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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Men’s Lacrosse Preview: Gunning For A Conference Title, Team Set To Open Season at LaValle on Saturday

Stony Brook’s men’s lacrosse team is prepared to build on the success of last season to capture its first America East Championship since 2002.

The team finished the regular season 8-5 overall and 4-1 in the America East, its best conference record since 2006. After sharing the 2009 regular season title with UMBC, the first in Stony Brook’s program history, the Seawolves lost to the Retrievers in the conference championship game.

“We feel like we have a good combination of talent, experience and motivation because we made it to the championship game last season,” head coach Rick Sowell said.

Stony Brook is returning 23 letterwinners and all but one starter.

“When you return most of your team, it’s an automatic goal to try and get back to the championship,” Sowell said.

A school-record four players were named to the All-America East first team, including team captains Jordan McBride (New Westminster, Canada) and Steven Waldeck (Levittown, N.Y.).

Now in his junior year, McBride is poised to lead the Seawolves to success. Last season, he earned All-America honors for the second straight year. He led Stony Brook and the America East in goals and was second in the nation in goals per game, with an average of 2.80.

Waldeck returns after recording his best season in a Seawolves uniform in 2009. He was selected as Stony Brook’s Male Athlete of the Year. He led the team with a career-high 96 ground balls and was seventh in the nation in ground balls per game at 6.40.

Junior Kevin Crowley (New Westminster, Canada) also returns after an outstanding season as a sophomore at Stony Brook. Crowley was second on the team, in both goals (28) and assists (23), and first in points (51). He finished 13th in the nation in points per game with an average of 3.40 and was named to the All-America East first team for the second straight year.

To join the veterans, there are six new additions to the team. Coach Sowell said he will be leaning towards a veteran lineup, but he named freshman Joseph Laforet (Ontario, Canada) and transfer Tyler McCabe (Coram, N.Y.) as two newcomers that could be seeing playing time this season.

After finishing the 2009 season ranked #20 in the USILA Coaches Poll, Stony Brook will be facing three top-ten teams in the first half of the season. They will continue to build their rivalry with the Virginia Cavaliers, as they face them early in the season for the fourth straight year. This year also sees the additions of St. John’s and 2009 national runner-up Cornell to the non-conference schedule.

“We have a tough schedule before we even play against our league,” laughed Coach Sowell. “But if we play good lacrosse, there’s nobody on our schedule we can’t beat.”

The Seawolves play three out of five  conference games on the road, beginning with a rematch of last season’s championship game against UMBC. According to the preseason coaches’ poll released on Tuesday, Stony Brook and UMBC are the co-favorites to win the America East championship.

The Seawolves will open the 2010 season  against Siena on Saturday afternoon. Face-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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