It should've been different this time for the Stony Brook men's lacrosse team - and for quite a while, it was.
The Seawolves, who entered yesterday's game ranked 12th nationally in the Nike/IL Media Poll, stumbled for the third time in three years against Denver, squandering a five-goal second-quarter lead and a four-goal fourth-quarter advantage. The Pioneers scored the final five goals, with Charley Dickenson picking up his only goal of the game with 2:37 left to give Denver a 13-12 non-conference win at Kenneth J. LaValle Stadium.
"We haven't felt this bad taste in our mouths for a few weeks," Stony Brook coach Rick Sowell said after his team's winning streak ended at three games. "If you don't show up and play, you're going to lose."
With 11:49 remaining, Stony Brook's Jordan McBride scored off an assist from Michael Sopko to make it 12-8, but that would be all for the Seawolves. They allowed three unanswered goals in two minutes before Denver's Alex Demopoulos scored on an assist by Dickenson to set the stage for the game-winner.
With three minutes left, Dickenson passed to his twin, John, deep in Seawolves territory. Charley cut through the Stony Brook defense and came back up toward the top of the crease. Colin Scott fed him from 15 yards, and he scored through a gap in the defense. "I got a great pass from Colin Scott and I got lucky," said Dickenson, who also had three assists. "They're a great team . . . and it's great momentum going into conference play.''
The odds were stacked against Denver (4-4). Stony Brook scored three times in the first five minutes and ended the quarter up 5-1, but five turnovers by the Seawolves in the second hurt.
"After we went down 6-1 [in the second], I thought it was going to be a long day," said coach Bill Tierney, in his first campaign with Denver after leading Princeton to six national titles in 22 seasons. "I give my guys credit. They were resilient and got in some great shots."
After Denver tied it at 7-7, Stony Brook (4-2) scored four straight goals to end the third, but Denver already had gotten the taste of a comeback.
"When you get outscored 6-1 in the fourth quarter, it's tough to win," Sowell said. "They had some really long possessions. We were forced to play defense."
The Seawolves had trouble gaining possession in the waning minutes. Kevin Crowley and McBride had three goals each, but neither McBride, who struggled to get touches, nor Crowley, who took 10 shots (six on goal), was able to cash in toward the end. Tom Compitello (goal, four assists) and Crowley had shots with less than 10 seconds left but couldn't tie it.
"We had a four-goal lead with 15 minutes to go," Sowell said. "It was just one of those days."