past Daniel Costa (Huntington) 2:28 into the period. Next came three straight man-up goals. Derek Lloyd delivered the first one. Then freshman Connor Grippe (Setauket) converted from in front after taking a feed from Bitzer working behind the cage. Then Wayne White, a freshman from Huntington, scored. It was tied with 2:21 remaining in the half.
Eight seconds later, it was untied — Van Ginhoven from Bitzer. So it was a 5-4 game at the break.
“I think we’re just a team that’s going to be improving each week,” Stony Brook coach Jim Nagle said. “We’ve got a lot of guys at new positions.”
Freshman Tom Haun (Sachem), Corpolongo, James Gerstner (Mineola), Corpolongo again and Van Ginhoven found the net to make it 10-4 after three.
Bitzer, Grippe, Matt Robison (Franklin Square) and freshman Chris Pickel Jr. (Bayport) scored to complete the 14-0 run.
“We’re starting four freshmen and our goalie hasn’t been a starting goalie in a long time,” Red Storm coach Jason Miller said. “So we need to let those guys grow up and let them grow into their roles. There are probably going to be some lumps that go along with that.”
Stony Brook next has a road test Saturday against Brown, a 2016 final four team that opened Sunday with a 25-9 win against Quinnipiac. The Bears feature Tewaaraton winner and St. Anthony’s alum Dylan Molloy on attack.
“We’re really looking forward to see how we stack up,” Corpolongo said. “We think we’re going to do great.”