Crafty Stony Brook Downs Denver, Advances
from staff reports
STONY BROOK, N.Y. - Junior Kevin Crowley (New Westminster, British Columbia) and senior Tom Compitello (Hauppauge, N.Y.) each tallied three goals -- including two that made ESPN SportCenter's top 10 plays -- to lead eighth-seeded Stony Brook past Denver, 9-7, in an NCAA Tournament first-round game. Senior Charlie Paar (Huntington, N.Y.) made nine saves, eight in the second half, as the Seawolves advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
Crowley, who now has 49 goals on the season, has scored at least three goals in seven of the last eight games. His behind-the-back marker, facing away from the cage while posting up a defender, was one of SportCenter's top 10 plays. One of five student-athletes named as a 2010 Tewaaraton Award finalist, given to the nation's most outstanding collegiate lacrosse player, Crowley is one goal shy of tying the school record in a season (Kevin Pall - 50).
Stony Brook (13-3) has won nine straight games and the 13 wins this season is the most in school history. The Seawolves have not lost a game since falling to Cornell, 12-9, on March 23.
Mark Matthews led Denver (12-5) with four goals and an assist. Alex Demopoulos added two goals and four assists.
"Denver has had our number the last few years, and we knew we had to play 60 minutes," head coach Rick Sowell said. "Our games against Denver have come down to the final minutes, and tonight we made a few more plays. I think this game lived up to the expectations."
Senior Steven Waldeck (Levittown, N.Y.), who finished with 11 ground balls, got Stony Brook going with his ninth goal of the season, which leads all long-pole scorers this season. "We started to come together as a whole the last five or six games," Waldeck said. "With our slides and rotations, we're definitely on the same page."
Denver answered 1:30 later, as Matthews scored on the door step off a pass from Demopoulos. A man-up goal from Flint gave the Pioneers a 2-1 advantage at the 5:55 mark.
Crowley, the unanimous choice for America East Player of the Year, tied the game at 2-2, taking a pass from junior Timmy Trenkle (Commack, N.Y.) and putting it top right past Pioneers goalie Peter Lowell.
Denver took its biggest lead, 4-2, after Matthews and Demopoulos each tallied goals midway through the first half. But on the ensuing face-off, junior face-off specialist Adam Rand (Niantic, Conn.) won the draw, scooped up the ground ball, and scored his first goal of the season.
Compitello, who had 68 points coming into the game after 39 in two seasons, scored back-to-back goals to regain the lead for the Seawolves. His wrap-around, one-handed goal also made SportCenter's top 10 plays.
"Playing in this type of game is the reason I came to Stony Brook," Compitello said. "Personally, this is a dream come true." Demopoulos made it a 5-5 first half after scoring with 1:36 left in the second quarter. The Pioneers didn't score another goal until two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Kyle Belton (Langley, British Columbia) scored just in front of the crease at 1:08 of the third quarter to make it 6-5.
Matthews tied it at 6-6 with a man-up tally. After a flag was thrown giving a Stony Brook a free opportunity, Crowley backed his man down, and unleashed a shot over his right shoulder without looking at the net for the score.
Compitello's goal with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter made it 8-6. Matthews, who scored all four of his goals on assists from Demopolous, made it 8-7 with 6:05 left in the game.
Denver scored just two goals in the second half, with both coming in the fourth quarter.
Crowley capped the game's scoring, with the final tally coming at 3:37 unassisted.
"This team is just excited to be here," said Paar, who made five fourth-quarter saves. "We want to keep playing. Every game going forward is uncharted territory."
The Seawolves turned the ball over only 12 times, their lowest output of the season.
SBU, which played in just one NCAA Tournament game (L, 12-3 to Cornell in 2002) will face Virginia next Sunday in an NCAA Quarterfinal game in Stony Brook. Cornell, which topped Loyola, 11-10 in 3ot, will face the winner of Syracuse-Army, to be played tomorrow, in the other quarterfinal.
comments powered by Disqus