New Faces, Same Result: No. 20 #Seawolves repeat as America East champions
May 4, 2014
Stony Brook, N.Y. – Before the season, Stony Brook women’s lacrosse head coach Joe Spallina insisted that the #Seawolves would be back in the NCAA Tournament despite losing the heralded seven-player class of 2013 to graduation.
He was right.
No. 20 Stony Brook (16-3) used a first-team All-America performance from senior goalie Frankie Caridi and a 7-0 run to top No. 19/19 Albany (14-3), 7-1, and claim a second straight America East crown and NCAA Tournament automatic qualifier. The Tewaaraton semifinalist tallied six saves and finished with a tournament goals-against average (GAA) of 3.00 on her way to the Most Outstanding Player nod.
Caridi’s GAA set a championship record.
Junior midfielder Michelle Rubino scored one goal and controlled four draws to become Stony Brook’s all-time leader in draw controls with 194 in three seasons. She passed Kaitlin Leggio (192, 2006-10) and joined junior midfielder Amber Kupres and senior defender and three-year captain Jessica Romano on the All-Championship Team.
Stony Brook has held Albany to single-digit goals in all six games during the Spallina era. The Great Danes entered the weekend fourth nationally in scoring offense at 15.07 goals per game.
On the win
“We’re very young. We have a lot of young kids in important spots. A lot people didn’t give us a chance to repeat because we graduated all of our scoring. People thought we were a one-year wonder. We listened to all of that. It’s all written down in our locker room. We rallied around that. Our program is built to last. We’re young and athletic, and there are some exciting years ahead.”
On the play of Frankie Caridi
“Frankie’s the real deal. She’s the best goalie in the country and a first-team All-American. I know a lot about this game, and I know there’s no other goalie I’d rather have in my cage or any goalie in this country that’s better than she is. She strapped this team to her back for large portions of the season. She is a great kid with a great family. I could not be happier for her.”
Most Outstanding Player Frankie Caridi’s Reaction
“It’s awesome. I love this place. I love my team. These have been two great years, two great wins. Coach Spallina is an unbelievable coach. It’s a great feeling.”
Albany’s first and only goal came on a shot from the 8-meter by Sarah Martin at 22:24 of the first half.
Midway through the first, Alyssa Fleming deflected an Ariana Parker pass and picked up a ground ball before finding Kupres in transition. Kupres fell, but was able to get the ball to Van Dyke, who sprinted down the field for a top-shelf equalizer with 16:25 remaining in the first half.
With the score the same in the opening minute of the second stanza, Cardillo dished to Kupres for a tally that put Stony Brook in front, 2-1.
The two sides engaged in a defensive battle and each deliberately slowed the pace for nearly 20 minutes. Rubino broke through when she drove through traffic and ripped a shot over the head of Anna Berman at the 9:48 mark to push the lead to 3-1. Murphy converted a free position shot with 8:10 to play, and Mercier put in an unassisted tally less than two minutes later as the Seawolves claimed a 5-1 advantage.
The rookies combined for the final two goals, with Van Dyke taking it herself at 4:25 and finding Murphy with 2:29 left to cap the championship-winning 7-0 run.
The Numbers Game
News and Notes
The Seawolves will play in their second consecutive NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show will air Sunday on NCAA.com at 9 p.m.