Men's Lacrosse holds off Hartford, 9-8, to reach AE Championship game
May 2, 2012
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Redshirt freshman Mike Rooney (East Islip, N.Y.) tallied two goals and three assists and junior Sean Brady (Huntington Bay, N.Y.) made eight saves to lead the top-seeded Stony Brook men's lacrosse team to a 9-8 win over #4 Hartford in an America East Championship semifinal.
The Seawolves (6-9) will advance to their fourth straight America East Championship final where they'll face #3 Albany, a 19-8 winner over #2 UMBC.
The one-goal game was Stony Brook's fourth straight and ninth of the season (3-6).
Rooney, the nation's leading goal scorer among all freshmen and America East Rookie of the Year, tallied both of his goals in the second half. Sophomore Cole Millican (Sunrise, Fla.), a defensive midfielder, set career-highs with two goals and three points. Sophomore Matt Bellando (Miami, Fla.) also tallied two goals.
Jared Franze had two goals and Carter Bender added a goal and three assists for Hartford (6-9).
"I thought our defense was outstanding tonight," coach Jim Nagle said. "Hartford is a great outside shooting team, so our goal was get tight on their attempts. The defense won us this game."
Hartford, which came into the night averaging 12.5 goals per game and scored more than 13 five times, was held to less than 10 for just the fourth time this season.
Stony Brook, which never trailed, jumped out to a 4-0 lead with 12:37 left in the first half on a transition goal from Millican.
Brady and seniors Kyle Moeller (South Setauket, N.Y.), Robert Gibson (Slate Hill, N.Y.) and Greg Miceli (King City, Ontario) led a defensive unit that held Hartford scoreless until 3:29 after Kevin O'Shea's goal.
Junior Jeff Tundo (Orchard Park, N.Y.) scored his 12th of the season to give Stony Brook a 5-2. Back-to-back goals from Franze made it 5-4 with 7:15 left in the third quarter.
Each time Hartford got within a goal, Stony Brook answered with one of its own. Junior JJ Laforet (Georgetown, Ontario), who won eight of 16 face-offs, won four of five in the fourth quarter, including two following a Hartford goal.
Millican's second of the game made it a 9-7 Stony Brook lead with 7:19 left. Freshman Mike Andreassi (Holbrook, N.Y.) won the ensuing face-off, and the Seawolves ran the clock down to 3:51 before taking a shot.
After an Aidan Genik goal, Laforet won the face-off, but a turnover gave the ball back to Hartford. Bender's shot was saved by Brady with 1:18 left and Genik's shot after a ground ball was saved too. Stony Brook successfully cleared the ball before Hartford was called for two penalties with 33 seconds left, giving Stony Brook a two-man advantage.
Stony Brook ran out the clock and held on for the one-goal win.
Moeller (three caused turnovers), Gibson and Miceli combined for nine ground balls. Laforet tallied seven ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Saturday's game against Albany will be televised live on ESPN3.com at 3 p.m.