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    Men’s Lacrosse Season Preview

    After breaking into the national rankings five times last year and peaking at #18 in the nation, the Seawolves will look to build on a rising program. They were picked fourth in the preseason America East coaches poll.

    The Seawolves six teams in the national preseason top 20 poll, two of which are in the American East. They will travel to #3 Virginia, #13 Delaware, #19 UMBC, and #12 Albany, and play host to # 16 Denver and Long Island rival #15 Hofstra. The Hofstra game is on Apr. 22 at 7:00 p.m. SB has a 2-2 record against them in the past four years.

    The Seawolves lost 12 seniors from last year, but have 11 this season who Head Coach Rick Sowell hopes will play a more significant role. The team will be led by the seniors who have all played significant minutes last year, and for many, since their sophomore years. “We have reason for optimism,” coach Sowell said. “We are returning 11 seniors.”

    They will be strong on the attack and at the midfield position, led by midfielder’s Owen Adams, Ryan Hughes, and Rhys Duch. “A lot of our success depends on those guys,” Sowell said. Like midfielders of the past, these players are expected to play both ways. “We’re trying to be a little old school; these guys are as athletic as heck.”

    On attack, the team is led by seniors Bobby Trenkle and pre-season All League Player Bo Tripodi. Freshmen Jordan McBride, from Canada, will also see significant playing time. With the combined talent of the midfielders and these attackers, the Seawolves will be looking to play a fast transition game, from the midfielders to the attackers. “Man, if we can get these guys the ball, they can score it,” Sowell said.

    If there are concerns for this team, they lay in the defensive zone. “We have both youth and inexperience at face-off and in goal,” Sowell said. Two sophomore goaltenders are fighting for a starting spot, but both have very little playing experience at the colligate level, as neither has started a game. In front of the net, the defense is lead by sophomore Steven Waldeck. “He was probably the MVP of our team last year,” Sowell said. In the face-off circle, the two specialists are both freshmen.

    In Sowell’s second year as the head coach, he sees improvement in the program. “The team has adjusted to me and bought into our philosophy.” After four consecutive winning seasons, Sowell believes that the team is heading in the right direction. “This can be a successful program playing at a high level,” he said. “That’s why I’m here.”

    There are 57 teams in Division I lacrosse. “The sport is evolving,” he said. “As good as lacrosse is on Long Island, it’s expanding everywhere.” While the top programs will still get their elite recruits, there are more quality players for other programs to reel in. “It might take a little longer to catch them, but we have all the tools and ingredients to be as good as them,” Sowell said.

    He also drove home the point that preseason rankings mean very little. “It’s not what you do in February,” he said, “but what you do in May.” Last season, conference rival Albany was ranked outside the top 20 in the national preseason poll. By May, they were ranked fourth in the nation. He also pointed out the parity in the conference. Last season, Stony Brook beat Binghamton 9-8 while losing to Albany 14-13. Meanwhile, Binghamton beat Albany, one of only 3 losses for the Great Danes last year.

    “We have enough talent if we stay healthy,” Sowell said.

    The team’s 11 seniors give hope to Sowell that the team will play well this season. Losing those 11 players next season will leave the program in transition, but as for the present he is optimistic. “There’s no reason we can’t be competitive. What that means, we’ll find out soon.”

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