West Hartford, Conn. - The Stony Brook women's soccer team, road warriors in the America East Championship this year, came to Hartford and played outstanding defense while junior Larissa Nysch scored the game-winner to lift the Seawolves to a 1-0 win over the Hawks to win the conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
This is Stony Brook's first-ever America East Championship, and the team becomes the first No. 6 seed to claim the title in conference history. Stony Brook will learn its NCAA Tournament opponent in the selection show Monday at 4:30 p.m., live on NCAA.com.
Senior Sa'sha Kershaw (Baltimore, Md.) was named the America East Championship Most Outstanding Player and named to the All-Tournament team. She had a goal and an assist in the tournament and played outstanding midfield defense. Joining her on the All-Tournament team are junior Ahriel Fernandez (East Haven, Conn.), junior Ashley Castanio (Oceanside, N.Y.) and Nysch.
Head Coach Sue Ryan's Reaction "We couldn't be more excited to represent the America East in the NCAA Tournament going forward. Winning the championship is a testament to the leadership of our seniors and juniors and the depth of our team. One of the secrets to our success this year is we've been able to run many players against other teams and wear them down. That's what happened today. I'm very proud of our players' effort today."
In the 13th minute, freshman Kristen Baker had the ball on the far side of the field, and crossed it towards the middle towards Nysch. A Hartford defender tried to head the ball away from the box, but missed. Nysch received the ball and then put a swift kick onto it, and the ball found the top far corner of the net for the goal.
All day, the Seawolves kept Hartford at bay, allowing just two shots on goal, which Castanio made a monumental save on by reaching up and tipping the ball over the net in the second half with just 13:10 left in the second half.
News & Notes
Stony Brook (12-6-3) became the first No. 6 seed to win the conference crown. In the process, SB made Hartford just the third No. 1 seed to lose in the final.
Stony Brook knocked off the top three seeds in the tournament (Hartford, Maine, New Hampshire) to win the title.
The 12th win of the season sets a new program best since joining America East in 2001.
This was Stony Brook's first win over Hartford since Sept. 28, 2008, when the Seawolves won 1-0 at LaValle Stadium.
Stony Brook improved to 7-4-1 on the road this season, three of those wins coming in this tournament.
Up Next The first round of the NCAA Tournament comes this weekend Nov. 9-11. Find out where the Seawolves are headed on the NCAA Tournament selection show Monday at 4:30 p.m., live on NCAA.com.