Monday, November 14, 2011

SBU soccer looks to step up in NCAAs (Newsday)

This is NCAA Tournament week at Stony Brook. It started Sunday when the men's soccer team won the America East title and continued Monday when the Seawolves learned they will play at Northeast Conference champion Monmouth at 7 p.m. Thursday.  On Saturday, SBU's football team will attempt to earn its first postseason bid when it hosts Liberty in the regular-season finale. The winner gets the Big South title and an automatic berth in the FCS playoffs.
The soccer team is making its third trip to the tournament and second in three seasons. The Seawolves are led by juniors Leonardo Fernandes and Berian Gobeil, who have totaled 16 goals and 10 assists. Eleven players remain from the 2009 team that lost a first-round game, 1-0, in double overtime at Brown.
"It was a tough loss,'' junior Raphael Abreu said. "It was tough to go out that way.''
Stony Brook (10-6-3) never has played Monmouth (14-5-1), which is coached by former Adelphi player Robert McCourt. Monmouth is making its third straight appearance in the tournament. The winner faces Connecticut on Sunday.
"From two years ago, our team has grown tremendously, not just soccer-wise, maturity-wise,'' Stony Brook senior defender Kyle McTurk said.
First-year coach Ryan Anatol expected nothing less than the conference title, saying, "I knew it was a team that had a lot of talent, that it had gone to the tournament, that it was a young team, so for sure I knew the potential was there.''