Stony Brook heads north to tangle with the Northeastern Huskies Saturday

Kofi Ramirez Osei-Tutu

Sept. 27, 2013

2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer

Game #8:
Stony Brook #Seawolves (3-4-0)
vs. Northeastern Huskies (3-3-2)

Saturday, Sept. 28  •  Parsons Field  •  Brookline, Mass.  •  6 p.m.

Stony Brook #Seawolves (3-4-0, 0-0-0 America East)
Head Coach: Ryan Anatol, third season
Career Record: 24-16-5
Record at SB: same

Northeastern Huskies (3-3-2, 0-0-0 CAA)
Head Coach: Brian Ainscough, ninth season
Career Record: 153-137-45
Record at Northeastern: 68-63-31

The Matchup: Stony Brook has its final tune-up before conference season begins as it takes on the Northeastern Huskies of the Colonial Athletic Association. The Seawolves are looking to even up their record this year before the rigors of America East play begin next weekend. The Huskies are looking to gain momentum as they too begin conference play next week. This will be the eighth all-time meeting between these two programs, but the first since 2004, back when Northeastern was still a member of America East. The Huskies lead the all-time series 5-2, and the Seawolves are 1-3 all-time at Parsons Field.

Scouting Northeastern: Under ninth-year head coach Brian Ainscough, the Huskies are coming off the best season in program history in which they went 14-3-4, won the CAA Championship, earned a home game in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round. The Huskies return 17 players from the championship squad, but lost key contributors in leading scorer Don Anding, now an MLS player for the Philadelphia Union, defender Andre Ciliotta and goalkeeper Oliver Blum. Dante Marini has picked up the slack with seven points in eight games. NU's wins this season have come against Fairfield, Fordham and Holy Cross. The Huskies have dropped contests to Duke, Boston University and Columbia. The loss to Columbia at Parsons Field had snapped Northeastern's 18-match home unbeaten streak, which had dated back to Nov. 6, 2010.

Last Time Out: The Seawolves, playing less than 48 hours after a wild win at Fordham, did not have the same energy in their bout with Central Connecticut, falling behind early and ultimately taking a 2-0 loss despite a spirited second half filled with opportunities.

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: Stony Brook will begin America East play next Friday night against Albany at LaValle Stadium at 7 p.m. The game is part of Stony Brook's Homecoming Weekend, and the #Seawolves encourage all fans to come back to watch.