Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (21) Stony Brook

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2012 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 61 teams and their 2012 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Stony Brook Seawolves

2012 Record: 7-10 (4-1, America East)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): 0.03 (35)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -0.41 (35)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: -30.25%

2012 Efficiency Margin: 3.36 (21)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: -3.24

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • The America East -- very quietly, because it was given orphan treatment in 2012 -- held two of the better offensive teams in the country in Hartford and Stony Brook. The Seawolves were arguably a little behind their conference mates from Connecticut but were still a fairly imposing unit: Finishing the year ranked 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency, Stony Brook's offense was a model of unity (sharing the ball at a rate that saw the team end the season ranked 11th in offensive assist rate) and shooting acumen (only five teams eclipsed the Seawolves raw shooting percentage of 32.43). The best part of Stony Brook's ninja offensive was the balance -- Mike Rooney, Jeff Tundo, Robbie Campbell, and Russ Bonanno were all as likely to make the scoreboard blink as they were to help others abuse opposing goalies. This leveraged approach put opposing defenses in positions where they couldn't succeed, evidenced none better than in the Seawolves' defeat of Albany in the America East final. The strength of the opposing defenses that Stony Brook saw takes a little shine off of all this (the Seawolves' slate only ranked 46th in the metric), but it doesn't eliminate the fact that this was a powerful and dangerous offense that could run with most of the country.

III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

  • Here's a great way to ruin things: Have a great offense and never give it the damn ball. On the year Stony Brook drew at only 37.22 percent, a mark that ranked 58th in the country. Mike Andreassi and J.J. Laforet were the primary drivers of the Seawolves' face-off woes, both probably wishing they were puppy trainers rather than face-off men given the adorable frustration associated with teaching puppies compared to the wind sprint frustration associated with getting dominated at the dot. This woeful effort on the whistle helped Stony Brook to the fifth-worst possession margin mark in the nation at an almost four possession deficit per 60 minutes of play. Had the Seawolves been able to draw at the national average -- around 50 percent -- Stony Brook actually moves into a positive possession position, about two extra opportunities per 60 minutes of play. That's pretty significant for a team that scored a goal on just about every third possession they'd have.

IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .

  • Expectations are a pain in the ass. Rick Sowell created a bit of a monster on Long Island with the last few teams that he had before departing for Navy; Jim Nagle, as he is now on the payroll, inherited all of this when he left Colgate for the North Shore. It's not that Stony Brook necessarily had a bad season in 2012 -- the Seawolves did win the league and headed off to the NCAA Tournament -- it's just that if Stony Brook wants to step forward and become a consistent top-15 type of program (which is possible given their location and support), 7-10 and without a win against a team that finished the year with a record above .500 isn't going to cut it. Nagle has some nice pieces to work with in 2013, but the team needs to learn how to win like one of the big dogs if it wants to run with them.

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