Women's lacrosse speaks at 28th Annual Say NO to Drugs March

Members of the Stony Brook women's lacrosse team pose with students from the Pulaski St. School
 
Members of the Stony Brook women's lacrosse team pose with students from the Pulaski St. School
 
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June 7, 2013

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Riverhead, N.Y. –Members of the No. 11/10 Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team served as the honored guests and keynote speakers at the 28th Annual Say NO to Drugs March organized by the Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) Friday morning at the Pulaski Street School.

Due to weather conditions, the event was moved inside, where enthusiastic fifth and sixth grade students wearing “Drug Free Body” t-shirts packed the auditorium with handmade signs about making healthy choices.

Several members of the Riverhead and New York community spoke to the students, including school principal Dave Denieski and New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle.

Assistant women’s lacrosse coach Caitlin Defliese and defenders Melissa Rotante and Maegan Meritz, all of whom helped the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team set an NCAA mark for lowest scoring defense in the country (5.65) in 2013, served as keynote speakers.

“One thing we really talk about on this team is that we are a family,” Defliese told the students. “We help each other make positive decisions, and that has helped our student-athletes accomplish great things on and off the field.”

“You can’t achieve your goals if you mess around with drugs and alcohol,” Meritz said. “Our advice to you is to focus on doing great things and staying healthy both physically and mentally. If you can do that and work hard, anything is possible!"

“Stay healthy, stay drug free and stay focused,” Rotante, a senior captain, concluded.

Members of the team visited classrooms and signed autographs for students.

Since 1983 Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP), a not-for-profit agency, has been providing drug and alcohol prevention, education and counseling programs for the Riverhead Central School District. CAP is best known for its two-year prevention program serving over 750 fifth and sixth graders in Pulaski Street School each year. The program is taught by community volunteers and student peer leaders and concludes with the annual Say NO to Drugs March in which students march through Riverhead wearing Drug Free Body t-shirts. CAP’s executive director and Stony Brook alumna Felicia Scocozza organized this year’s event. 

The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team achieved incredible heights in 2013, winning a program-best 17 games and going undefeated in conference play on its way to its first-ever America East crown. SBU paced the country in scoring margin (+9.25) and led the league with 11 end-of-the-year awards, which included the Player of the Year in Demmianne Cook, eight all-conference nods and two academics. The team was ranked as high as No. 7 in the deBeer Media Poll and achieved its first NCAA Tournament appearance and win.