NCAA Preview: No. 4 Stony Brook
by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
The February issue of Lacrosse Magazine features an extensive NCAA lacrosse preview, from Division I through Division III, plus in-depth features on the top-ranked Syracuse men and the snake-bitten Cal women. Lacrosse Magazine Online (laxmagazine.com) examines the key players, strengths, weaknesses, best- and worst-case scenarios, sleepers, what's new, what's not and rival coaches' takes on each of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I men's and women's lacrosse.
NO. 4 STONY BROOK
Kevin Crowley is "the best midfielder in the country, bar none," according to one rival coach.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
Head Coach: Rick Sowell
Conference: America East
2010 Records: 13-4, 5-0
2011 Opener: Saturday, Feb. 26 | Schedule
M Kevin Crowley (Sr.)
The reigning USILA Player of the Year and Stony Brook's first first-team All-American set a school-record with 51 goals as a junior and added 26 assists to lead the nation in points per game (4.53). Need we say more?
A Jordan McBride (Sr.)
McBride, the Canadian responsible for getting Crowley recruited, has contributed on the field, too. He's scored at least 40 goals in three straight seasons, and started all but one game in his Stony Brook career. He can grow his school goal-scoring record.
M Adam Rand (Sr.)
Ranked third in the nation in face-off percentage last season (61.6) and will be counted on to win more, especially with key wingman Steven Waldeck graduated.
• Veteran, productive offense
• No Steven Waldeck, the long stick midfielder whom Sowell called “no doubt the heart and soul,” of the 2010 team. He was an emotional leader, a leader in ground balls and an effective face-off wingman.
• Inexperienced defense and relatively unproven goaltender
The offense picks up where it left off, and is as productive if not moreso than in 2010. The defense comes along and gels come the second half of the regular season. They find ways to replace Waldeck.
The offense doesn’t produce as much last year, faceoff win percentage isn’t as strong, and the defense never really clicks. America East championship still possible, but not a deep postseason run.
D Jak Wawrzyniak (Fr.)
The Manchester, England, native will be a 6-4, 220-pound 20-year old freshman at the start of the season and could be a big help for the new-look defense. He spent last year at Avon Old Farms (Conn.) and in the summer was the youngest player on Team England at the World Games. “He’s physical and a competitor,” Crowley said. Sowell, a Team USA assistant, was impressed with his play at the World Games.
RIVAL COACH'S TAKE
"They're a dangerous team, and they return just about everybody. Crowley, we felt he was the best midfielder in the country bar-none. He's big. He never leaves the field. He's a special player."
"They play a very unorthodox, to a degree, style of play because of the Canadians they incorporate and the tempo they play at was kind of a hectic pace. They're going to be dangerous. They're definitely going to want to score goals, but we thought one of their keys last year was the longstick middie, the kid (Steven) Waldeck, who was fantastic. Who steps up and fills that role and provides that leadership in the defensive end is going to be interesting."
Junior defenseman Kyle Moeller, a transfer from Manhattan. He was on the MAAC All-Defensive team as a sophomore and had 74 ground balls and 56 caused turnovers in two seasons. "He can be a weapon with his ability to take the ball off people," Sowell said. Moeller is likely one of two new starters on close defense with junior Savaughn Greene.
The offense. The Seawolves return the same players from their first line attack and midfield units for the third straight season.
Combined goals scored in 2010 by Crowley, McBride and Compitello – the three 2011 team captains — good for eight total goals per game.
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