In a near replica of last year's quarterfinal match, the No. 5 Stony Brook University men's lacrosse team lost to No. 1 University of Virginia in sudden-death overtime Saturday, 11-10.
The game was the first of the Seawolves' season and, despite the loss, head coach Rick Sowell doesn't see this as a setback.
"Unlike the last time we played, this is just the beginning of our season, not the end," Sowell said. "To battle again and play another great game, but to come up a little short ... I'm certainly very proud of my team and the way we battled."
The Cavaliers, who were 2-0 at the start of the game after beating Drexel and Mount St. Mary's last week, opened the game quickly, with a shot by junior Steele Stanwick a minute and 22 seconds in, making the game 1-0.
However, the Seawolves weren't going to let them get away so easily, answering back with a goal at 6:57 to tie the game at the end of the first quarter.
"Coming to Stony Brook somebody might say 'eh that's not that tough a trip Dom' but that's not the truth anymore," Virginia head coach Dom Starsia said. "Everybody's gotten better, you've got to strap it on every Saturday or else you're going to have your hands full."
Both teams fought back and forth in the second quarter, going into halftime tied at three. They tied it up again at four, but Virginia slowly began to pull away, ending the third quarter up 6-4.
It was in the final quarter, however, that things began to get really interesting.
Stony Brook started to gain momentum, with goals from seniors Kevin Crowley (New Westminister, British Columbia) and Timmy Trenkle (Commack, N.Y.).
"We [had] that degree of desperation and we made some plays," Sowell said.
The Cavaliers rallied as well, taking advantage of Stony Brook penalties for pushing.
Trenkle scored with 2:26 left, putting Stony Brook only one point from a tie game. Unfortunately, Virginia's Colin Briggs also scored, making it 10-8 with 1:12 left. After a Virginia timeout, Stony Brook gained the ball and Crowley scored off of a pass from junior Russ Bonanno (Seaford, N.Y.).
With the score 10-9, it seemed the game would end just as it did the last time Stony Brook and Virginia played.
The Seawolves called timeout and, with 3 seconds left, Bonanno made a miracle shot, tying the score at 10 and sending the game into sudden-death overtime.
"We [weren't] going to quit, we're going to play 60 minutes and we were able to come back," Sowell said.
Stony Brook won the faceoff to start the overtime, but could not manage to score. Virginia had a chance at the goal, but the Seawolves got a steal and a scuffle ensued.
Goalie Rob Camposa (Syosset, N.Y.), a senior, left the goal to help and Stanwick picked up the ball, scoring with 44 seconds left to give the Cavaliers the win.
“I was just right there,” said Stanwick, who scored five of Virginia's 11 goals. “A little bit of luck, I was fortunate.”
Crowley led the Seawolves with four goals, and senior Brett Drost (Wading River, N.Y.) added three.
The Cavaliers played without starters Shamel and Rhamel Bratton, whom Starsia said were missing because of "violations of team policy."
Stony Brook's Tom Compitello (Hauppauge, N.Y.) was also missing from the game due to sickness.
The Seawolves play again next Saturday, March 5, against Marist College.