The Rise of the Seawolf: Women's lacrosse 2013 season in review
June 4, 2013
Stony Brook, N.Y. – The No. 11/10 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team produced its winningest season in program history at 17-3 in 2013, earning an NCAA Tournament win, its first conference crown and unprecedented national media coverage along the way. The Seawolves topped numerous national, conference and school records, including the NCAA mark for lowest scoring defense in history with a 5.65 goals against average.
League of Their Own
Stony Brook steam rolled through the regular season, losing just twice to a pair of top five opponents in Maryland and Florida and going a perfect 6-0 in America East play to secure its first-ever outright regular season crown.
The Seawolves kept their torrid pace in the conference tournament, lighting up Vermont in a dominant 18-4 win in the semifinals. Demmianne Cook netted a conference tournament record seven goals in the contest, while Frankie Caridi tallied a school America East championship mark of 10 saves. Janine Hillier added five points, and Claire Petersen chipped in four in just 10 minutes of play in her return to the field.
Next, SBU downed rival Albany, 14-3, behind six points from Hillier in a rematch of the 2012 championship game to lock up its first America East title and NCAA Tournament berth. Hillier was named Most Outstanding Player of the America East Championship after tallying 11 points in two games. Cook, Melissa Rotante, Alyssa Cardillo and Amber Kupres also nabbed all-tournament honors.
The 11-goal margin of victory was the largest in America East title-game history, while the mere seven goals SBU surrendered in two contests were also a tournament mark.
Stony Brook led the conference in scoring offense (14.90), points per game (20.60), scoring defense (5.65), save percentage (.537), draw controls per game (13) and ground balls per contest (17.90).
The dynamic Cook paced the conference in goals per game (4.50) while finishing second in caused turnovers per contest (1.40) and third in draw controls per game (4.80). She was the only player in the league to tally at least five points in every regular season conference contest.
Caridi surpassed an America East mark with a goals against average of 5.71 and also produced a save percentage of .531.
SBU racked up a league-high 11 end-of-year conference awards, including seven all-conference selections with four of those being first-team honorees, both conference-bests. Cook took home Player of the Year honors becoming the second consecutive Seawolf to do so after Claire Petersen received the accolade in 2012.
The Big Stage
In their first NCAA Tournament game, the Seawolves proved they belonged with a gritty 8-6 win over a tough defensive opponent in Towson May 10. Frankie Caridi turned back seven shots, and sophomore Amber Kupres netted a game-best three goals. Janine Hillier tallied two goals and one assist, while Claire Petersen chipped in three assists and Demmianne Cook added two goals, three draw controls and five ground balls.
The Seawolves fell to top-seed and eventual runner-up Maryland, 11-3, despite holding the Terps to their second lowest goal total of the year. SBU also holds the distinction of allowing just eight goals against Maryland March 17; the fewest Maryland scored all season.
Movin’ on Up
Stony Brook ranked in the top 20 of both major polls all year and cracked the top 10 for the first time in school history. The Seawolves rocketed to as high as No. 7 in the deBeer Media Poll and finished the season at No. 11 in the IWLCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 10 in the media poll.
Demmianne Cookput together arguably the greatest season in Stony Brook women’s lacrosse history. She broke her own single-season school record, scoring a nation-best 90 goals. The goal total was the best in the country by a 19-goal margin and the sixth-most in NCAA history. The senior midfielder also topped the national statistical rankings in goals per game with 4.5 while finishing fifth in points (96), eighth in points per game (4.8) and 12th in draw controls per contest (4.8). She also surpassed the school single-season record for draw controls with a team-high 96 draws in 2013.
A two-way player, Cook also paced the squad in points (96), caused turnovers (28) and ground balls (42). Her ground ball total ranks eighth in SBU single-season history. Cook’s defensive prowess helped the Seawolves lead the country in scoring defensive (5.65 goals per game).
The Nesconset, N.Y., native finishes her career at fifth all-time in career points (173) and third in career draw controls (157) despite only playing two seasons at Stony Brook.
Cook, Stony Brook’s first Tewaaraton nominee, received numerous postseason accolades, including All-America honors from the IWLCA, Synapse and WomensLAX.com and IWLCA First-Team All-Region status for the second consecutive season.
Caridi in the Cage
Frankie Caridiplayed stellar lacrosse in her return to the field after an injury-shortened 2012. The junior goalie led Division I netminders in save percentage (.530) and goals against average (5.71), the latter of which was an America East record. She anchored a defense that surrendered just 5.65 goals per contest, the fewest in the country and the lowest total in NCAA history. She broke Stony Brook’s tournament record when she recorded 10 saves against Vermont in the America East Semifinals.
Caridi, who posted seven stops in both NCAA Tournament games, netted IWLCA Second-Team All-Region and Synapse All-American honors.
Claire Petersencapped her outstanding collegiate career by gutting out her final four games—all during Stony Brook’s postseason run—with a torn ACL. Despite missing four contests due to injury, she still finished 10th nationally and first on the team with 46 assists. Petersen, who hails from Wantagh, N.Y., averaged 2.88 helpers per game, which is sixth nationally.
Petersen broke an NCAA single-game record when she dished out 11 assists against Longwood on March 9 while also topping her own school mark with 13 points. Those 13 points tied Navy’s Jasmine DePompeo for and NCAA-high this season and are the 10th-most in NCAA single-game history. She received national recognition the following week when she picked up both the WomensLAX.com and Nike Player of the Week awards.
Petersen wraps her career with 105 career helpers and as one of only two Seawolves to tally 100 career assists. She also provided the helper on longtime teammate Demmianne Cook’s record-breaking 151st career goal in her return to the field against Vermont May 3. Though she only played two seasons at SBU, the two-year captain ranks fourth all-time in career points (174).
A well-rounded offensive player, senior Janine Hillier reached the 40-goal and 20-assist plateaus for the second time in as many seasons she spent with the Seawolves. The 49 goals she tallied ranked 20th nationally and third in SBU single-season history, while her 26 assists sit ninth.
Hillier, a two-time first-team all-conference selection, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the America East Championship after totaling 11 points in two contests, including six in the title game.
The Farmingdale, N.Y., product is sixth all-time at Stony Brook in goals (96) and assists (47) and seventh in points (143) for her career.
She finished off her collegiate career matching a game-best with three goals and leading Team North to a 9-8 victory against Team South in the IWLCA/Under Armour North-South Senior All-Star Game at Cabrini College.
Defense was a true hallmark of the 2013 Seawolves as the squad led the country in scoring defense with 5.65 goals per game, the fewest in the country by more than a goal and the lowest in NCAA history. Florida finished second with a 6.81 goals against average.
Stony Brook held opponents to single-digits in 17 games this season and to five goals or fewer 12 times. SBU set a conference tournament record by allowing just seven goals in two games, including three against Albany in the title game.
Not to be outdone, the Stony Brook offense ranked third nationally in scoring offense (14.9 goals per game) and broke school single-season records for goals (298) and points (412).
All He Does is Win
Taking over a team that won just four games in 2011, Spallina has completely changed the culture of the program in only two years. The Seawolves have appeared in the national rankings and America East title game each season under Spallina, cracking the top 10 in both major national polls and hoisting the hardware for the first time in program history in 2013. SBU reached as high as No. 7 in the deBeer Media Poll and was nationally ranked in both the coaches’ and media polls all season.
The architect of Stony Brook’s success, Spallina guided the squad to a victory over Towson in its first NCAA Tournament game May 10, the school record 12th-straight for the squad. The Seawolves ended their season at 17-3 and 6-0 in America East action, surpassing previous single-season program marks for most total and conference wins.
In 2012, he completed the best turnaround in the country and fourth-best improvement in NCAA history by turning a four-win team into a 14-win contender.
Stony Brook collected numerous weekly and postseason accolades.
Stony Brook Postseason Honors
Tewaaraton Nominee: Demmianne Cook
All-American: Demmianne Cook
Player of the Year: Demmianne Cook
Stony Brook Weekly Honors
2013 Stony Brook National Honors
2013 Stony Brook America East Conference Weekly Awards
Defensive Player of the Week, Frankie Caridi (4/15/13)
In Case You Lost Track…
Scoring defense, 5.65
Claire Petersen, 11 assists (3/9)
Demmianne Cook, 158 career goals
America East Tournament
Other notable feats
Here to Stay
“The only people who think we are a one year wonder are the people who want us to be,” head coach Joe Spallina said after the Seawolves’ season ended in College Park, Md. “We’re here to stay.”
Though Stony Brook has bid farewell to its heralded senior class, the program returns the bulk of its fantastic defensive unit that led the country in scoring defense, including an all-region and all-conference selection in junior goalie Frankie Caridi.
Joining Caridi in the backfield once again will be second-team All-America East and Synapse National All-Rookie honoree Alyssa Fleming, who finished second on the team in caused turnovers with 17, and Maegan Meritz. Meritz started all 20 games and proved to be instrumental on the clear towards the end of the season.
The Seawolves will also welcome back a pair of 30-goal scorers in Michelle Rubino and Amber Kupres, who netted 34 and 31, respectively, during their sophomore campaigns. A dynamic player who Spallina likened to Demmianne Cook during a press conference in Maryland, Rubino finished second on the team with 57 draws and third with 16 caused turnovers. Kupres, a speedy midfielder and one-woman clearing machine, was second on the team with 41 ground balls.