Stony Brook mens lacrosse coach Jim Nagle entered this season with a young roster, but he wanted to see how his players would react against some of the top programs in the country.
The Seawolves’ youth has been exposed early, losing 18-11 to Brown Saturday at LaValle Stadium to fall to 0-3 on the season.
“I knew I was challenging a young team this season and I don’t regret that,” said Nagle, in his seventh season as head coach. “I feel like these are all good learning growth experiences for our guys, even though it doesn’t feel great right now. I think we will come out of it a better team and that’s really what the message has been to our guys.”
After Stony Brook’s Jack Walsh scored the opening goal of the game less than four minutes into the action, Brown rattled off the next six goals in less than 10 minutes, which turned into 11-4 advantage at halftime.
“As a young team, that’s something we have to work on, facing adversity,” said junior long stick midfielder Ryland Rees. “Other teams are taking the first punch. We have to be ready to punch back.”
Stony Brook lost its season-opener at home to Sacred Heart, 11-9, February 10 after trailing 9-4 at halftime and lost at No. 16 Penn State, 15-8, February 17 after trailing 8-4 through 30 minutes.
“It’s definitely hard to be down,” Rees said. “Getting the first couple goals against you, it’s one of those things where you have to fight through adversity. You have to come back and you can’t get too down on yourselves.”
Walsh, a freshman out of Miller Place, was one of the few bright spots for the Seawolves, scoring two goals with three assists. Cory VanGinhoven added two goals and two assists.
Brown (1-1) controlled the pace of the game by winning 21 of 32 faceoffs and had 33 ground balls compared to Stony Brook’s 22. The Bears led 18-7 midway through the fourth quarter before Stony Brook scored the game’s final four goals with less than five minutes remaining.
“A young team, this will be a learning, growth experience for us,” Nagle said. “We did not respond well to their energy and tempo of play and credit to them.”
But the Seawolves won’t have much time to dwell, as they host Hofstra, which is also looking for their first victory of the season at 0-2, Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“We’re definitely going to go out there and compete,” senior long stick midfielder Kyle Abdellatif said. “We want to win this game. We’ve had a bad taste in our mouth the last three games so we really want this one.”