The #16 ranked Fairfield University Lacrosse Stags will travel to play Stony Brook University Lacrosse Seawolves on Saturday February 9th at 12 Noon. This game will be the first game of the season for 2013 for both teams. Fairfield ended the 2012 season with a 12 -4 record and lost in the ECAC Conference Championship Game against the eventual National Champion Loyola of Maryland. The Seawolves finished with a 7 -10 record and first in the America East Conference and qualified for the NCAA Tournament and lost in the first round. The preseason poll for America East teams projects them to finish second in the conference.
The Seawolves are coached by Jim Nagle and he is in his second year at the helm. His second year presents a lot of challenges. His team only returns two of his seven leading scorers from 2012 and the 36 man roster is split between 50% new players and 50% returning players from 2012. The team will have one of the youngest teams in Division 1 with 17 freshmen and 24 underclassmen.
Sophomore Mike Rooney who was the America East Rookie of the Year for 2012 leads the returning scorers with 34 goals and 47 total points. Senior Jeff Tundo, a first team all conference selection who was drafted by the NY Lizards of the MLL, tallied 17 goals and 28 assists in his first season with Stony Brook. Expected to make an immediate impact will be Under Armour All American Freshman Matt Schultz who was a star at Smithtown, NY HS with 65 goals and 25 assists in his senior season. Who will also score for the Seawolves in 2013? The coaches will mix and match to find a winning combination. Junior attack Kyle Zorn will get a chance to start along with Freshmen Brody Eastwood, Jeff Reh and Jake Sichenzia. At midfield will be Juniors Zach Smith and Cole Millican, 6 goals and 7 assists in 2012, and Sophomores Mike Andressi, 4 goals and 3 assists in 2012, and Pat Day along with Freshmen Chris Hughes, Challen Rogers, the #4 ranked by Inside Lacrosse Canadian Junior (who is big boy at 6’4″ and 205 pounds), while classmates Dylan Curry, Reed McLean and Lucas Rock will fight for fighting time. The other Canadian on the team who worries Coach Copelan is Conner Duddy. The Canadians play box lacrosse in the winter and that gives them the skills to score goals in tight quarters. Stony Brook had troubles in the face off circle in 2012, finishing with a 37% winning percentage as a team. Senior long stick middie JJ Lafort, 4 goals and 54 groundballs in 2012, had a winning percentage of 41% in the face off circle and six other players handled the face off duties in 2012. Junior Zach Smith and Freshman Frank Lucatuorto are scheduled to manage the draws to start the 2013 season. Goalkeeping was a steady spot for the Seawolves in 2012 but Sean Brady has graduated. Sophomore Pat McGushin and Freshman Dan Shaughnessary will split time at the start of the season.
The preseason report published yesterday outlined the top players for the Fairfield Stags. I fully expect the Stags for score goals in bunches and hope that face off specialist Michael Roe returns to 100% health soon. Goal keeping and a young defense will have to come together quickly and I think a team like Stony Brook should be a good test and a chance to jell together before some tougher tests come along in the later in the season. Hard to write the first preseason report for the first game without any real statistics to fall back on and compare.
The weather tomorrow and Saturday is very questionable. Heavy snows are predicted for the entire Tri State area with the storm arriving tomorrow day and continuing in the night until Saturday morning. It might be hard to get the game in.
I checked the Stony Brook web site and the game will be on game tracker. Game tracker allows you to follow the game on line. Here is the link for the Stony Brook Game Tracker:
But… this game tracker appears to be a premium plan and seems to require a fee. The Fairfield Lacrosse web site does not advertise that game tracker is an option. If this changes, will send a post/e-mail blast.
Please stay safe with this winter blast that is predicted for this weekend if you live in the Northeast. Roger Yergeau ’73