Stony Brook Seawolves men's lacrosse

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Stony Brook Seawolves men's lacrosse
Founded 1978
University Stony Brook University
Conference America East Conference
Location Stony Brook, NY
Coach Jim Nagle (since 2012)
Stadium Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium
(capacity: 8,300)
Nickname Seawolves
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
NCAA Tournament Appearances
2002, 2010, 2012
Conference Tournament Champions
2002, 2010, 2012
Conference Regular Season Champions
2002, 2010, 2011, 2012

The Stony Brook Seawolves men's lacrosse team represents Stony Brook University in NCAA Division I men's college lacrosse. Stony Brook currently competes in the America East Conference and plays its home games on Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.[1] After a breakout season in 2010 in which the team played in the NCAA Quarterfinal and was ranked as high as eight in the polls the Seawolves weren't able to equate their success in 2011 and fell at the doorstep of the NCAA, losing 11-10 against Hartford at the conference championship game. In 2011, head coach Rick Sowell departed to Navy while Jim Nagle from Colgate was announced as the new leader of the program. In his first year at the helm he led Stony Brook to another conference championship and a return to the NCAA.

Stony Brook has been the most successful team in the conference the last four years reaching the Conference final each year, and advancing to the NCAA twice.

Team history[edit]

Club Status (1978-1983)[edit]

Stony Brook University fielded a men's club lacrosse team, founded by student Frank Ross, starting in 1978. Ross played lacrosse throughout high school and on arriving at Stony Brook found a netless goal in the woods north of G Quad and no team. In the spring of 1978, posters were placed around the University and a general meeting was held that spring with a very large turnout. The team assembled for its first practice on the field west of H Quad near the intramural fields. Approximately 35 players showed up.

The club's first coaches were volunteers that offered to coach at the first meeting. The head coach was Bert Campbell and assistant coach Vince Droser. Without funding, the team was limited to local scrimmages and practice was in pinnies. In general, there was a lack of support for the club particularly by the phys ed department. However, Stony Brook's track and field coach Paul Dudzick had a vision and helped guide Ross in growing the team.

Stony Brook Lacrosse Club 1978

After the first season, Ross approached the student government, Polity, and drew up a charter for the club and petitioned the government for funding. With the backing of Benedict College senator Steve Finklestein, Polity awarded an initial funding of $500. With this, helmets, gloves and other equipment were purchased. With limited funds, the club hired their first coach, Dave Schmitz, who played lacrosse in college. Dave was embraced by the team but his different style of coaching was not well received by the phys ed department.

Each spring, Ross was able to increase the funding by Polity by $500 for a final total of $2000 his senior year. In his junior year, an add was placed in the local three village paper advertising for a paid lacrosse coach. Two candidates responded and the position was awarded to Coach John Ziegler who was the athletic director The Stony Brook School just on the other side of the tracks from the University. Coach Ziegler was able to leverage games against an increasing caliber of schools. During its first four years, Stony Brook was able to compete against Hofstra's B team, SUNY Albany, Dowling, St. John's and various clubs including Montclair in New Jersey. One of the oddest games the club played was against Columbia University on a small lawn across from the lion statues and no windows were broken.

There were many obstacles during the team's inception that made competing difficult. Obtaining permission to play on a field was always a challenge as well as getting permission to get the fields lined. Travel to and from games were by university vans for which various requisitions had to be completed. Scheduling games was a challenge as many universities did not want to scrimmage against a club team. However, the number of games played increased each year particularly under Coach Ziegler's supervision.

Ross graduated in 1981 leaving the team under the direction of Coach Ziegler. In 1993, Ross was inducted into Stony Brook's VIP Hall of Fame.

Club Level Head coaches[edit]

The Stony Brook Lacrosse Club had a total of four coaches since its first season back in 1979. John Ziegler took over the team at Ross' graduation and then was succeeded by Coach John Espey. Espey, as mentioned below, was at the helm during the transition from club status to NCAA.

Stony Brook's First Goal[edit]

Stony Brook's first lacrosse goal is credited to attackman Ray Padich.

Pre-Division I era (1983-1988)[edit]

Stony Brook University first fielded a men's lacrosse team in the 1983 season. It entered Division I in 1988 and has an overall 214-178 (.546) record

John Espey era (1988-2004)[edit]

Stony Brook Lacrosse under head coach John Espey continuously increased facilities, recruiting efforts, and scheduling to build the program. Starting in 1998, the program had achieved full funding status, allowing it to allocate the NCAA maximum 12.6 scholarships for current athletes. The tuition aid and the building of new facilities attracted more athletes and the program continued to grow.

The schedule was once again made more difficult, now regularly featuring top ten and top twenty ranked teams almost every week of the season by 1999. Further, the Athletic Department joined Stony Brook Lacrosse into the ECAC for conference affiliation.

By 2002, after an offseason of re-shuffling in the America East in which three teams left the conference, the Stony Brook Seawolves left the ECAC Lacrosse League and were one of the newcomers in the America East for the 2002 season. In their first season as part of the America East, Stony Brook was voted among conference coaches to finish 1st in the pre-season poll [1]. Stony Brook entered the season with a squad of 13 seniors. After a season-opener loss against Massachusetts, the Seawolves were able to pull wins against Manhattan, Quinnipiac, Lafayette, Binghamton, Vermont, Villanova, and Delaware to finish the regular season 8-6 overall heading into the America East Championship tournament [2]. In the America East tournament were able to have close but decisive wins against Hartford (7-6) and Albany (8-6) to send them to their first NCAA tournament in the school’s program history [3]. In the first round, Stony Brook was posed to face off against Cornell at Providence. Cornell ran away with a 12-3 victory against the Seawolves to end the season for Stony Brook [4].

Lars Tiffany period (2005-2006)[edit]

After John Espey relinquished his position as head coach, Lars Tiffany resumed the coaching duties after serving as an assistant at Penn State University. During his tenure, Tiffany lead the team to the America East Tournament twice, falling in the finals in 2005 and in the semifinals in 2006, both against Albany. Tiffany left after two season to pursue the head coaching position at his alma mater, Brown University.

Rick Sowell era (2007–2011)[edit]

After the offseason departure of head coach Lars Tiffany to Brown, Rick Sowell was assigned the task of leading the men’s lacrosse program for the 2007 season. The 2007 season started with a home opener 15-7 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers. Throughout the 2007 season, the Seawolves showed signs of improvement and were able to win five games straight against Harvard (13-8), Denver (11-8), Marist (11-7), Lehigh (10-9), and Vermont (9-4). The Seawolves went up the ranking through this span to as high as #18 in the nation. However, losses to their conference opponents in Albany (14-5), Hartford (6-4), and UMBC (13-5) led the Seawolves to fall out of the top 20 and earn the #4 seed in the America East Tournament. The Seawolves played the semifinal game against top-seeded Albany, resulting in a 17–5 loss to close the season. The Seawolves ended the season with an 8–5 record overall, and 2-3 against their America East opponents. A highlight of the season was a 13-12 overtime win against their Long Island rivals, the Hofstra Pride.

Stony Brook started the 2010 season play outside the top 20 teams of the nation putting effort to build up on the successes of the previous year. The 2009 season returned Stony Brook to post-season contention with a 9-6 (.600) record and runner-ups of the America East Championship. The team started the 2010 season with a 21-14 win over Siena and a second game 13-8 loss to #2 Virginia. As the season continued the Seawolves showed more signs of improvements and ended the regular season with a five-game winning streak, cruising over Bryant, UMBC, Hartford, Binghamton, Albany, and Vermont to finish the regular season 10–3 overall, and 5-0 in conference play. Strong wins at Albany (15-0) and Vermont (16-10) demonstrated the strength of the Seawolves team ending the season as the top-eight-ranked team of the nation, and returning the team to national prominence. Stony Brook cruised through the America East Championship, beating #4 Vermont (10-6), and #3 Albany (11-7) to advance to its first NCAA tournament appearance, second overall, since the 2002 season. They entered the tournament with an eight-game winning streak to face off Denver, leading to a 9-7 win in front of 4,262 fans at LaValle. In the quarterfinal, the Seawolves played against top-seeded Virginia, losing a tight 10-9 game ending the chances for a Final Four appearance in a sold-out LaValle Stadium in front of historic crowd of 10,024 fans. The Seawolves ended the season 13-4, their best season in the program’s 27-year history. The Seawolves are 37-22 since Coach Sowell came to Stony Brook; as a result Sowell was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2015 season.

Returning 94 percent of its scoring offense from the 2010 season with a team that was ranked fourth in 2010 with 13.2 goals per game, and returning the three all-American seniors Kevin Crowley, Tom Compitello, and Jordan McBride, Stony Brook was ranked #5 (USILA Coaches Poll)/#8(Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll) in the preseason polls while Lacrosse Magazine ranked the team fourth in the nation for the upcoming 2011 season [5]. On February 8, 2011 it was announced that Stony Brook men's lacrosse was unanimously chosen to be the American East Tournament in the pre-season coaches poll [6]. Stony Brook will open the season against #1/#2 Virginia for a rematch of 2010 men's quarterfinals and a follow up with #8/#7 Cornell.

2011 season[edit]

The 2011 season began with a home opener against #1 Virginia with the Seawolves ranked #5 coming into the season. The game turned into an epic battle between the teams[citation needed] in which the Seawolves led early 3-1 but Virginia went ahead and tied the game at 3. For the rest of the game the Seawolves trailed Virginia by two or three goals. The game went on to the last minutes in which the Seawolves were trailing 10-8 and scored to consecutive goals to tie the game with less than ten seconds of regulation. In overtime, the Seawolves had many chances for a goal but weren't able to capitalize on the offense. A turnover, and then an defensive gap led Virginia to score the final goal of the game for an 11-10 win in front of a crowd of 4,312 at LaValle stadium [7]. It was the second loss to Virginia in the past nine months, both games finishing with a one-goal differential. The #7 Seawolves returned to action at Marist coming back for a 13-7 win. On March 12, the #6 Seawolves captured the second straight win against Delaware in a 14-9 victory at LaValle in front of 1,436 fans. The Seawolves continued their streak beating St.Johns in a 9-4 win at Queens [8]. #12 Seawolves went out to face Towson, MD ending with a tough 9-8 upset against unranked Towson University. The Seawolves returned home to face #10 Cornell but Cornell's offense was too much for them and resulted in a 17-9 loss. This was the Seawolves second straight loss. Regrouping, the Seawolves switched gears and went ahead to finish their regular season with a six-game winning streak including wins over Bryant (13-6), UMBC (16-5), Hartford (10-8), Binghamton (13-6), Albany (23-11), and Vermont (12-9). They were undefeated in AE play to earn the 1st seed in the tournament for the second straight year.[9] Jordan McBride and Rick Sowell were awarded the America East conference Player of the Year and Coach of the Year Respectively while Tom Compitello, senior Kevin Crowley, Timmy Trenkle, junior Kyle Moeller, junior Jared LeVerne, and Mcbride were awarded with first-team All-conference selections [10]. After a 12-8 win against Binghamton at LaValle Stadium Stony Brook headed to the third straight America East Championship scheduled to be played on May 7 against Hartford. Stony Brook went on to lose against Hartford with a last second goal by Ryan Compitello (brother of Stony Brook Lacrosse Senior Tom Compitello) with a score of 11-10. It was Stony Brook's first conference lost since the 2009 America East Championship Finals against UMBC. Stony Brook ended the season ranked #17 and did not qualify for an NCAA tournament at large bid. Coach Rick Sowell announced his departure to coach at Navy at the end of the athletic season.

Jim Nagle era (present)[edit]

Rick Sowell announced his resignation at Stony Brook following the season to take the same position at Navy. In June 2011, Jim Nagle, who previously coached at Colgate, was announced as the new head coach of the Stony Brook Lacrosse team.[11]

With a much younger and inexperienced team due to the graduation of 11 seniors [12], Stony Brook opened their 2012 campaign at Fairfield losing 13-10 against the Stags, their second consecutive opening game loss since 2010 and only their second loss ever against Fairfield in the seven game series. The Seawolves continued their opening road trip traveling to Charlottesville to face off against the top ranked Virginia eventually falling to the Cavaliers 12-5. Stony Brook returned home to open their home campaign and faced off against the Marist and were unable to hang on as the Red Foxes rallied back and scored with less than a minute of regulation to earn a 10-9 victory [13] and their second victory against the Seawolves in their fifteen game series [14]. The Seawolves fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2006 [15] and traveled to Delaware to challenge the #18 ranked Blue Hens. Stony Brook earned a 7-6 victory [16], their first of the season and seventh overall in the series [17], and their first win against a ranked opponent since the 2010 season. The Seawolves returned home to host St.Johns in an eventual 11-9 loss to the Red Storms in front of 1,101 crowd to fall to 1-4 in the season. Stony Brook hosted Towson and edge 10-9 by the Tigers to fall to 1-5. Stony Brook traveled to Siena College in search of its second win in a series dominated by the Seawolves and they led 11-8 entering the last quarter but the defense came up empty and handed the Saints a 12-11 comeback victory, their first ever against Stony Brook in eight tries. Stony Brook then traveled to Rhode Island and lost in a 10-9 double overtime battle against Bryant. Stony Brook won three straight match ups against Vermont (13-5), Binghamton (13-5), and UMBC (10-8) to open up conference play. Stony Brook lost their following two games in overtime against Yale (9-8) and Hartford (11-10) and closed their season with a 12-11 overtime victory at Albany to earn the regular season championship. Stony Brook avenged Hartford beating them 9-8 to advance to the finals and defeated Albany 12-8 at LaValle Stadium to clinch their third conference tournament championship. Stony Brook advanced to the first round of the NCAA tournament losing to Johns Hopkins 19-9 at Baltimore. Jim Nagle was announced as the conference Coach of the Year.


The Stony Brook Seawolves presently play their home games in the 8,300-seat Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium located on the west campus of Stony Brook University constructed for the 2002 season. The stadium hosted the largest lacrosse game crowd in school history in the 2010 NCAA Division I men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals in which there was a reported attendance of over 10,000 [18].


Head coaches[edit]

The men's lacrosse program has had a total of five coaches since its first season back in 1983. Espey being responsible for the transition of the program to Division I.

Coach Years Conference Overall Conference Tournament Titles NCAA Tournament Appearances
Club Status (1978–1983)
Bert Campbell/Vince Droser 1978 - - - -
Dave Schmitz 1979 - - - -
John Ziegler 1980–83 - - - -
NCAA (1983–present)
Bruce Casagrande 1986-87 N/A 13-13 (.500) - -
John Espey 1988–2004 11-17 (.392)2 116-123 (.485) 1 1
Lars Tiffany 2005-06 8-3 (.727) 18-13 (.581) - -
Rick Sowell 2007–2011 19-6 (.760) 47-26 (.643) 1 1
Jim Nagle 2012-onward - - - -

Current Coaching staff[edit]

  • Jim Nagle - Head Coach, 1st year
  • Craig Gibson - Assistant Coach, 1st
  • Andrew Watkins- Assistant Coach, 1st year

Season-by-Season results[edit]

The following are the final year end standings of the men's lacrosse program since 1983. In 2000 the Seawolves moved up to Division I and in 2002 the program joined the America East Conference. semifinals is also the first round.

Year Overall Record .WPCT Conference Record .CWPCT Postseason appearances
Division III: Independent (1983–1985, John Ziegler)
1983 9-3 .750 - - -
1984 11-3 .785 - - -
1985 10-4 .714 - - ECAC Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Drew 21-15)
(Championship Win over Fairleigh Dickinson-Madison 19-11)
Division II: Independent (1986–1988, Bruce Casagrande)
1986 6-6 .500 - - -
1987 7-7 .500 - - ECAC Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Drew 5-7)
Division I: Independent (1988–1999, John Espey)
1988 6-8 .428 - - ECAC Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Montclair St. 5-7)
1989 10-4 .714 - - -
1990 12-2 .857 - - -
1991 8-5 .615 - - -
1992 7-7 .500 - - -
1993 3-11 .214 - - -
1994 3-10 .230 - - -
1995 7-7 .500 - - -
1996 3-8 .272 - - -
1997 9-4 .692 - - -
1998 7-5 .583 - - -
1999 5-8 .384 - - -
ECAC Lacrosse (2000–2001, John Espey)
2000 5-11 .312 0-6 .000 -
2001 7-7 .500 1-5 .200 -
America East (2002–2004, John Espey)
2002 10-7 .588 3-2 .600 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Hartford 7–6)
(Championship Win over Albany 8–6)
NCAA First Round (Loss to Cornell 12–3)
2003 5-10 .333 3-2 .600 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss over Albany 11–5)
2004 9-6 .600 4-2 .666 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss over Binghamton 7–6 OT)
America East (2005–2006, Lars Tiffany)
2005 9-6 .600 4-2 .666 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over UMBC 11–5)
(Championship loss to Albany 16–7)
2006 8-7 .533 4-1 .800 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Albany 14-3)
America East (2007–2011, Rick Sowell)
2007 8-5 .615 2-3 .400 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Albany 17-5)
2008 7-7 .500 3-2 .600 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Albany 12-9)
2009 9-6 .600 4-1 .800 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Albany 18–12)
(Championship loss to UMBC 11–7)
2010 13-4 .764 5-0 1.000 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Vermont 10–6)
(Championship Win over Albany 11–7)
NCAA First Round (Win over Denver 9–7)
NCAA Quarterfinals (loss to Virginia 10–9)
2011 10-4 .714 5-0 1.000 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Binghamton 12–8)
(Championship loss to Hartford 11–10)
America East (2012-onward, Jim Nagle)
2012 7-10 .411 4-1 .800 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Hartford 9-8)
(Championship Win over Albany 14-8)
NCAA First Round (Loss to John Hopkins 19-9)
2013 7-8 .466 2-3 .400 America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal vs. Albany on 5/2 )
Total 224-182* .551*
(.593* since AE)
38-26* .593*
(.711* in AE)
  • * Prior to 2012 season

Postseason Results[edit]

  • Stony Brook vs Cornell, 2002 NCAA Tournament 1st Round: 12 - 3 L
  • Stony Brook vs Denver, 2010 NCAA Tournament 1st Round: 9 - 7 W
  • Stony Brook vs Virginia, 2010 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals: 10 - 9 L
  • Stony Brook vs Johns Hopkins, 2012 NCAA Tournament 1st Round: 19 - 9 L

Current Alumni in Professional leagues[edit]



Name Year
Division III
John Warrack* 1984
Chris Scaduto* 1984
Kevin Pall 2002
Brendan Callahan 2004
Jordan McBride 2008
Jordan McBride 2009
Jordan McBride 2010
Kevin Crowley 2010
Tom Compitello 2010
Steve Waldeck 2010
Jordan McBride 2011
Kevin Crowley 2011
Adam Rand 2011

All-America East[edit]

All-time statistical leaders[edit]


  1. ^ McLaughlin, Corey (October 12, 2010). "Stony Brook Out to Prove 2010 Was No Fluke". Lax Magazine. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 

External links[edit]