Fall Snapshot: Stony Brook Seawolves

(Photo Courtesy of Stony Brook Athletics)

Welcome to the Fall Snapshot series. Throughout the fall I will be taking an early look at all 75 DI men’s college lacrosse teams and giving a snapshot of where each is heading into the 2023 season.

Head Coach: Anthony Gilardi (Fourth Season, 2020-Current)

Stony Brook 2022 Record: 9-5 (4-2 America East)

Key Departures: Kevin Mack (A), Mike McCannell (M), Jacob Williams (D), Anthony Palma (G)

Key Returners: Dylan Pallonetti (A), Matt Anderson (M), Renz Conlon (FO), David Miele-Estrella (SSDM), Michael Sabella (D)

Transfer Additions: Nick Dupuis (A, UMBC), Jonathan Huber (A, Stony Brook), Blake Behlen (A, LIU), Ariel DeJesus (M, Nassau CC), Dylan McDermott (LSM, Hofstra), Tynan Hillery (D, Catholic), Andrew Brust (G, St. Joseph’s College)

During the 2022 season, Stony Brook was one of the better mid-major programs in college lacrosse as they went 9-5 overall, 4-2 in the America East, and put up strong fights against eventual Championship Weekend attendee Rutgers as well as Brown, who also made the NCAA Tournament. UAlbany and eventual league champion Vermont were the only conference teams to beat the Seawolves.

Stony Brook finished second in the conference standings, but was held out of the postseason due to the school announcing its move from the America East and to the CAA at the end of the year.

Heading into the 2023 season and into its CAA era, Stony Brook will be looking to continue the success it has maintained over the years and look to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. And like always, the Seawolves appear to have the talent to get the task done.

Burning Questions

Who Starts in Cage?

For two seasons, Anthony Palma occupied the starting position at goalie for the Seawolves. Palma started all 14 games in 2021 and 154 saves with a 51.7% save percentage. He started all 12 games in which he played last spring and recorded 128 saves with a 51% save percentage. Now having moved on, the Seawolves will be looking to find its next starter in between the pipes.

Stony Brook has a four-man goalie room, which includes two returners and two newcomers. The newcomers include St. Joseph’s College (DIII) transfer Andrew Brust and true freshman Tommy Wilk. Brust comes to Stony Brook following a four-year stint as the starter for the Golden Eagles. He 178 saves with a 60.5% save percentage last spring and was named the Skyline Conference Defensive Player of The Year for a second consecutive season.

Returning is sophomore Jamison MacLachlan and junior Nick Squicciarini. MacLachlan played in five games last season and started each of the final three contests of the year. He recorded 33 saves with a 50% save percentage on the year and was named an America East All-Rookie selection. Squicciarini, who came in from LIU ahead of last season, played the second half against NJIT and made four saves.

Another Year, Another Heavily Transfer Impacted Offense?

In 2021, redshirt freshman Dylan Pallonetti led the Stony Brook offense with 55 points (36G/19A) and was named both the America East Rookie of The Year and Offensive Player of The Year. The Seawolves’ star had transferred in from Maryland following the 2020 spring. Last season, Kevin Mack led the Seawolves in points with 53 off 27 goals and 26 assists. He was a grad transfer from Michigan.

Heading into the 2023 season, Pallonetti (34G/15A) returns, along with fellow top five point-getters from a year ago in graduate student Matt Anderson (25G/9A) and junior Noah Armitage (25G/4A), and plenty of others. However, this offense also adds multiple notable transfers once again. That begs the question as to how much of an impact those additions will make.

Those three impact offensive transfers all come at the attack position as Jonathan Huber comes in as a grad transfer from St. John’s while Nick Dupuis and Blake Behlen come in as a junior and senior from UMBC and LIU. Huber had 40 goals and six assist for the Red Storm last spring an All-Big East Second Team selection. Behlen put up 36 goals and 20 assist in 2022 for the Sharks and was named an All-NEC Second team selectin. Dupuis had a 39-point 2021 campaign for UMBC and played just four games for the Retrievers last spring before leaving the porgram.

Does The Man-Down Defense Improve?

One of the weaker points for Stony Brook last season was its man-down defense. The Seawolves ranked 64th nationally in man-down defense as they allowed 24 extra man goals on 53 attempts, giving their opponents a 45% success rate when man-up.

Stony Brook’s numbers were even worse later in the year as UAlbany (4-6), UMBC (3-6), and Vermont (5-11) combined to go 12-for-23 on man-up against Stony Brook. That is a combined 52% success rate in such situations for those three teams against the Seawolves last season.

Undoubtedly, Stony Brook will be looking to clean up its game in that area heading into the 2023 season.

Potential Breakout Player

Ben Morschauser, Midfield, Junior

Part of the Seawolves’ defensive midfield corp last season, Morschauser recorded 16 ground balls and six caused turnovers while also tallying five points off three goals and two assists. With Chris Merle gone, 2023 could be a year where Morschauser takes a big step and could be one of the Seawolves’ most important players in between the boxes.

Freshman Class

Stony Brook brings in a 17-man freshman class with its 2022 recruiting efforts. It is an offensive-heavy class with 11 players on that end of the field.

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