Sports

The Final Faceoff

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St. John’s Justin Corpolongo, left, and Stony Brook’s Alex Corpolongo after they faced each other on Feb. 19. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Dominick Corpolongo
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QUEENS, N.Y.— It seemed like yesterday that brothers Alex and Justin Corpolongo were suiting up for the unique experience of playing a Division 1 college lacrosse game against each other.

The intriguing series ended on Sunday, Feb. 19, as the senior Alex of Stony Brook University won the tie-breaking round three against his younger brother Justin of St. John’s University.

Despite falling behind 5-0 during the contest, the Seawolves raged back to score 14 consecutive goals and won 14-5.

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“It was great to win the rubber match,” said Alex Corpolongo, a senior. “The biggest takeaway I had from the game was how much I’m going to miss this rivalry. It was better to play on the same team as Justin, but playing against him was awesome as well.”

A team captain and first team all America-East conference member last season, Alex tallied two goals and two assists while dealing with a long-pole defender for the entire game.

Justin, a junior, finished 5 for 13 on faceoffs due to excellent play by Stony Brook’s wings.

“No matter the result, [Justin] leaves it all out on the field,” Alex said. “I’m proud of him every time I see him play.”

Although the Somers High graduates are typically extremely competitive, they finally agreed to take a picture this year in their last collegiate match together.

“It was definitely a great experience playing against Alex all of these years,” Justin said. “Being a younger brother, I’ve always looked to one-up him in everything I do. I always looked forward to the competition.”

Alex earned America-East player of the week in February and is coming off a 36-goal and seven-assist campaign last season.

His Seawolves (4-2) defeated top-ranked Brown, 25-17, on Feb. 25 as they aim for a conference title. He also chalked up three goals—including the game-winner—and two assists in Stony Brook’s season opening 12-11 victory at Sacred Heart on Feb. 14.

Alex also scored a career-high five goals in a 12-9 defeat to University of Maryland, Baltimore County on March 18. He has a special offensive streak still going, since Alex has tallied at least one goal in every Stony Brook game dating back to April 30, 2015. 

“Our team is going to be great this year,” Alex said. “We’re seeing real improvement every single week and I’m excited to see how it goes.”

Justin went 12 for 19 from on faceoffs in St. John’s opening loss to powerhouse Rutgers on Feb. 11. Despite the Red Storm’s 1-4 record and a 2-12 final record last year, Corpolongo believes in the growing team.

“It’s never easy to lose but we have a lot of young players on the roster still adjusting to their roles on the field,” Justin said. “I believe that once they adjust to this level of play, we will turn things around.”

Justin went 15 for 24 on faceoffs, scored a goal, and corralled four groundballs in St. John’s 13-12 victory at Siena on March 5.

St. John’s suffered a one-goal loss to annual powerhouse Syracuse on March 11.

As far as academics are concerned, the junior is an education major with a concentration in physics. He plans to work in the New York area upon graduation while staying with the sport of lacrosse as a coach.

Older brother Alex is set to graduate with a degree in civil engineering this May. He will already be working for Gilbane Building Company, where he interned last summer.

“I’m going to miss the competition a lot,” Alex said. “I have been lucky enough to play the sport my whole life and compete at a high level. I will also miss the camaraderie with the team for sure from many different teams.”

For their father, Dominick Corpolongo, the annual matchup was all about the family.

“It’s been the game that everyone in our family tries to see so that makes it all the more special,” Dominick said. “(My wife) Robin and I sit away from both groups of parents and friends during the game but make sure to attend both tailgate parties. In all three seasons, the Stony Brook and St. John’s parents couldn’t have been nicer.”

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