The Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team waited 343 days to return to game action. The Seawolves then took only 69 seconds to get on the scoreboard.
Stony Brook ultimately opened its 2021 season with a 20-8 win against Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook native Dylan Pallonetti, a redshirt freshman who transferred from Maryland, tallied six goals as well as an assist in his long-awaited collegiate debut — the most goals ever by a Seawolf in his collegiate debut, and the most by a Stony Brook player since Tom Haun had that same output against Binghamton on March 29, 2019.
The 12-goal margin of victory was Stony Brook’s largest since a 14-goal victory against NJIT on Feb. 20, 2015.
The Seawolves last had played on March 7, 2020, after which the season was halted due to COVID-19.
“It was great to be back out there playing another team,” said Pallonetti, a Ward Melville High School product. “It was the first time in a while. I want to thank my teammates. They supported me the whole way. It was a team effort today.”
Maritime graduate transfer Matt DeMeo, the lone other new arrival in the starting lineup, added a hat trick and two assists in his Seawolves debut. His tally with 7:25 remaining in the third quarter opened a game-high dozen-goal lead.
“When you look at it, it’s a credit to the guys who are already here,” second-year head coach Anthony Gilardi said about the contributions from Pallonetti and DeMeo. “… We set the table the first day we were here as a new staff, saying we’re going to play unselfish, team lacrosse. One day some guy is going to have a lot of opportunities. The next day it’s going to be somebody else. But if we just do one-sixth offensively, then we’re going to be good. Those guys really bought into it.
“And Dylan and Matt come into the fold and they fit right in seamlessly. The best part about it is our current guys were the ones teaching them the offense.”
Haun passed Alex Corpolongo (95, 2014-17) for ninth on the program’s all-time list with No. 96. Next up: No. 8 Chris Kollmer, who had 97 from 1994 through ’97.
Austin Deskewicz won 12 of 13 faceoffs, and the Seawolves won 23 of 30 overall.
After Jaden Walcot evened the scored at 1 early n the first quarter, Stony Brook rattled off eight straight goals while holding Sacred Heart scoreless for 18:44.
“Coach told us all week, ‘We’ve got to make the first move. We’ve got to really end it early,'” Palma said. “I think we came out with great energy and we kept it up the whole game. My defense played phenomenally in front of me. I have no complaints. I think every single one of them played their hearts out. They never let up intensity.”
Stony Brook returns to action next Saturday, Feb. 20 at noon when it hosts Bryant.