Sophomore Bryan Judge will be one of Stony Brook's top close defenders in 2013
Feb. 8, 2013
Stony Brook, N.Y. -
2013 Stony Brook Men's Lacrosse
Game #1: Stony Brook (0-0) vs. Fairfield (0-0)
Sun., Feb. 10 • Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium • Stony Brook, N.Y. • 12 p.m.
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The Last Meeting
February 18, 2012
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INFO: GAME NOTES (PDF)
Stony Brook Seawolves (0-0)
Head Coach: Jim Nagle, second season
Overall Record: 158-113
Record at SBU: 7-10
Fairfield Stags (0-0)
Head Coach: Andy Copelan, fifth season
Overall Record: 53-39
Record at FU: 35-24
About the Game
The Stony Brook men's lacrosse team will begin its 30th season of competition against Fairfield on Sunday afternoon. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed due to the impending storm. The Seawolves and Stags will open the season against each other for a second straight year. Fairfield defeated Stony Brook, 13-10, despite 13 saves from junior Sean Brady and a hat trick from freshman Mike Rooney. SBU leads the all-time series, 5-2.
Fairfield was picked to finish third in the ECAC preseason coaches' poll. Senior Sam Snow, a preseason All-American, was named to the preseason all-conference team after a 35-goal, eight-assist junior season. The Stags finished 2012 with a 12-4 record, falling to the eventual national champions, Loyola, in the ECAC semifinals.
Stony Brook head coach Jim Nagle admittedly was not pleased with his team's performance in 2012. Marked by inconsistency, the Seawolves struggled to a 7-10 record. But one thing can't be doubted -- Stony Brook achieved its ultimate goal of winning the America East Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament, where the season ended with a 19-9 loss to Johns Hopkins. Nagle, in his second season as coach, will be faced with multiple challenges in 2013. Five of the top seven leading scorers, including Russ Bonanno and Robbie Campbell, are gone, as is all-conference goalie Sean Brady. More challenging will be the indoctrination of 17 newcomers into the fold as Stony Brook hopes to reach its fifth straight America East Championship game. The conference tournament will move to a neutral site for the first time since 2008, and Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium will be the host. While newcomers will make up half the team, Nagle sees a number of things he likes as his team gears up for the season.
Whereas Stony Brook retooled in 2012, Nagle sees this season as a rebuilding year. "Our non-conference schedule will serve as our preseason," he said. "I like the fact that we're starting so early. Playing 16 games will give our players the opportunity to compete. This is an entirely different team. The biggest challenge will be to acclimate the younger guys to the college game. If you win when you're young, it bodes well for the future."
With just three seniors on the roster and only 11 upperclassmen, Nagle hopes this group can be the leaders he needs them to be. "The upperclassmen have improved a lot of the past year," Nagle said. "I've seen them make the change to become more accountable in so many areas, whether it's academics or just becoming better leaders." One of the seniors, Savaughn Greene, returns after missing last year with an injury. "I think a lot of the guys look up to Savaughn in the way he does things. That's why I decided to make him our team captain."
Sophomore Mike Rooney, who made the move from the midfield midway through last season, tallied 34 goals and 13 assists en route to America East Rookie of the Year honors. Nagle may need Rooney more than ever this year. Though not short on talent, the other players on attack are inexperienced. Freshman Matt Schultz, a US Lacrosse All-American should pay immediate dividends this season. Inside Lacrosse's No. 19 attackman and No. 56 freshman led Suffolk County last season with 65 goals, playing on one of the more prolific attack units in the country at Smithtown West High School. Athletic freshman Jake Sichenzia also figures to be part of the mold. Sichenzia, who finished last season with 51 goals and 30 assists, finished his high school career with the third-most goals in Sayville history. Two lefties, freshman Brody Eastwood and junior Kyle Zorn, could see time. Eastwood is an intriguing prospect who starred for the Victoria Shamrocks of the British Columbia Jr. A League. Zorn has seen time in 11 games over the first two years, totaling three goals and an assist.
Despite the loss of Bonanno and Campbell, the midfield still could be Stony Brook's strength in 2013. Freshman Challen Rogers, the No. 5 Canadian senior according to Inside Lacrosse, has great size, standing 6-4 and weighing more than 200 pounds. Rogers was the British Columbia Jr. A League Rookie of the Year last season. Senior Jeff Tundo, one of Stony Brook's best dodgers, led the team with 28 assists last season and figures to be one of the team's leading playmakers. Sophomore Mike Andreassi will return to his more natural position in 2013 after a freshman season that included time on attack, as a defensive midfielder and taking draws. Freshman Chris Hughes, a transfer from Army Prep, put up gaudy numbers for the Cadets, totaling 30 goals and 20 assists. Hughes was a three-time All-Nassau County selection at Oceanside High School. An All-Nassau County selection in football and lacrosse at East Meadow High School, freshman Dylan Curry has the size and speed to put up numbers. Sophomore Connor Duddy and freshman Reed McLean will battle for time.
Freshman Frank Lucatuorto, Inside Lacrosse's No. 24 face-off specialist, will battle for time with junior Zach Smith at the 'X'.
On close defense, sophomore Bryan Judge figures to be a lock for a starting position. The aforementioned Greene has a ton of experience, but will be playing in a new scheme. Freshman Steven Ferreira is Sayville High School's all-time leader in ground balls. His size and physicality will be an important attribute in Stony Brook's defense for the next four seasons.
The long-stick midfielders will be senior JJ Laforet and sophomore Alex Harris. Laforet led Stony Brook with 54 ground balls last season, and also has the ability to take draws. Harris served in a reserve role as a freshman, but has the stick skills necessary to be effective. Freshman Tom Monzo and junior George Benitez also will see time, and could see action at close defense as well.
Junior Cole Millican excelled in his role as a short-stick defensive midfielder, and figures to be in line for the same role. He tallied 26 ground balls and eight caused turnovers, and scored six goals and had seven assists, mostly in transition situations. Freshman Lucas Rock, who tallied 70 points as a senior, is skilled in a number of areas. Freshman Dylan Sbarglia and junior Cody Vassallo also should see time as defensive midfielders.
For the first time in recent memory, Stony Brook's goalie will be inexperienced. Sophomore Pat McGushin was the third-string last season. Freshman Dan Shaughnessy was one of the better goalies in the greater Boston area out of Lincoln-Sudbury High School. His necessary transition to the college game will be pushed up.