#Seawolves No. 14 in ILWomen 2014 Preseason Rankings

Michelle Rubino put in 34 goals during a stellar sophomore season in 2013

Dec. 13, 2013

ILWomen Preseason Rankings

Stony Brook, N.Y. - The Stony Brook women's lacrosse team spent the entire 2013 campaign ranked in the top 20 of the deBeer Media Poll and IWLCA Coaches' Poll and comes in at No. 14 in ILWomen's 2014 Preseason Rankings. It is the highest preseason slot ever for the team that has burst onto the national scene and become an annual contender for the America East title under third-year head coach Joe Spallina

The Seawolves cracked the top 10 in both major polls for the first time during their winningest season in program history last year and finished at No. 10 and No. 11 in the media poll and coaches' poll, respectively.

Stony Brook returns seven starters from last year's record-breaking squad, including more than half of its defense that broke an NCAA Division I mark for scoring defense (5.65 goals allowed per game). That unit is anchored by standout goalie Frankie Caridi, who led the country in goals against average (5.71) and save percentage (.530) on her way to second team all-region and first team all-conference honors.

Sophomores Alyssa Fleming and Maegan Meritz are poised to reclaim their starting sports in front of Caridi. Fleming was named Synapse All-Rookie, America East All-Rookie and second team all-conference during a standout freshman year, while Meritz proved to be a multi-dimensional defender capable of serving as a one-woman clearing machine.

The Seawolves also welcome back three of their top five goal scorers from 2013 in midfielders Michelle Rubino, Amber Kupres and Emily Mercier. Rubino was third on the team with 34 goals last year and second with 57 draw controls, while classmate Kupres put away 31 goals to go along with 41 ground balls, the 10th-most in Stony Brook single-season history. Only a junior, Rubino already sits fourth all-time in school history with 151 career draw controls. Mercier tallied 28 goals and used her speed to be instrumental in the team's efforts on the clear.

Jenna Davis, a fifth-year transfer from Princeton, will join the trio in leading the fast, athletic midfield line that has become a staple of the squad under Spallina. Davis played in all 17 games and made 16 starts for a Tigers team that qualified for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Stony Brook also adds 14 talented freshmen to the fold as it continues its hunt to play deep into May every season. The decorated incoming class includes numerous state champions and six former high school All-Americans.

The rankings are part of Inside Lacrosse's annual Face-Off Yearbook. Both major preseason polls will come out in late January or early February.