Saturday, May 8, 2010

Men's Lacrosse Comes Up Short In Conference Lacrosse Championship

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Senior goalkeeper Charlie Paar equaled a career-high with 18 saves in leading Stony Brook to an 11-7 victory over UAlbany to capture the America East Conference men's lacrosse championship on Saturday afternoon at LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves, who are No. 6 in the current USILA poll and No. 7 by Nike/Inside Lacrosse, earned an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

Stony Brook (12-3) threatened to copy its regular-season performance against UAlbany (5-11) after taking a 5-0 lead after the opening quarter. Kevin Crowley spun to his right shoulder from left of the crease against two defenders to break a scoreless tie with 8:37 to play in the period. Tyler McCabe and Tom Compitello found the net 32 seconds apart for a three-goal lead. Compitello, who had two goals and one assist, scored on a tough-angle shot from the right on a wraparound.

Robbie Campbell and Jared LeVerne tallied a pair in a 53-second span later in the stanza. Campbell drove around midfielder Rocky Bonitatibus to send a shot from the right inside the far post. Paar made his seventh save of the quarter that led to LeVerne transition's goal from Vonzell LeGall. The Seawolves' Crowley connected on a bounce shot by working around a long pole for a 6-0 lead with 13:40 left in the second period.

The Great Danes, who upset UMBC in the semifinal round as the tournament's third seed, regrouped with three unanswered. Dwayne Stewart finished off a drive from the left with a hard-liner from six yards, before Dave Brock picked off Paar's clearing pass near midfield and hit any empty net. Luke Cometti later found Kyle Brunk with a pass from the top of the box. The senior attackman went low to the far side from right of the crease. After Jordan McBride connected on a pick-and-roll play, UAlbany closed the gap to 7-4 by halftime. Dave Brock hit the post with a fastbreak shot, but Matt Johnson corralled the rebound and found the cage.

The Seawolves, who went undefeated during the conference's regular season, were still ahead by three in the third quarter. But UAlbany midfielder Jack Reynolds dodged around a defender and scored on a 10-yard blast with 4:52 to play. The Great Danes shaved the lead to 8-7 early in the final period when Bonitatibus crossed the ball to Cometti and the sophomore middie dumped it off to Brock for a goal from the left side.

Compitello, a senior attackman, answered one minute and 49 seconds later when he worked his way from the left against a defender and beat goalkeeper John Carroll as he slid to his right in the crease. Crowley, one of four Seawolves on the all-tournament team, regained his team's three-goal advantage with 6:22 remaining, as he came wide open on the top of the crease after Campbell dodged from the left.

"We took it to them and had a lot of opportunities on net," said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, who fell to this same Stony Brook squad, 15-0, just two weeks ago. "(Charlie) Paar was the difference and he made some tough saves. It's tough to climb out of a 6-0 hole. The first seven minutes (of the game) we a chance to set the tone, but the ball just couldn't fine the net."

Crowley, the America East player of the year, finished with three goals, while Jordan McBride, the nation's second-leading goal scorer, scored twice for the Seawolves, who are making their first NCAA appearance since 2002. Dave Brock, one of three Great Danes on the all-championship squad, had a pair of goals for an offense that fired a season-high 53 shots on the cage. UAlbany goalkeeper John Carroll made eight saves.

"In the second quarter, we pressured, got to ground balls, shot better, and that helped get some momentum," explained senior defenseman Mark Kelly, who totaled one assist, three ground balls and two caused turnovers. "We showed great character and never gave up, but they were able to get a couple of goals to put it away."

Paw Prints: UAlbany and Stony Brook met in the America East Conference championship game for the third time since 2002 ... Stony Brook goalie Charlie Paar was named the championship's most outstanding player ... Kevin Crowley, Robbie Campbell and Steven Waldeck joined him on the all-championship team ... UAlbany's Dave Brock, John Carroll and Kyle Crotty were also on the all-championship squad ... Brock led the Great Danes in scoring with 34 goals and six assists ... the senior scored two-plus goals against 12 opponents this season ... Luke Cometti tied a career-high with two assists ... the Great Danes are 13-9 in the postseason as a NCAA Division I program ... UAlbany advanced to the America East championship final for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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