Seawolves Will Play for the America East Title on Saturday at UMBC
"I can't say enough good things about my team," said Stony Brook head Coach Rick Sowell. "We got out of the gate well in the first quarter, things seemed to click and come together for us. We have had a lot of guys step up and that is making us that much more effective."
Unlike last Saturday, it was Stony Brook (9-5) that scored first, getting an unassisted tally from freshman Robbie Campbell (Delta, B.C.) two minutes in. Dave Brock tied the game for Albany (7-7) at the 11:25 mark, but the Seawolves offense erupted early and often during the remainder of the quarter.
After Albany had tied it, Stony Brook reeled off four straight goals by four different players, taking a 5-1 lead on McBride's first of the night off an assist from sophomore Kevin Crowley (New Westminster, B.C.) with 7:57 left in the quarter. The Great Danes came back with a pair of scores, but three more SBU goals in a 1:44 span by Crowley, freshman Kyle Belton (Langley, B.C.) and McBride pushed the lead back to four at 8-3.
Leading 8-4 after first quarter, things quieted down in the second, with only three goals scored between the two teams. Two of those belonged to Stony Brook, as McBride and Belton scored again, both off Crowley assists, to give the Seawolves their largest lead of the night at 10-4. A Corey Small goal late in the quarter halted a nearly 15-minute scoreless streak for Albany, making it 10-5 in Stony Brook's favor at the half.
The two teams traded goals in the first five minutes of the second half before Stony Brook turned up the offensive dial once again. Junior Tom Compitello (Hauppauge, N.Y.) put Stony Brook up 12-6 with an unassisted score at 7:59, starting a streak that saw the Seawolves outscore the Great Danes 4-1, enabling SBU to take a 15-7 lead on Belton's third goal of the evening with 20 seconds left in the quarter.
Albany was not done, however, scoring with a second left in the quarter on a goal from Joe Resetarits that started a 4-0 run by the Great Danes. Small scored the first two goals of the fourth, and Brock followed with his third of the game with 6:49 left that brought Albany back within four at 15-11.
A minute and a half later McBride took a pass from junior Chris Scott (North Babylon, N.Y.) and buried his fifth of the game to break the Albany streak and swing the momentum back towards Stony Brook. Small scored again for Albany, his fourth of the night, but Scott answered with a pair of scores that iced the game for the Seawolves.
Stony Brook's 18 goals was a season-high, and it's most in a game since scoring 19 last season in a win at Delaware. Eight different players scored for Stony Brook, led by McBride's five which moved his season total to 42. Scott scored a career-high four goals, while Compitello had two goals and four assists for a career-high six points. Crowley also added four assists for the Seawolves. Stony Brook out shot Albany, 46-41, and picked up 46 ground balls to 31 for the Great Danes. The Seawolves also had a healthy advantage in the face-off circle, winning 22 of 34 attempts. Albany was led by four goals each from Small and Resetarits.
Stony Brook will now take on No. 11 UMBC in a match-up of top-20 teams that will determine the America East champion as well as which team will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It will be Stony Brook's third appearance in the America East title game in its eight seasons in the league. The Seawolves lost to Albany in the championship game in 2005 and defeated the Great Danes in 2002 when it claimed the title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.