The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team will need to wait another day to learn its postseason fate.
Both Binghamton and Stony Brook entered LaValle Stadium in control of their postseason fates. But it would be Binghamton’s late run, with Stephen Petrelli’s goal to tie the score at 5 with 1:25 remaining in regulation and Joe Licata’s overtime goal with 2:51 remaining in the OT that would best Stony Brook, 6-5, Friday night.
With the loss, Stony Brook needs either UMBC to defeat Vermont or Albany to defeat Hartford to join the four-team America East Men’s Lacrosse Championship. If either UMBC or Albany wins, Stony Brook will face top-seeded Albany — ranked No. 6 in the country — Thursday at 7 p.m. at Albany.
“We can only control what we can control,” said senior Ryan Bitzer, who had two assists to extend his streak of consecutive games with a point to 33. “And if we won tonight, we could get in for sure, but we didn’t do that. So again, that’s disappointing and now we just have to wait.”
Stony Brook (7-6, 3-3) pushed the attack throughout — outshooting Binghamton 32-25 — and controlled possession winning 9-of-14 faceoffs, but Binghamton goaltender Tanner Cosens continuously denied the Seawolves with 13 saves.
“I thought Binghamton’s goalie was the difference in the game,” coach Jim Nagle. “He had some really spectacular saves there, particularly in the fourth quarter.”
But the Seawolves defense had a strong performance as well, holding Binghamton (10-4, 4-2) to only three goals after the first quarter, led by goaltender Michael Bollinger’s six saves.
Cory VanGinhoven, Jeff Reh and Chris Pickel Jr. each scored for Stony Brook in the first quarter. After a rare scoreless second quarter for both sides, the score remained tied at 3 entering halftime.
Stony Brook didn’t take long in the third with Ryland Rees scoring 25 seconds into the quarter to take a 4-3 lead. Binghamton’s Tom Moore responded with his fourth goal of the game to tie the score at 4 before Alex Corpolongo found the back of the net with 8:42 left in the third to re-take a 5-4 lead.
Corpolongo’s goal — in his final game at LaValle Stadium — extended his second-longest active goal scoring streak in the nation to 31 games.
Stony Brook now can only wait and hope. Albany and UMBC, the two teams of which Stony Brook only needs one to win, entered Friday first and second in the conference, so the Seawolves are hopeful about their postseason chances.
“Got to learn from it,” Bitzer said. “We’ve got the biggest part of our season coming up, hopefully.”
And that would mean a matchup with Albany, undefeated in conference play, which defeated Stony Brook 19-11 during the season.
“They’re a very good team and for our guys, it’s really more about us,” Nagle said. “At this point in the season, you can’t really change a whole lot. You just got to kind of play who you are and be who you are.”