Stony Brook midfielder Mike Andreassi practices at LaValle Stadium on...

Stony Brook midfielder Mike Andreassi practices at LaValle Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Stony Brook junior midfielder Mike Andreassi was a high school lacrosse player watching from the bleachers in May 2010 when Stony Brook lost by a goal to then-No. 1 Virginia in an NCAA quarterfinal.

On Saturday he'll be on the field when the Seawolves host top-ranked Maryland.

"Just watching games like that definitely gets the thought in the back of your head, 'this could happen, we could do this,' " said Andreassi, who attended Sachem North. "You have to have that mind-set throughout the week."

This is the third time Stony Brook (2-2) has played ACC power Maryland (4-0), and the Seawolves are dismissing the 16-4 and 13-7 losses. "I feel like previously we weren't kind of all in," coach Jim Nagle said. "We're starting to get there where we're excited about it and the kids are trying to figure out how to do it."

One big reason for added optimism is the emergence of freshman faceoff specialist Kyle Rowe, who has a .648 winning percentage. He will oppose Maryland midfielder Charlie Raffa (.610), a St. Anthony's grad.

"I think Kyle will win some and our main concern is going to be letting Kyle do his thing," Nagle said, "See what he can come up with but not give them transition off the faceoff . . . Do your best every faceoff, but mainly we're coaching the wings to make sure that if [Rowe] does lose, we're not going to bleed to death there by giving up transition. We have confidence he will be able to compete at the X."

Said Rowe, "Whenever I go against someone, I never try to sell myself short and say 'I'm a freshman, so it doesn't matter how I do' because I think I can compete with anyone."

Maryland's offense is led by Mike Chanenchuk, another St. Anthony's product, who has 12 goals and five assists. Matt Rambo (10 goals, four assists) and Jay Carlson (nine goals) add to the powerful offense. Stony Brook's top goal-scorer is Brody Eastwood with 14.

Andreassi said the team is "definitely ready for the challenge. There's no game that can't be won, ACC or not. We really don't think about that. We could definitely beat these guys. We have everything to gain, they have everything to lose."

Nagle said the game is "a no- lose proposition for us. It's another game in the early season, a fun opportunity for our guys to go out and do something they'll remember the rest of their lives. If we don't get it, we've got another game on Tuesday."

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