#Seawolves host Hartford Sunday in critical America East match
Oct. 26, 2013
2013 Stony Brook Men's Soccer
Stony Brook #Seawolves (6-7-1, 1-2-1 America East)
Hartford Hawks (9-3-3, 1-2-1 America East)
The Matchup: Stony Brook and Hartford engage in a critcal America East match Sunday, and the winner will make big strides towards clinching a berth into the America East Championship. After Saturday's other conference matches, the #Seawolves and Hawks are in a tie with Albany for fifth place in America East with four points. This is also a rematch of the 2011 America East Championship final, won by the #Seawolves at LaValle Stadium. This is the 15th all-time meeting between the two teams, and Stony Brook leads the series 5-4-5 and has won two straight. Hartford's last win in the series came in the 2011 regular season finale. Stony Brook is 3-1-3 at home vs. Hartford all-time.
Scouting Hartford: The Hawks have rebounded well after a tough end to the 2012 season that saw Hartford miss the America East Championship. Picked to finish fourth in the league in 2013, Hartford has already played the toughest portion of the schedule, losing to UMBC and New Hampshire, beating Vermont in overtime and tying Binghamton at home. The team also has quality non-conference wins over Northeastern and Harvard while playing Villanova to a 1-1 draw. Goal scoring has not been a problem for Hartford, which has 19 goals spread out over seven different players. Javoni Simms leads the way with six goals and one assist for 13 points. He, Jeff Tryon, Damion Lowe and David Bernhardsson all have two game-winning goals this season. The Hawks have been stingy on defense, allowing just 11 goals in 15 matches while recording eight shutouts.
Last Time Out: Martin Giordano, Keith McKenna and Alejandro Fritz all scored, and Carlos Villa notched his third clean sheet of the season with nine saves as Stony Brook dominated Lehigh in a 3-0 win on the road last Tuesday. Giordano also assisted on McKenna's goal, giving him a three-point night and 10 points for the season.
Playoff Picture: The #Seawolves are seeking their fifth straight appearance in the America East Championship. The team needs to finish in the top six to qualify and currently sits in a three-way tie with Albany and Hartford for fifth place. Stony Brook is only one point behind Binghamton for fourth and three points behind Vermont for third. The #Seawolves still have conference games against Hartford, Vermont and UMBC remaining.
Honored for the Game-Winner: After scoring the golden goal in overtime to beat Albany on Oct. 4, Martin Giordano was named America East Player of the Week on Oct. 7. It was Giordano's first-ever Player of the Week honor after garnering one Rookie of the Week honor during his freshman campaign in 2012.
Player of the Week: Will Casey's 66th minute goal vs. Northeastern on Sept. 28 was the game-winner, and it led to his being named America East Player of the Week on Sept. 30. It was Casey's first-ever weekly honor, and he currently leads the team in goals (4) and points (8), which also both rank in the top 10 in America East.
Better Score First: Stony Brook is nearly unbeatable when it is the first team to score in a match. When the #Seawolves go up 1-0, they are 24-2-2 under head coach Ryan Anatol.
Rookie of the Week: After scoring his first collegiate goal in the first half against Sacred Heart on Aug. 30, Favio Sbarra was named America East Rookie of the Week on Sept. 3.
Welcome Everybody: The Seawolves have a lot of new faces on the roster in 2013 as they brought in 16 newcomers, including 13 true freshmen. The 16 newcomers represent a mix of talent across all positions and from numerous different parts of the world. The 16 newcomers are from six different countries (including the U.S.).
Preseason Pick: Despite losing seven letterwinners to graduation, including three of the top four scorers, the Seawolves are still highly regarded among the America East men's soccer coaches. Stony Brook was picked to finish second in the eight-team conference by the coaches in the preseason poll. The Seawolves received one first-place vote and finished second to defending America East tournament champion UMBC. Last season's regular season champion, Vermont, was third followed by Hartford, New Hampshire, Albany, Binghamton and league newcomer UMass Lowell.
Tough Schedule: The Seawolves annually challenge themselves against stiff competition, and 2013 will be no different. Stony Brook will play six opponents that finished in the top 75 in the NCAA RPI last season, including three teams (Northeastern, Drexel, UMBC) that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Seawolves themselves are a quality matchup for teams as they finished at No. 55 in the NCAA RPI, the highest finish since a program-best No. 45 in 2005.
Going for 4: The Seawolves are in search of their fourth America East conference championship in program history. Since joining the conference in 2001, the Seawolves have qualified for postseason play seven times, reached the semifinals six times, advanced to the title game three times and won all three. Stony Brook will look to gain home field advantage in postseason as the program is undefeated in America East Championship home games (6-0-2).
What a Pro: Former Seawolves All-American and three-time America East Midfielder of the Year Leonardo Fernandes has moved on to become the first Stony Brook men's soccer player to appear in an MLS game since Chris Megaloudis in 2008 (New York Red Bulls) and the first-ever to start an MLS game. After being selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Union, Fernandes won a spot on the roster and then made his first appearance on May 18, 2013 against Chicago. He then made three starts for the Union in early July, playing a career-high 86 minutes against Real Salt Lake on July 3.
Coach Anatol: The Seawolves are in good hands under third-year head coach Ryan Anatol, who has led Stony Brook to back-to-back 10-win seasons in his first two years and took the program to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. The NCAAs have been a staple in his coaching career. He went to the NCAA Tournament eight times as an assistant coach at South Florida and Akron, including an appearance in the quarterfinals in 2008.
Up Next: Stony Brook will wrap up its regular season home schedule Saturday, Nov. 2 against Vermont at 7 p.m.