The technical lacrosse term for what Stony Brook did to Vermont last night, and to how Stony Brook has stormed through its last couple of regular-season games to win the America East title, would be something like "clobber."
Or "drub" or "cream" or "pound." Stony Brook won, 16-10, with a dominance that was more accurately demonstrated by its two 7-0 scoring runs - the first at the game's outset and the second commencing midway through the third period, after Vermont dared pull within 8-5.
With Hauppauge senior Tom Compitello repeatedly feeding his teammates from behind the cage, setting up scores like a batting practice pitcher serving up home-run balls, and junior Kevin Crowley scoring five times for the third time this season, Stony Brook lived up to its No. 8 national ranking - the highest since it began playing Division I lacrosse in 1990.
Last night's decisive victory followed a 15-0 romp over Albany last week and put an exclamation point on an unbeaten 5-0 conference record (10-3 overall), setting up a rematch with Vermont on Wednesday in the America East tournament.
Not good news for Vermont with an offense that spent most of the night flowing like the state's famous maple syrup and only brought Stony Brook down to its slow pace with some mid-game ball control. The fact that junior Jordan McBride, with a startling 46 goals this season and only two short of the career Stony Brook record of 133, somehow failed to score, didn't faze coach Rick Sowell's team. "We're playing our best lacrosse at the time of year we want to," he said, although he did remind his players, "Now the real season starts."
If, on Wednesday, things go anything like last night, Stony Brook will advance to the conference tournament title game on Saturday, with a shot at its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2002.
Compitello judged the offense's clockwork manner to be a function of "playing together forever; I kind of know where the guys are going to be." From behind the goal, he operates in what Crowley called "the office; he's playing unbelievable for us."
Crowley or Timmy Trenkle (two goals) or Robbie Campbell (two) or Kyle Belton (two) were scrambling around the goalmouth, cutting this way and that, setting picks, and Compitello would slip them a setup pass. All told, eight Stony Brook players scored goals, including Compitello, who sneaked a rap-around shot into the net in the third period.
"We play kind of a hybrid of indoor and outdoor styles," said Crowley, one of the handful of Canadians on the team with backgrounds in box lacrosse. "Box." That's a term for what Stony Brook did to Vermont.