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Top 10: Comebacks Since 2012

September 4, 2017
Pius G Soccer 2013

Emily Pius helped engineer one of Stony Brook’s greatest comebacks in 2013

Last night the UCLA Football team engineered the second-largest comeback in college football history, awakening from a 44-10 deficit to stun Texas A&M, 45-44. It got us thinking about the greatest comebacks in Stony Brook history. To narrow the scope, we limited it to the last 5 years.

#10: Baseball vs. Smithtown Christian (4/3/2017)

Through two innings the Bears trailed the 3-time defending Class D Regional Champions 1-5, but steadily chipped away. They trailed 3-6 after three innings, 4-6 after four, 5-7 after five and 6-7 after six. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Seamus Scanlon reached on a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. After a pop up, Joe Wozny singled to put runners on first and second. Ben Tutuska moved both runners into scoring position with a 1-out ground out, bringing Emmanuel Ajewole to the plate. The freshman drilled a grounder to the short stop and reached on a single, but the ball skipped past the first baseman allowing Wozny to come around and score the game-winning run in the dying light for a thrilling 8-7 win.

#9: 2017 Boys’ Basketball Season

In the immediate aftermath of a one-point loss in the 2016 Regional Final, the mission in the hushed locker room was clear: get back here and win it next year.

With that lofty goal in mind the Bears began the season with their sights set on a record fifth straight Suffolk Class C title. After going 3-3 in six non-league games to start the year, the Bears’ dreams of a trip upstate were grounded in a 27-point loss to Greenport in the league opener. A one-point loss at Pierson and a six-point setback at Bridgehampton followed in the next three games, leaving the Bears with a precarious 1-3 league record on January 20th. Suddenly, a team that had State Championship aspirations found themselves in very real danger of missing the playoffs. Despite a flurry of injuries and illnesses over the ensuing two weeks, the Bears won 6 of their next 8 games to clinch a 17th consecutive playoff berth. They slipped into the playoffs with a 5-5 league record before winning three games to reach the program’s first State Final Four.

#8: Boys’ Soccer vs. Greenport (10/21/2014)

Just 14 minutes into the match, Greenport held a 3-0 lead over the Bears on a rainy afternoon on Fitch Field, but just as the sun began to break through the clouds, David Choi assisted an Inpyo Ma goal to cut the deficit to 1-3 with just 1:30 remaining in the half. The tide continued to turn in the Bears’ favor as they pushed the action offensively in the second half. Choi single-handedly brought the Brook all the way back with a 10-yard strike after a botched clear and a 30 yard free kick to knot the score at 3-3. Despite losing their lead, the Porters continued to surge on offense. Their best chance to retake the lead came with 11 minutes left as a fast break down the left flank culminated in a great strike that would have found the top shelf of the goal had David Choi (the keeper, not the forward) not deflected the ball over the crossbar with his fingertips.

After several close opportunities in the closing minutes, the Blue & White finally converted. The Bears got their break they needed when the Greenport keeper stepped out of the box while holding the ball, resulting in a handball and a free kick. With four minutes remaining Choi (the forward) stepped up and struck a gorgeous ball into the top shelf of the net for a hat trick, providing the winning margin in a thrilling comeback.

#7: 2015 Boys’ Soccer Season

The Bears began the league season with three straight losses to Pierson, Smithtown Christian, and Southold to all but snuff out any playoff hopes. From there they reeled off six consecutive wins, including a 10-0 victory over Port Jeff and a 7-0 win over Greenport that saw them roar into the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

#6: Boys’ Soccer vs. Port Jeff (9/24/2014)

Down three goals against Port Jeff with just fifteen minutes remaining, hope had all but evaporated for the boys’ soccer team when a furious comeback ensued. In thirteen minutes the Brook reeled off three goals to tie the game at five, setting up the goal of the season. Inpyo Ma sent the ball upfield to Jason Lee. After a touch by Lee popped the ball into the air, he volleyed it some forty yards toward the net with 30 seconds remaining. The ball moved right before tailing back left, sailing over the outstretched arms of the keeper and into the net for the go-ahead goal in the Bears’ incredible 6-5 comeback win.

#5: Girls’ Soccer vs. Smithtown Christian (9/24/2014)

Smithtown Christian had dominated play against our girls’ soccer team, and their 3-0 lead was evidence, but our girls, instead of capitulating, engineered the largest comeback in program history. Coach Mark Maningo moved Morgan Pius out of the goal to the forward spot and thirty minutes later the Bears had a 5-3 lead. Pius scored a hat trick, Anna Wadding notched a score, Erin Morrison added a goal and an assist, and Emily Pius recorded two assists to stun the Knights on their own field. Linnea Piazza was huge in the second half, turning away five shots to preserve the lead.

#4: Boys’ Basketball vs. Port Jeff (2/16/2017)

The Bears were on the ropes after the Royals connected on a 3-pointer to push their lead back to 13 at 34-21 with 3:39 remaining in the quarter. However, with the season on the line, Stony Brook’s championship defense reared its head. Improbably, when the Port Jeff offense seemed to be at its zenith, the Bears would hold them scoreless for the next 8 minutes and 25 seconds. In the meantime they unleashed an 18-0 run that would leave them up 39-34 with less than four minutes remaining in the game. Port Jeff refused to go down easily, but the Bears ultimately held on for a 50-47 win that put them back in the Class C Championship for the 10th time in 11 years.

#3: Boys’ Soccer vs. Greenport (10/1/2015)

The Bears treated us to a thrilling season, earning a playoff berth after beginning the league season 0-3. However, that run would have happened without a 5-minute stretch of soccer that defined the season. The Porters who held a 3-2 advantage with under 5 minutes remaining in the match. As the clock dipped below five minutes, David Choi sent a corner kick into the box. Mac Bohuny made a run to the far post and put a beautiful header across the goal line to bring the Bears back from the brink, knotting the game at 3-3.

Greenport countered with a scoring chance on a free kick just outside the 18-yard box, but the Bear defense brushed it aside. With time left for one final push before overtime, the Bears attacked. Greenport played a throw-in right to Jai Narain who served a great pass to Alvaro Martinez Torres. The Spaniard beat one defender, dribbled to the edge of the 18-yard box and unleashed a low rocket between two other defenders that beat the keeper on the near post with just 8 seconds remaining in the match. The miraculous victory was the foundation of what became a six-game winning streak, propelling the Bears from last place into the playoffs.

#1 (Tie): Volleyball vs. Pierson (11/7/2016)

After two games in the Suffolk County Championship, hope waned for the Bears. They had been dispatched without drama twice by the Whalers in the regular season and their east end rivals were in a seemingly unbreakable rhythm. But the Bears battled to win the next two games to force a decisive fifth game where they took a 19-10 lead. Pierson responded with a 12-1 run to retake a 22-20 edge. The Bears once again drew from a reservoir of hope and pulled out their first County title with a 27-25 win.

#1 (Tie): Girls Soccer vs. Southold (11/1/2013)

In one of the greatest comebacks in Stony Brook athletics history, the girls’ soccer team overcame a 1-3 deficit with just four minutes remaining to steal the County title away from Southold and win their 6th Championship in seven years. With time ticking down the Bears had a corner kick opportunity that was stymied by the Settler defense. The ball was cleared out of the box, but Julia Shi, who came all the way up-field from her spot on defense, fired a shot into the top right corner from 25 yards out to cut Southold’s lead to 3-2. Two minutes later the Bears converted on a corner kick as Annie Skorobohaty forced overtime on a goal assisted by Emily Pius.

After a scoreless overtime period the game moved to penalty kicks where freshman keeper Fiona Farrell emerged as one of the game’s heroes. After turning away 14 shots in regulation, Farrell saved two of Southold’s penalty kicks while Morgan Pius and Skorobohaty converted on Stony Brook’s final two shots to earn the miraculous victory. Pius added a gorgeous goal in regulation, that hit the far post and ricocheted in, and Hannah Barker tallied an assist.

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