#Seawolves play at No. 6 UMBC on must-win Wednesday
Nov. 5, 2013
2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Stony Brook #Seawolves (6-9-1, 1-4-1 America East)
UMBC Retrievers (13-1-2, 4-0-2 America East)
The Matchup: Stony Brook will conclude the regular season Wednesday in a must-win match against UMBC. The #Seawolves have four points and need at least seven to have a chance at making the America East Championship, which will begin Saturday. This is the 15th all-time meeting between the two teams, and the Retrievers lead the series 8-6-0. Stony Brook is 2-6-0 at UMBC, having last won there in 2005. UMBC has been the site of Stony Brook's last two America East Championship losses (2012 & 2010). This will be Stony Brook's first match against a nationally ranked opponent since facing Charlotte early in the 2012 season.
Scouting UMBC: The Retrievers are having one of the best seasons ever in program history, jumping out to nine straight victories to start the season behind a juggernaut offense. The Retrievers have scored 11 more goals than anyone else in America East and are the only team in the league to be averaging two goals per match. Although, the goal scoring has been lighter recently. In the team's last five matches, it has been shut out twice. Pete Caringi is the conference's leading scorer with 10 goals and two assists. Four of his 10 goals have been game-winners. Gaeton Caltabiano has a league-best seven assists to go with three goals. Phil Saunders has played everty minute in goal and has been stingy, allowing only 12 goals in 16 matches.
Last Time Out: The #Seawolves again had the better of chances in their match with Vermont, but they failed to capitalize and ultimately gave up a goal on a restart in overtime, falling to the Catamounts 1-0 last Saturday.
Playoff Picture: The #Seawolves are seeking their fifth straight appearance in the America East Championship. The team needs to finish in the top six to qualify and currently sits in a tie with UMass Lowell for seventh place. UMass Lowell is not eligible for the America East Championship. Stony Brook is only one point behind Binghamton for sixth and three points behind Albany for fifth. Stony Brook must win to have a chance to qualify. Below are some of the possible scenarios from results of Wednesday's matches (Stony Brook-UMBC, UMass Lowell-Hartford, Albany-Binghamton, New Hampshire-Vermont). Stony Brook MUST win to have a chance to qualify.
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 24-2-2 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.
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: If Stony Brook qualifies for the America East Championship, the #Seawolves will be on the road Saturday for a quarterfinal match at either New Hampshire, Vermont or Hartford.