Stony Brook waiting for Compitello
Inside Lacrosse was the first to report that No. 2 Virginia would meet No. 5 Stony Brook without senior midfielders Shamel and Rhamel Bratton. Turns out the Cavaliers weren’t the only team in that game at less than full strength.
Senior attackman Tom Compitello sat out the game due to an illness. Compitello recorded 37 goals and 35 assists last season, and judging by the zero-point showing by fellow senior attackman Jordan McBride, the Seawolves missed Compitello’s presence in an 11-10 overtime loss to Virginia on Saturday.
“Tom’s our quarterback on the attack end,” coach Rick Sowell said Monday morning. “We struggled down there at times just getting that thing around the horn. We made some mistakes that we can’t make against a team like Virginia.”
Sowell characterized Compitello as “day-to-day,” but Stony Brook got an unexpected boost from a pair of reserves. Senior Brett Drost, who started for Compitello scored three goals on three shots and added an assist. Junior Russ Bonnano, who spelled starting junior Kyle Belton, chipped in with one goal and two assists.
“He’s just a young man who goes about his business,” Sowell said of Drost. “Very quiet, but a hard worker. Understands the game, gets the game, understands his role, his strengths and weaknesses. We started him over a young man, Russ Bonnano, who gives us a little bit more in terms of being a dynamic player, but we didn’t want to throw him right off the bat. We eventually did, and it ended up being Drost, Bonnano and McBride for a good bit of the game. But Brett stepping and playing the way he did, it was just a testament to how hard he’s worked over the last couple of years to get into a position to help the team as he did on Saturday.”
Many media outlets (including this one) and fans had hyped Saturday’s game as a rematch of last May’s NCAA tournament quarterfinal which the Cavaliers won, 10-9. The drama certainly lived up to that even if both teams didn’t field the same players.
Many will view the setback as a lost opportunity for the Seawolves, who whiffed on a chance to take advantage of a Cavliers squad without the Brattons. But that’s not the approach Sowell intended to take.
“Ultimately, yes because we had a chance to win in overtime,” he said of a missed opportunity. “But we can’t dwell on it. Unlike a year ago when it ended our season, our season has just begun. It would’ve been nice, sure, but we’ve got to go on and play 11 more games. We had an opportunity to win the game, and we didn’t. So now we have to learn from it and try to get our first win this week.”