Point 1: Baseball locks up regular season title.
Heading into the weekend, Stony Brook’s baseball team (29-14, 16-4 AE) had the opportunity to clinch the top seed in the upcoming America East tournament. The honor required a weekend sweep of the Seawolves’ conference rival, the UMass Lowell River Hawks.
Without hesitation the Seawolves displayed their dominance by taking both games of the Saturday doubleheader, 5-3 and 9-3. To follow up the encouraging start to the weekend, Stony Brook breezed by the River Hawks on Sunday 9-0.
The weekend sweep earned Stony Brook its second-straight top seed in the America East tournament. Even with the top seed locked in, Stony Brook will have little time to take a breath. The Seawolves will look to avenge their championship round defeat to the Binghamton Bearcats.
The ultimate goal in the coming weeks will be for Stony Brook to earn a spot in the NCAA Baseball tournament. In 2012, the Seawolves reached the tournament and left their mark. After a stunning victory against LSU in the super regionals the Cinderella headlines were all over and Stony Brook was the team to follow.
The Seawolves have dominated the America East conference this year, similar to how they controlled the conference during their Cinderella-run in 2012. This year, however, they will have experience of playing on the big stage from senior Cole Peragine and junior Nick Brass. Both players were there in the Super Regionals and their leadership may be an integral part to Stony Brook’s run this year.
The Seawolves will first have to win the America East Tournament, then anything is possible with an NCAA bid.
-By Drew Ciampa, Staff Writer
Point 2: This was the year for softball to win.
The 2015 America East Softball Championship ended in similar fashion to the previous year: the top-seeded Stony Brook Seawolves fell to the No. 3 team twice in the championship games.
For Stony Brook softball, this season might have been the best one to win.
Three of the team’s best players—pitcher Allison Cukrov and outfielders Bria Green and Shayla Giosia—are graduating in just a couple of weeks. Without this powerful trio, the Seawolves may find it much harder to win the America East title.
Green and Giosia both had the best seasons of their collegiate careers. Green batted .435, got on base at a .520 pace and slugged a whopping .932. Giosia’s final line for the season was an impressive .382/.420/.707.
Cukrov went 14-5 with a 2.93 ERA with 119 strikeouts and 108 hits in 129 innings pitched. Stony Brook is also losing Lauren Kamachi, a valuable player who batted .272 on the season.
This year’s Seawolves topped the conference in runs scored, RBI, home runs and total bases. It will be a daunting feat for next year’s team to put up similar numbers. Do not count them out next year yet, though. There is still a great deal of talent on the roster, including some promising young players.
Freshman Chelsea Evans and sophomore Lexie Shue will be back next year to continue their careers. The two infielders batted .330 and .294 this year, respectively. Pitcher Jane Sallen will also be coming back in 2016. Her numbers improved drastically between 2014 and 2015, so keep an eye on her to be a game changer next year.
-By Dylan Moore, Staff Writer
Point 3: Women’s lacrosse disappoints in NCAA Second Round matchup against Princeton.
In the penultimate home game of the season, with a chance to advance to the national quarterfinals on the line, the Seawolves offense played miserably in their 8-4 loss to the Princeton Tigers.
The dynamic duo of Kylie Ohlmiller and Courtney Murphy scored one goal apiece, season-lows for both. The Taylor Ranftle and Amber Kupres tandem that had been so effective in the championship game against Albany was nearly invisible, and captain Michelle Rubino did not even fire a shot attempt in her final game wearing a Stony Brook jersey.
Aesthetically, the offense was as ugly as it has been all season. The ball was either stagnant or kept to the outside. There was a lack of cutting action to the net to develop high-level scoring opportunities.
Princeton goaltender Ellie DeGarmo played a fantastic game between the pipes for the Tigers, saving six of the 10 Seawolves shots on goal.
She had quick hands to deny the upper half of the net, stopping Ohlmiller from point blank multiple times.
The Tigers game-plan was clear from early on, as they stalled on their offensive possessions to waste clock and took away the center area of the eight-meter arc defensively to shut down Murphy, the third-leading goal scorer in the NCAA this season. Going into next year, the offense will lose some firepower with the graduations of midfielders Rubino and Kupres.
-By Skyler Gilbert, Staff Writer