Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stony Brook men's lacrosse falls in overtime

The last time Hartford played at LaValle Stadium, the numerals "0:01" glowed on the scoreboard after a winning goal lifted the Hawks over Stony Brook in last season's America East title game.
The last-second goal, by Ryan Compitello, abruptly severed the Seawolves' season at 10-4 without an NCAA Tournament appearance to show for it. A month later, coach Rick Sowell resigned to take the job at Navy.
The loss reverberated in Robbie Campbell's memory, too, and he said he could only shake his head when he looked at the scoreboard again Saturday. It showed another dramatic Hartford goal (this time to tie the game) with one second left in regulation.
And, later, the Hawks were dancing on the LaValle turf again after an 11-10 win in overtime.
"Deja vu," Campbell said.
It wasn't Compitello but Hartford's Carter Bender who slung the underhanded winner two minutes into overtime.
This came after Stony Brook (4-9, 3-1) took a 10-9 lead with 17 seconds remaining in regulation on a lunging goal by the midfielder Campbell. But Hartford -- once again -- proved adept in the clutch. Rory Nunamacher rocketed a shot past goalie Sean Brady with one tick remaining to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, the Hawks (5-8, 2-2) won the faceoff and controlled the action until Bender wound up for the winner. It gives the Seawolves their first regular-season conference loss since March 28, 2009 and sixth one-goal loss this season.
"I'm hoping it makes us stronger," coach Jim Nagle said of the losses. "It can wear on you but we just need to stay positive, stay optimistic."
Nagle complained after the game that a second was added to the clock after Hartford took a timeout with eight seconds remaining in regulation.
"I have no idea why," Nagle said. "I would like an explanation but I'm sure I'll never get one."
That second proved fateful. Hartford, if anything, knows what it's capable of with little time remaining. "They seem to like to score those one-second goals," Campbell said.
Stony Brook jumped out to a 6-3 lead but Hartford scored four unanswered goals to go up 7-6 in the third. The Seawolves offense dried up as the Hawks extended defensively.
A Mike Rooney goal put Stony Brook up 9-7 with 7:08 remaining but Hartford stormed back to tie. On this field, against this team, the Hawks never seem to be out of it.
Now the Seawolves need a win on Saturday at Albany and a UMBC loss to clinch the conference title outright.
"We control our own destiny next week," Campbell said. "We've just got to keep our head up and look forward to the next game."