The Seawolves were picked No. 14 in the Brine Media Preseason Poll. / Photo by Mehmet Temel

The Seawolves were picked No. 14 in the Brine Media Preseason Poll. (MEHMET TEMEL / THE STATESMAN)

For the second consecutive year, the Seawolves are ranked in the Brine Media Preseason Poll. They are coming off their best season in school history, where they finished 17-3 and won their first America East title.

They return seven starters and more than half of their defense, which set a NCAA Division I record for scoring defense (5.65). Also returning to the team will be goaltender Frankie Caridi, who led the nation in goals-against average (5.71) and save percentage (.530). She was named ILWomen Preseason All-American and is coming off a season where she was All-Region and first team All-Conference.

Sophomores Alyssa Fleming and Maegan Meritz are also returning to the team. Fleming was a Synapse All-Rookie, America East All-Rookie and second team All-Conference.

Three of the team’s top five scorers are also returning to the team. Midfielders Michelle Rubino (34), Amber Kupres (31) and Emily Mercier (28) contributed to a team who broke a school record for single-season goals with 298.

Rubino, a captain, leads the team in draw controls (57) and points (46) after helping Stony Brook break both single-season marks of 412 points and 260 goals. She also is fourth on Stony Brook’s career draw control list with 157.

Kupres had a game-high three goals in the 8-6 victory over Towson in the NCAA Tournament. She finished last season with 41 ground balls, the tenth most in single-season history.

The team also is bringing in 15 newcomers, including six former high school All-Americans.

Stony Brook is also looking to be ranked in one more poll, the IWLCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, in which they finished No. 11 last year after starting out No. 19.

Their first conference game is against UMBC at home on Saturday, March 29. They also take on 2013 Atlantic Sun champion Jacksonville at home on Friday, April 4. Earlier in the month the team was picked No. 12 in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll.

They open up play Feb. 15 at home against Bucknell at 1 p.m.