Men's soccer hosts successful spring festival

Wolfie with the Spring Soccer Festival Clinic participants
 
Wolfie with the Spring Soccer Festival Clinic participants
 
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May 7, 2013

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Stony Brook, N.Y. - The Stony Brook men's soccer team had a productive and successful spring training season that concluded with its exciting second annual Spring Soccer Festival, held April 26th at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium and attended by over 1,300 fans.

Prior to taking on St. John's in an exhibition, the Seawolves held a clinic for boys and girls ages 6-13. Nearly 300 children attended the clinic, which was taught by Seawolves student-athletes and coaches as well as special guest Marshall Leonard, a former MLS player (New England Revolution 2002-07) and current Stony Brook University medical student.

In addition to the clinic and exhibition, other activities included face painting, a silent auction, a halftime ball toss competition, youth team games and an appearance from Wolfie.

"We are very appreciative of everyone who came out and made this a special event," head coach Ryan Anatol said. "Our goals for the night were to reach out to the community, get the kids and their families involved with our program and deliver a great experience to them. Hopefully, this outing helped young soccer players develop a true love and appreciation for the game."

Stony Brook entered the spring season without seven senior starters from the 2012 squad that ended with a 11-6-1 record and a program-best NCAA RPI of 55. The Seawolves opened the scoring in the game vs St. John's with a goal off the head of rising junior Keith McKenna (Great River, N.Y.). Five minutes before halftime, Mckenna had an opportunity to double the lead, however his header rebounded off the crossbar and was cleared by a St. John's defender. In the second half, Stony Brook couldn't not maintain its momentum and ended up losing the game 4-1.

The match closed out a challenging Stony Brook spring slate that included wins over Columbia and NYIT, a draw against Lafayette and a loss to Connecticut.

"We knew this was going to be a difficult spring having graduated many seniors from the fall," Anatol said. "However we wanted to challenge our student-athletes and continue to raise the bar for this program. Playing three teams who advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season was a great opportunity for many of our younger players who did not get an opportunity last fall. This spring has helped with our growth and development as a team, and we are looking forward to competing in the fall."

In his first two seasons at the helm, Anatol has created a tremendous culture of success with the Seawolves, leading the team to back-to-back seasons of 10 wins or more and an America East Championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 2010. Anatol will host two more clinics this summer - a boys and girls camp (ages 5-15) July 8-12 and 22-26 and an Elite Prospect Soccer Camp July 27-28. For more information and to sign up, visit GoSeawolves.org/msoccer.