#Seawolves travel to West Virginia for midweek non-conference action
Oct. 8, 2013
2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Stony Brook #Seawolves (5-4-0, 1-0-0 America East)
West Virginia Mountaineers (4-5-1, 1-1-0 MAC)
The Matchup: The #Seawolves are off to a good start in conference play, but must now focus their attention on a strong non-conference opponent as they face West Virginia on the road in midweek action. Stony Brook has won two straight and is looking for momentum heading back into conference action. The Mountaineers recently snapped a four-match slide and are also looking for momentum as they continue MAC play this coming weekend. This will be the first-ever meeting between these two programs. Stony Brook last played a member of the MAC in 2012 when the #Seawolves beat Buffalo, 4-0.
Scouting West Virginia: The Mountaineers have been up and down so far in 2013 while playing a very difficult non-conference schedule. The team holds a win over nationally ranked Indiana on the road, and two of its losses came to nationally ranked foes St. John's and Akron. The offense is averaging 1.80 goals per game, however, half of its season total came in two matches - a 5-4 win over Indiana and a 4-0 win over Northern Illinois. In all other matches, the Mountaineers are averaging 1.12 goals. The forward duo of Andy Bevin and Majed Osman has been deadly on offense. Bevin has five goals and six assists; Osman has four goals and five assists. Strangely enough, the pair have combined for just one of the team's four game-winning goals, which suggests a tremendous amount of depth on the roster.
Last Time Out: The #Seawolves and Albany went the distance and then some, going into overtime scoreless. Stony Brook kept coming with chances, and the #Seawolves finally connected in the 98th minute when Mario Mesen crossed to Martin Giordano, who one-timed the ball over the goalkeeper top shelf for the golden goal. The 1-0 victory gave Stony Brook three points in its conference opener.
Honored for the Game-Winner: After scoring the golden goal in overtime to beat Albany on Oct. 4, Martin Giordano was named America East Player of the Week on Oct. 7. It was Giordano's first-ever Player of the Week honor after garnering one Rookie of the Week honor during his freshman campaign in 2012.
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 10 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 23-2-1 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 is back on the road this weekend as it faces New Hampshire Saturday night in Durham, N.H., at 7 p.m.