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SBU men’s lacrosse team rallies, but Brown’s LI goalie Kelly too much

Stony Brook attack Matt Schultz (40) drives

Stony Brook attack Matt Schultz (40) drives against Brown defenseman Alex Santangelo (44) in the first half of the game in Lavalle Stadium at Stony Brook University on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Two nationally ranked men’s lacrosse teams, two high-scoring offenses. But one big missed opportunity for No. 19 Stony Brook to scale the Division I poll as it lost to No. 9 Brown, 16-14, Saturday at LaValle Stadium.

Stony Brook attackman Brody Eastwood, who is 23 goals away from becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer, was denied the ball by Brown’s defense and limited to two shots, both of which missed.

Stony Brook coach Jim Nagle thought his team took enough shots to win. Jack Kelly, Brown’s All-American goalie from West Islip, had plenty to do with that. He had 20 saves. Stony Brook took 46 shots, Brown 47.

“Today just wasn’t our day shooting,’’ Nagle said. “Maybe we need to take a little more pride in our work in that area.’’

Kelly had seven of his saves in the first quarter as Brown took a 5-4 lead. Brown (2-0) never trailed, though Stony Brook tied the score three times in the first half. Jake Miller gave Brown a 6-5 edge with 11:25 left in the second quarter and Stony Brook, try as it might, could not get closer than a goal.

Each time the Seawolves (2-1) narrowed the lead, Brown answered. Will Gural, who won 20 of 30 faceoffs for Brown, was a big reason why the Bears maintained control of the ball and the lead.

Stony Brook’s Matt Schultz had a seven-point day with four goals and three assists. Alex Corpolongo had three goals and an assist.

For Brown, former St. Anthony’s star Dylan Molloy had three goals and six assists. The Tewaaraton Award candidate was the 2015 Ivy League Player of the Year. Brendan Caputo (Chaminade) had three goals and two assists and Kylor Bellistri had three goals.

Molloy grew up in Smithtown and Schultz, who attended Smithtown West, played against him in high school. “He’s a good player. He’s going to do some stuff on the offensive end that’s going to help them,’’ Schultz said. “We did a decent job defensively at times, at times we didn’t. We just have to keep working hard and learn from this and move on.’’

Brown built a 13-9 lead with 3:23 left in the third quarter before Stony Brook mounted a comeback, closing within 14-13 when Corpolongo scored a man-up goal with 6:55 left in the final quarter.

“I thought the whole game we had a shot,’’ Corpolongo said. “We knew coming in it was going to be competitive. They’re a very talented team and we know we are as well. At 14-13, we felt like that could have been the one, but we felt like we were right in it the whole game.’’

Brown scored the next two goals to go back up by three before Challen Rogers closed out the scoring for Stony Brook with 46 seconds left.

“Their goalie played very well, but we’re a good-shooting team,’’ Nagle said. “We got a lot of good looks at the cage. This game came down to our shooting percentage and their goalie’s play.’’

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