Rutgers, Delaware State highlight #Seawolves opening weekend matchups
Aug. 21, 2014
Piscataway Township, N.J. - The Stony Brook women’s soccer team’s quest to regain its spot on top of the America East throne kicks off on Friday when the #Seawolves travel to Rutgers to do battle with the Scarlet Knights at 7 p.m. The Seawolves then return to Stony Brook for their season opener on Sunday, Aug. 24, against Delaware State. Stony Brook, winners of the 2012 America East championship, nearly repeated as champions last year, before falling to UMBC 2-1 in the conference final. Despite the heartbreaking conclusion, 2013 was still a year to remember for the #Seawolves as they claimed a share of the America East regular season title for the first time in school history.
Stony Brook returns 18 letterwinners from last year’s team, while also welcoming 12 newcomers to the fray. The #Seawolves were picked to finish second in the America East preseason coaches’ poll, finishing a single vote behind UMBC for top honors. The Seawolves’ play in the preseason did little to tame the high expectations placed on the club. Stony Brook upended two very solid Patriot League teams in Army and Lehigh by scores of 1-0 and 2-1, respectively.
On paper, this may be the toughest opponent Stony Brook faces all year. The Scarlet Knights went 13-4-5 last season and received an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament where they fell to West Virginia in penalties. Their final RPI ranking of 32 at season’s end was the highest among all of Stony Brook’s 2014 opponents and they return 24 letterwinners from last year’s squad, including three all-conference honorees. The Seawolves will have to pay particularly close attention to second team All-American Athletic Conference selection Stef Scholz. As a junior in 2013 Scholz led Rutgers with 10 goals. She was named to the All-Big Ten preseason second team in preparation of the 2014 season. Sophomore midfielder Madison Tiernan is another player who should attract a lot of Stony Brook’s attention. She was an AAC All-Rookie selection last year after netting six goals to go along with five assists. The Seawolves are 0-6-1 all-time versus Rutgers.
Scouting Delaware State
Delaware State begins year two of head coach Kerri Scroope’s rebuilding efforts. The Hornets struggled to a 1-16 record in her first season at the helm but with 17 letterwinners returning, including eight starters, they should give teams more trouble in 2014. Senior Chelsea Boursiquot led Delaware State with four goals in 2013 and should be even more dangerous with a year in Scroope’s system under her belt. Sunday will mark the first meeting between the two schools.
It has become common place in Stony Brook to see redshirt senior Ashley Castanio manning the Seawolves goal. This season will mark Castanio’s third consecutive year as starting goalkeeper; she has amassed 23 wins over that span. Last year was her best to date as she captured the America East Goalkeeper of the Year award and was a first team All-America East selection. A model of consistency throughout her career, Castanio ranks second in school history in career goals against average (1.18 goals per game), fifth in save percentage (.817%) and fourth in shutouts (9).
Junior Tessa Devereaux is the lone Stony Brook field player to be honored in the America East All-Conference team, garnering second team honors last season after registering a goal and two assists. She showed what kind of impact she can have on a game as a freshman making the AE All-Rookie team after leading the team with seven assists. With nine career assists at the halfway point of her career, Devereaux is three shy of cracking the school’s all-time top ten list. She spent much of her first two years playing in the shadow of first team America East forward Larissa Nysch, but with Nysch lost to graduation, she may be the player the Seawolves turn to for offensive punch. If the preseason was any indication, Devereaux looks ready to soar. She scored the Seawolves first and only goal five minutes into the match against Army.
Redshirt junior Regan Bosnyak and redshirt sophomore Raven Edwards will both be called upon to play pivotal roles in 2014 after both missed nearly all of last year with injuries. Bosnyak, one of two team captains, will be a defensive stalwart in the midfield while Edwards will be counted on to score goals, which she did in abundance as a freshman. Her five goals led all America East freshmen in 2012 and landed her a spot on the All-Rookie team.