#Seawolves play at Fordham Friday, host Central Connecticut Sunday
Sept. 20, 2013
2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Stony Brook #Seawolves (2-3-0, 0-0-0 America East)
Fordham Rams (2-3-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic 10)
Central Connecticut Blue Devils (1-4-1, 0-0-0 NEC)
The Matchups: Stony Brook will have another Friday-Sunday weekend, the final one this season, as it plays at Fordham Friday night and then hosts Central Connecticut on Sunday afternoon. Against the Rams, Stony Brook is facing a club that is scuffling after back-to-back 1-0 losses. The Blue Devils meanwhile snapped a five-game winless streak with a win over new America East member UMass Lowell. This is just the second all-time meeting between Stony Brook and Fordham. The Seawolves came back from a 1-0 deficit to beat the Rams, 2-1, at LaValle Stadium last season. SB and CCSU have connected on three previous occasions, and the Seawolves are 1-0-2 with the two teams tying 1-1 last season.
Scouting Fordham: The Rams are looking to rebound from a losing season in 2012, finishing 6-7-4 overall and 2-4-3 in the tough Atlantic 10. The team brought back 20 letterwinners and eight starters from that team, giving Fordham one of the more experienced clubs in the conference. The team was picked to finish sixth in the 12-team Atlantic 10. After impressive wins over Virginia Tech and Yale, Fordham's offense has scuffled of late, failing to register a goal versus Northeastern and Army in back-to-back matches. Fordham has five goals this season from five different goal scorers. Freshman defender Andrew Hickey is a player to watch; a preseason Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection, Hickey is a two-way player having already scored a goal.
Scouting CCSU: The Blue Devils secured their first win of 2013 this past Wednesday, defeating UMass Lowell in their home opener. Prior to that, CCSU had scored just two goals in its first five matches, though they did play stiff competition in West Virginia, Penn State, UMBC, Navy and Vermont. The Blue Devils, who finished 8-8-2 overall and 6-3-1 in the NEC last season, graduated four All-NEC performers but still brought back the bulk of its talented roster, including sophomore Zack Zurita, who already has two goals and an assist this season. The Blue Devils have used two goalkeepers so far this year as Josef Abele (1.71 GAA, .750 SV%) and Rafal Krauze (1.10 GAA, .759 SV%) jockey for the starting role.
Last Time Out: The Seawolves and Villanova engaged in a tough competition that featured many first-half opportunities for both teams, but it was the Wildcats who notched a goal while Stony Brook was stoned by last-second Wildcats defense in a 1-0 loss last Sunday at LaValle Stadium.
Rookie of the Week: After scoring his first collegiate goal in the first half against Sacred Heart on Aug. 30, Favio Sbarra was named America East Rookie of the Week on Sept. 3.
In the Rankings: Stony Brook was No. 8 in the first week of the NSCAA Northeast Region poll, but fell out of the poll in week two and is looking to make a case for re-entry this weekend.
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 since a program-best No. 45 in 2005.
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: After this weekend's games, Stony Brook will tackle defending CAA champion Northeastern in Brookline, Mass., Saturday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.