Men's soccer hits Philly to play Penn Friday night
Sep 6, 2013
2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Stony Brook #Seawolves (1-0-0, 0-0-0 America East)
Penn Quakers (0-0-0, 0-0-0 Ivy League)
The Matchup: Stony Brook seeks to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2004 Friday night when it hits the road to play Penn at Penn Park. The Seawolves are coming off a 2-0 victory over Sacred Heart last week while the Quakers are making their 2013 debut. This is the third all-time meeting between the two teams. The Quakers won both previous matchups, 2-0 in 1999, and 3-0 in 2011.
Scouting Penn: The Quakers return 21 letterwinners from last season's team that struggled to a 3-13-0 record overall and 1-6-0 in Ivy League play. However, there is plenty of optimism in Philadelphia as the team has another year of experience under its belt and the addition of five newcomers that was ranked the 25th best recruiting class of 2013, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. The team's top two returning scorers are up front in Stephen Baker (six goals) and Duke Lacroix (five goals), who combined accounted for 40% of Penn's goals last season. The defense will look to improve from last season after giving up 37 goals in 2012.
Last Time Out: The Seawolves had the better of the chances and limited its opponents opportunities as they blanked Sacred Heart 2-0 in their season and home opener last Friday. The Seawolves got off on the right foot early when Alejandro Fritz converted a penalty kick to give the Seawolves a 1-0 advantage. Then Favio Sbarra seemingly put the game out of reach with a goal off of assists by Mario Mesen and Jorge Torres. Although it was only a two-goal deficit, the Pioneers never seemed to have a chance as Stony Brook's stout defense allowed just one shot on goal.
Rookie of the Week: After scoring his first collegiate goal in the first half last Friday, Favio Sbarra was named America East Rookie of the Week on Sept. 3.
In the Rankings: Stony Brook checks in at No. 8 in the first NSCAA Northeast Region poll of the season.
Welcome Everybody: The Seawolves have a lot of new faces on the roster in 2013 as they brought in 16 newcomers, including 13 true freshmen. The 16 newcomers represent a mix of talent across all positions and from numerous different parts of the world. The 16 newcomers are from six different countries (including the U.S.).
Preseason Pick: Despite losing seven letterwinners to graduation, including three of the top four scorers, the Seawolves are still highly regarded among the America East men's soccer coaches. Stony Brook was picked to finish second in the eight-team conference by the coaches in the preseason poll. The Seawolves received one first-place vote and finished second to defending America East tournament champion UMBC. Last season's regular season champion, Vermont, was third followed by Hartford, New Hampshire, Albany, Binghamton and league newcomer UMass Lowell.
Tough Schedule: The Seawolves annually challenge themselves against stiff competition, and 2013 will be no different. Stony Brook will play six opponents that finished in the top 75 in the NCAA RPI last season, including three teams (Northeastern, Drexel, UMBC) that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Seawolves themselves are a quality matchup for teams as they finished at No. 55 in the NCAA RPI, the highest finish in program history.
Going for 4: The Seawolves are in search of their fourth America East conference championship in program history. Since joining the conference in 2001, the Seawolves have qualified for postseason play seven times, reached the semifinals six times, advanced to the title game three times and won all three. Stony Brook will look to gain home field advantage in postseason as the program is undefeated in America East Championship home games (6-0-2).
What a Pro: Former Seawolves All-American and three-time America East Midfielder of the Year Leonardo Fernandes has moved on to become the first Stony Brook men's soccer player to appear in an MLS game since Chris Megaloudis in 2008 (New York Red Bulls) and the first-ever to start an MLS game. After being selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Union, Fernandes won a spot on the roster and then made his first appearance on May 18, 2013 against Chicago. He then made three starts for the Union in early July, playing a career-high 86 minutes against Real Salt Lake on July 3.
Coach Anatol: The Seawolves are in good hands under third-year head coach Ryan Anatol, who has led Stony Brook to back-to-back 10-win seasons in his first two years and took the program to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. The NCAAs have been a staple in his coaching career. He went to the NCAA Tournament eight times as an assistant coach at South Florida and Akron, including an appearance in the quarterfinals in 2008.
Up Next: The Seawolves remain in Philadelphia to play Drexel Sunday at 3 p.m.