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Women’s lacrosse: Stony Brook reloads, dominates fall ball in preparation for title hunt in 2014

Tuesday, 29th October 2013

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 10/29/13
From Press Release

After shattering national, conference and school records during its most successful season in program history last spring, the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team impressed during fall ball competition.

Stony Brook opened play with wins over Villanova, C.W. Post and NYAC at the Nicholas Colleluori Women’s Classic hosted by Hofstra Sept. 22. Funds raised during the event went to the HEADstrong Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting blood cancer patients and their families.

The squad earned two wins over Iona and one over Drexel before hosting former Seawolves for an alumnae game Oct. 5. Stony Brook took down USC Oct. 6 and UMass, Yale and conference foe New Hampshire the following weekend.

The Seawolves wrapped up their fall ball slate at the BC Play day Oct. 26th, where they posted strong showings against three fellow 2013 NCAA Tournament teams in Boston College, UConn and UMass and former America East rival Boston University. SB beat the Minutewomen for the second time during the fall season and also topped Boston College and tied BU and UConn.

Joe Spallina, who is entering his third year at the helm, is the architect of the Stony Brook program that has produced a meteoric rise to national prominence in two seasons. Taking over a team that won only four games in 2011, Spallina had the Seawolves defeating a nationally ranked opponent in John’s Hopkins, appearing in the national rankings themselves for the first time in program history and competing for an America East title in just his first season.

The encore was even more spectacular. In 2013, Stony Brook won a school record 17 games, recorded a victory over Towson in its first NCAA Tournament game and cracked the top-10 in both major national polls. The Seawolves also won their first-ever America East tournament and outright regular-season crowns.

Frankie Caridi, a 2013 second-team all-region selection who was recently hailed as one of the “best goalies in the nation” by editor Dani Bernstein, topped an America East mark and posted the best goals against average (5.71) in the country on her way to first-team all-conference honors. She was the nation’s leader in save percentage at .530.

The Seawolves also return starters Alyssa Fleming and Maegan Meritz from their defensive unit that broke an all-time Division I record for scoring defense (5.65 goals allowed per game), held national runner-up Maryland to its two lowest goal totals of the season (11, 5/12 and 8, 3/17) and set a conference tournament record for fewest goals allowed during the two-game span (7) last season. Fleming was named to second-team all-conference and to the America East and Synapse All-Rookie squads, while Meritz showed versatility and was instrumental on the clear.

Stony Brook welcomes back three of its top five goal scorers from 2013 in juniors Michelle Rubino and Amber Kupres and senior Emily Mercier, who will lead a speedy, athletic midfield line that has become a hallmark of the team under Spallina. Rubino was third on the squad with 34 goals and second with 57 draw controls last season and already sits fourth all-time at SB with 151 career draws. Kupres stashed away 31 goals and was second on the team with 41 ground balls, the 10th-most in Stony Brook single-season history, while Mercier tallied 28 goals and was a one-woman clearing machine.

SB adds a decorated class of 15 newcomers, including 14 freshmen, to the fold as it looks to become a mainstay on the national scene and play deep into May every season. The talented group features six student-athletes who have previously been named All-Americans, five selections to ESPN’s Watch List and multiple state champions and team captains. The lone transfer, midfielder Jenna Davis comes to Stony Brook for her fifth year of eligibility after helping Princeton reach the NCAA Tournament last season.



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