Then-Adelphi women's lacrosse head coach Joe Spallina holds up the...

Then-Adelphi women's lacrosse head coach Joe Spallina holds up the national Trophy and three fingers for winning three in a row as his team defeated Limestone 17-4. (May 22, 2011) Credit: Joe Rogate

They became the Terrific Triple in leading the Adelphi women's lacrosse team to its third straight NCAA Division II title. Now, attacker Claire Petersen, midfielder Demmianne Cook and goalie Frankie Caridi are transferring to D-I Stony Brook to play for Joe Spallina, their former coach at Adelphi, who was hired by SBU two months ago.

Spallina made the announcement official Thursday, but the idea of following Spallina had been in the making for quite awhile, Petersen said. "I've been thinking about it over the last two years when coach has been getting these job offers," the junior attacker from Wantagh said. "It's not like it was out of the blue. We did everything we could do at the D-II level, there wasn't much else to do at that level so it made sense to follow him to D-I. To have coach, Demmianne and Frankie, who are like my backbone, on the field or the sideline with me will be great. It's almsot like we are being traded rather than transferring."

Petersen, the Division II player of the year, tallied 182 points on 57 goals and 125 assists last season. "One hundred and 82 points is one hundred and 82 points whether it's Division I, II or III," Spalllina said. "The bottom line is that she's a player. There's no doubt in my mind that her abilities are going to translate to the Division I level. And Frankie is a star, she's going to be in goal from day 1. And to be able to add a midfielder like Demmainne, she is just a game-changer. She's a big time Division I athlete."

Cook, a junior from Smithtown East, had 45 goals and 12 assists, while Caridi, a sophomore from Commack, allowed only 5.91 goals a game.

Emily Mercier, a junior midfielder who had seven goals and two assists at Adelphi last season, was also transferring to Stony Brook.

Adelphi athletic director Robert Hartwell did not stand in the way of releasing the players, saying, "If the student-athletes feel it is in their best interests to go somewhere else, perform somewhere else, get an education somewhere else, Adelphi has never stood in anybody's way from a personal choice. Were we disappointed? Yes, we were disappointed. I really think, to be honest, Adelphi really outdid itself as an institution and created the best possible atmosphere for athletics. I think our players will segue easily in Division I lacrosse. There's no question about it. I wish them nothing but the best. They are lovely young adults, talented. Joey is a great guy, great coach. They are moving on, we're rooting for them. We'll be there cheering for them."

Spallina also announced commitments from top high school recruits including Michelle Rubino (Comsewogue), Ava Fitzgerald (Calhoun) and Julie Nolan (Rocky Point). He now believes Stony Brook could contend in the America East next season, saying, "This definitely without a doubt accelerates and changes expectations. It excites me."