Wear RED Friday night as the #Seawolves host Albany
Oct. 3, 2013
2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Stony Brook #Seawolves (4-4-0, 0-0-0 America East)
Albany Great Danes (1-6-2, 0-0-0 America East)
The Matchup: Stony Brook begins conference play tonight with a bang as it hosts SUNY rival Albany on Homecoming Weekend, also known as Wolfstock. Prior to tonight's match, there will be an alumni game in the stadium at 5 p.m. This will be the 41st meeting betwen these two teams all-time, and while the Great Danes lead the series 21-15-2, but the #Seawolves have dominated of late, going unbeaten vs. Albany in their last seven matchups (5-0-2). Stony Brook has not lost to Albany at home since 2003, a string of six straight matches.
Scouting Albany: The Great Danes are winless in their last three matches and are just 1-6-2 on the year, but conference play represents a new chance for the team. Last year, the Great Danes struggled in non-conference, but rattled off three America East wins to earn a spot in the America East Championship for the first time since 2008. Albany's one win this year was a big one - a 2-1 victory over nationally ranked Fairleigh Dickinson. Goals have been at a premium for this Albany squad, having tallied just six goals in nine matches. Brandon Wilson has proven to be the most potent scorer so far, dropping two goals on 16 shots this year. Albany's defense has improved of late, allowing only 11 shots to Dartmouth in its last match. Goalkeeper Tim Allen made seven saves on that day.
Last Time Out: The #Seawolves went toe-to-toe with defending CAA champion Northeastern and came out the victor after Will Casey's 66th minute goal gave Stony Brook a 1-0 lead that it held onto until the final horn. Stony Brook played outstanding defense, allowing just 12 shots, including only three on goal, which were all stopped by senior Carlos Villa.
Player of the Week: Will Casey's 66th minute goal vs. Northeastern on Sept. 28 was the game-winner, and it led to his being named America East Player of the Week on Sept. 30. It was Casey's first-ever weekly honor, and he currently leads the team in goals (4) and points (8), which also both rank in the top five in America East.
Better Score First: Stony Brook is nearly unbeatable when it is the first team to score in a match. When the #Seawolves go up 1-0, they are 22-2-1 under head coach Ryan Anatol.
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 have a non-conference mid-week game on Tuesday as it heads south to face West Virginia at 7 p.m. The team's next America East match is Saturday, Oct. 12 at New Hampshire.