This was an important America East Conference game and Stony Brook's men's lacrosse team, which lost to Albany last week, needed a victory over visiting UMBC Saturday. It would have to come with freshman Brandon Maciejewski in goal because starter Hayden Johnstone could miss a month with a lower-body injury.
Stony Brook won, 12-6, with Maciejewski establishing himself as more than a capable replacement.
Before Stony Brook (6-2, 1-1) rallied for six goals in the fourth period, a big save by Maciejewski in the closing seconds of the third became the turning point. With the score tied at 5, Conor Finch fired on Maciejewski from point-blank range. The 5-9 goallie stopped the shot and Stony Brook regained possession. Brody Eastwood took a pass from Mike Rooney (six assists) and scored the go-ahead goal with five seconds left.
"I just came over, the kid basically shot into my stick," Maciejewski said of his save, one of seven in his second collegiate start. "I'm glad it ended up being a goal for our side. I was nervous [about starting], but I was pretty excited about it. It kind of stunk seeing Hayden get hurt, but I just tried to step up to the best of my ability for the first conference win.''
Eastwood, whose four goals came on assists by Rooney, said of the save, "Definitely a big play . . . He made a few right on the doorstep which really helped us. He's a great ball-stopper. He stones us in practice all the time. He's really good. I had no doubts at all he'd be great back there.''
Eastwood's goal was the first of four straight by Stony Brook and extended the lead to 9-5 with 5:24 left. Challen Rogers and Frank Lucatuorto had two goals apiece. Lucatuorto also won 13 of 16 faceoffs.
Stony Brook coach Jim Nagle is confident that Maciejewski can suceed in Johnson's absence, "We love Hayden and it's unfortunate he got hurt, but we really weren't concerned about the outcome today because of Brandon being in there today,'' he said. "Both of them are great ball-stoppers.''