Stony Brook played 11 home games last season, anchoring roots on the North Shore of Long Island to the tune of over 68 percent of their contests in 2014. It was an impressive feat of schedule construction for the Seawolves, exacerbated by the fact that Stony Brook was tabbed to host the America East Tournament last spring. Unfortunately, the concentration of home games for the Seawolves didn't result in high-grade combustion: Despite having a home field advantage ranked fourth nationally, Stony Brook went just 6-5 in its games played at LaValle Stadium.
In 2015, the Seawolves will -- again! -- attempt to ruin the American transportation industry and stay in their comfort zone: Stony Brook will play at least 10 home games next spring (the number may rise if the Seawolves finish in the pole position in the America East), a value that constitutes over 62 percent of the team's total dates for next season. Long Island is apparently Valhalla.
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
February 14: at St. John's; February 22: Duke; February 28: Fairfield; March 8: at Rutgers; March 14: Albany; March 21: UMBC; April 4: Princeton; April 12: Lehigh
Stony Brook went 6-10 in 2014 and part of the reason for that was that the Seawolves struggled against the best teams on their schedule last spring: Against opponents ranked in the top 33 in adjusted Pythagorean win expectation, Stony Brook went 1-7, defeating only Rutgers. The team's average margin of defeat in these games was three goals, suffering defeats against these opponents by fewer than three tallies on four occasions -- against Fairfield, St. John's, UMBC, and Albany (in the rivals' second meeting of the year).
In 2015, Stony Brook will meet eight opponents in the regular season that finished the 2014 season ranked in the top 33 in adjusted Pythagorean win expectation, providing an opportunity to the Seawolves for vengeance and violence. The pool of "top" opponents is similar to the crew that the team saw last season, swapping out Maryland for Princeton and Lehigh. These are challenging opponents for Stony Brook, and how the Seawolves perform on these dates will help define the program's position in the national hierarchy.
Dress in Layers
February 7: Manhattan; February 14: at St. John's; February 20: NJIT; February 22: Duke; February 28: Fairfield
That's a five-game February for Stony Brook with four of the dates happening on Long Island. In February 2014, Smithtown -- which isn't far from Stony Brook -- received 35.3 inches of snow. I hope the Seawolves' grounds crew is outfitted with flamethrowers to prepare LaValle Stadium for a lethal dose of SPRING SPORT this coming season.
"Bang a Louie"
March 14: Albany; March 21: UMBC; March 28: at Vermont; April 10: at Massachusetts-Lowell; April 18: Binghamton; April 24: at Hartford
Things have gone the wrong way for the Seawolves in the America East over the last two seasons. In the program's 13 years of play in the league, Stony Brook has experienced only three sub-.500 conference campaigns, two of which came in 2013 and 2014. The Seawolves need to find an antidote to their recent struggles in a very capable league as the program has too much of a history -- the team is 45-22 in America East regular season play since 2002 with an average 3-2 mark (the team has won at least 80 percent of its conference games on five occasions) -- to string together 2-3 records. It's nice that Stony Brook has an opportunity to bag some big kills in 2015 in the nonconference portion of their schedule, but the Seawolves' volition is impacted most importantly in the team's conference slate.