A bevy of freshmen have keyed the offense and helped the 14th ranked Seawolves start the season with two resounding victories, the latest a 13-0 win over Monmouth in women's lacrosse Wednesday at LaValle Stadium.
Junior Michelle Rubino led the scoring with four goals and three assists and freshman Kristin Yevoli had three goals for her first collegiate hat trick. Two other freshmen, Alyssa Guido and Dorrien Van Dyke, contributed two goals apiece. Junior Amber Kupres scored twice.
Yevoli opened the scoring at 26:17 of the first half on a pass from Rubino. Kupres, Van Dyke, Rubino and Guido followed and it was 5-0 by halftime. Stony Brook outshot Monmouth, an NCAA playoff team last season, 32-4, for the game. Goalie Frankie Caridi needed just one save for the shutout, the first in program history.
"The freshmen came with a lot of energy and they compete for practice and really made everyone else step up their game,'" Yevoli said. "Everyone's fighting for a spot to get on the field now and we just make everyone play better. We all want to play with a sense of purpose and we all want to get on the field, we want to make each other better, we want to win the America East and we just play with a lot of heart all the time.'"
Guido added, "We worked really hard, the freshmen, we know after losing so many girls last year [to graduation] that we had to work even harder to make up for the loss of players.'"
Stony Brook won the season opener, 18-1, over Bucknell with freshman Courtney Murphy scoring seven goals, Van Dyke five and Yevoli one. Freshmen have scored 20 of the team's 31 goals.
The freshmen will get a big test Saturday when Stony Brook plays at No. 15 Notre Dame.
"It is a very big game for us,'" Guido said. "It's the first game against a big team, so everybody is going to have their jitters but I think everything is going to go well, we're going to still prove ourselves, play the same way we've been playing.'"
Coach Joe Spallina expects the first-year players to help Stony Brook prevail.
"There's a mental aspect that's going to be involved," he said. "It really doesn't matter what it says on the front of their shirt, we've got to play the game that we play. I'm not going to ignore it and act like it doesn't exist. That stigma is there.
"Now is not the time for excuses. We want to be considered an elite program and elite team in the country. We're not playing their football team, basketball team or their hockey team. We've got to go beat a team that we're better than at their own place. I'm sure not many times Stony Brook has gone into Notre Dame in any sports and been considered the favorite going in . . . We're going to pin our ears back and continue doing what we do.'"