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Seawolves’ senior goalkeeper emerging as one of the best in the game

Frankie Caridi is the best women’s lacrosse goalie in the country, and the statistics show it. And it does not hurt to have a coach that believes it.

“She does it all for us,” head coach Joe Spallina said. “She’s vocal. She’s a leader. She’s a team captain. She’s an unbelievable stopper.”

The star netminder started her lacrosse journey when she was about six years old. With two older brothers playing the sport, it was only natural for little Frankie to follow suit. Everything after that is history.

A Long Island native, Caridi graduated from Commack High School and headed over to Adelphi University, where she went to work for coach Joe Spallina. At the Division II level, she made her mark right away, capturing every accolade for her position, from Rookie of the Year to Goalie of the Year.  At that point, although Adelphi was great to her, it was time for the next challenge.

In 2012, Caridi became a Seawolf, moving along to the Division I level with her coach. Playing 10 games in her first season in red, Caridi had a solid year, saving over 43 percent of the shots she faced, while allowing an average of 8.18 goals per game. Nobody would argue with her performance, but her 2013 season blew not only coach Spallina, but the whole country, away.

Save percentage champion. Goals against average champion. Those two titles have quite the nice tone to them. Who did they belong to? Frankie Caridi.

If somebody happened to ask you who the Synapse Sports Third Team All-American was in 2013, what would the answer be? The senior Seawolf had a fantastic season protecting Stony Brook’s net, and has one more to prove to the rest of the country that there should be no questions about who the very best is.

For many, receiving the honor of being named to the “Inside Lacrosse” Preseason Second All-American team would bring a lot of pressure. According to Caridi, “I try to forget about that and just play my game, [the] preseason is [the] preseason.”

For Caridi, the past is in the past, as she said, “I feel I still have everything to prove, last year is last year. This is a new year with new goals for myself and the team as a whole.”

Arguably one of the most important traits for any athlete is their level when it matters most under pressure, especially in the playoffs.

 In coach Spallina’s mind, Caridi does the opposite of folding under the tension, saying, “the thing about Frankie that any coach is going to love is the bigger the situation, the better she is.”

It would have been tough for Stony Brook to take down Towson University in last year’s NCAA tournament, as the Seawolves took out the Tigers by a nail biting eight-six margin.

Although Caridi still patrols the net for Stony Brook, the Seawolves did lose key pieces, with star midfielder Demmianne Cook graduating after leading the country in goals.

About the big loss, Caridi said, “Of course we lost a lot of talent last year after Demmi and Claire left, but we have a lot of fresh new talent that came in, and we are much deeper than we have been in the past.”

With a tough road ahead, Caridi has full confidence that this year’s Seawolves still have what it takes to compete at a top level. After being ranked 12th and 14th in the coaches’ and media polls, respectively, the Seawolves are still near the top of the country.

Caridi said, “This group is all focused on the same goal and that’s making it even deeper into the NCAAs than we did last year.”

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