Stony Brook Seawolves men's lacrosse

The Stony Brook Seawolves men's lacrosse team represents Stony Brook University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (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.[2]

Stony Brook Seawolves men's lacrosse
UniversityStony Brook University
Head coachAnthony Gilardi (1st season)
StadiumKenneth P. LaValle Stadium
(capacity: 8,300)
LocationStony Brook, New York
ConferenceAmerica East Conference
ColorsRed, Blue, and Gray[1]
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
NCAA Tournament appearances
2002, 2010, 2012
Conference Tournament championships
2002, 2010, 2012
Conference regular season championships
2002, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019

The program entered Division I status in 1988. The team's most successful season came in 2010, when they were ranked in the top ten of the polls appeared in their second NCAA Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals, losing 10–9 to Virginia at home at the doorstep of a Final Four appearance. Overall, the team has won six America East regular season titles and appeared in three NCAA Tournaments.

Team history

Club Status (1978–1983)

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.

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

The Stony Brook Lacrosse Club had a total of four coaches since its first season back in 1979. After Bert Cook started the club program in 1978, Dave Schmitz coached for two years through the 1980 season. In 1981 John Ziegler was appointed coach . In 1984 Stony Brook improved to 11-3 and the following year played its first post-season tournament. In 1986 Bruce Casagrande replaced Ziegler and then was succeeded by Coach John Espey. Casagrande, as mentioned below, was at the helm during the transition from club status to NCAA Div 1.

Stony Brook's First Goal

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

Pre-Division I era (1983–1988)

Stony Brook University first fielded a men's lacrosse team in the 1983 season. In 1986 Bruce Casagrande became the head coach fielding a 6-6 record while playing 3 Division 1 teams. In 1987 again playing the likes of Ohio State, Hartwick, and Air Force Academy the team posted a 6-5 record and was elevated to Division 1 It entered Division I in 1988 and has an overall 214–178 (.546) record

John Espey era (1988–2004)

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 . 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 . 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 . 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 .

Lars Tiffany period (2005–2006)

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)

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.

The 2009 season returned Stony Brook to post-season contention with a 9–6 (.600) record and runners-up of the America East Championship.

2010 season

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 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.

In 2010, the Seawolves returned with a stronger team and build up on the successes of the 2009 season finishing the 2010 season with a 13–4, 5–0 America East record and for the first time being undefeated versus America East teams. Stony Brook continued its success in the America East tournament capturing wins against Vermont and then Albany to send them to NCAA tournament for their second time, this time, as the #8 seed. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Stony Brook came out with a 9–7 victory against unseeded Denver advancing for the first time to the quarterfinals against #1 seeded Virginia in which they eventually loss by 10–9 score at LaValle Stadium, being one point shy of advancing to their first semifinals. Due to the success of the 2010 season, coach Sowell was given a contract extension through the 2015 season.

2011 season

In the 2011 season Stony Brook returned 94 percent of its scoring offense from the previous year with a team that was ranked fourth in 2010 with 13.2 goals per game, and returned 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 2011 season.[3] On February 8, 2011 it was announced that Stony Brook men's lacrosse was unanimously predicted that Stony Brook would be the regular season champion in the pre-season coaches poll.[4]

The 2011 season began with a home opener against #1 Virginia with the Seawolves ranked #5 coming into the season. The game was close throughout, the Seawolves led early 3–1 but then Virginia 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 a 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.[5] It was the second lost to Virginia in the past nine months, both game being with one-goal differential. The #7 Seawolves returned into action at Marist coming back for a 13–7 win. On March 12, the #6 Seawolves captured the second straight win against Delaware in 14–9 victory in LaValle in front of 1,436 fans. The Seawolves continued their streak beating St. Johns in a 9–4 win at Queens.[6] #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 and resulted in a 17–9 loss for the Seawolves second straight loss. After the loss, the Seawolves switched gears and went ahead to and ended the 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) and ending undefeated in AE play to earn the 1st seed in the tournament for the second straight year.[7] 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 selectios.[8] After a 12–8 win against Binghamton at LaValle Stadium Stony Brook headed to the third straight America East Championship 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 a NCAA tournament at large bid.

Jim Nagle era (2011–2019)

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.[9]

With a much younger and inexperienced team due to the graduation of 11 seniors, [10] 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 [11] and their second victory against the Seawolves in their fifteen-game series. [12]. The Seawolves fell to 0–3 for the first time since 2006 [13] and traveled to Delaware to challenge the #18 ranked Blue Hens. Stony Brook earned a 7–6 victory, [14] their first of the season and seventh overall in the series [15] 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.

2012 Season

The 2012 season introduced Jim Nagle as Head Coach of the program .Stony Brook lost NLL Top-Draftee Kevin Crowley and teammate Jordan McBride to graduation but added more than ten recruits to the team including Jeff Tundo who transferred from Ohio State and High School All-American Matt Scalera, Connor Duddy, and Pat McGushin. While struggling in their non-conference slate, Stony Brook won four of their five conference games to capture their four consecutive regular season championship. The team went on to defeat Hartford in the Semifinals and Albany in the finals to advance to the NCAA tournament. Stony Brook traveled to Baltimore to face off against Johns Hopkins losing 19–9 to end their season.

In 2019, the Seawolves struggled initially, losing to Penn State, Marist, Sacred Heart, and Hartford to bring their record to 3–4.[16] However, they upset St. John's on the road, and came back from a 7–1 deficit to beat Vermont 10–9. Stony Brook clinched the regular season title by defeating Albany 12–10 at home in a rain-delayed season finale.[17] Hosting the America East Tournament as the No. 1 seed, Stony Brook was upset at home 14–8 by UMBC in the semifinals.[18] On May 14, Stony Brook athletic director Shawn Heilbron announced that Nagle would not return as head coach. In eight seasons with the Seawolves, Nagle recorded a 68–59 record overall and 31–14 in conference play, but made just one NCAA Tournament in his first season.[19]

On June 20, Stony Brook named Towson associate head coach and offensive coordinator Anthony Gilardi as the team's new head coach.[20]


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.[21]


Head coaches

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 2007–11 19–6 (.760) 47–26 (.643) 1 1
Jim Nagle 2012–19 68–59 (.535) 31–14 (.564) 1 1
Anthony Gilardi 2020–

Current Coaching staff

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

Season-by-Season results

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)
198510–4.714ECAC Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Drew 21–15)
(Championship Win over Fairleigh Dickinson-Madison 19–11)
Division II: Independent (1986–1988, Bruce Casagrande)
19877–7.500ECAC Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Drew 5–7)
Division I: Independent (1988–1999, John Espey)
19886–8.428ECAC Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Montclair St. 5–7)
ECAC Lacrosse (2000–2001, John Espey)
America East (2002–2004, John Espey)
200210–7.5883–2.600America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Hartford 7–6)
(Championship Win over Albany 8–6)
NCAA First Round (Loss to Cornell 12–3)
20035–10.3333–2.600America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss over Albany 11–5)
20049–6.6004–2.666America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss over Binghamton 7–6 OT)
America East (2005–2006, Lars Tiffany)
20059–6.6004–2.666America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over UMBC 11–5)
(Championship loss to Albany 16–7)
20068–7.5334–1.800America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Albany 14–3)
America East (2007–2011, Rick Sowell)
20078–5.6152–3.400America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Albany 17–5)
20087–7.5003–2.600America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal loss to Albany 12–9)
20099–6.6004–1.800America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Albany 18–12)
(Championship loss to UMBC 11–7)
201013–4.7645–01.000America 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)
201110–4.7145–01.000America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Binghamton 12–8)
(Championship loss to Hartford 11–10)
America East (2012-onward, Jim Nagle)
20127–10.4114–1.800America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal Win over Hartford 9–8)
(Championship Win over Albany 14–8)
NCAA First Round (Loss to Johns Hopkins 19–9)
20137–8.4662–3.400America East Conference Tournament
(Semifinal vs. Albany on 5/2 )
(.593* since AE)
(.711* in AE)
  • * Prior to 2012 season

Postseason Results

  • 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


  1. "Stony Brook University Brand". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  2. McLaughlin, Corey (October 12, 2010). "Stony Brook Out to Prove 2010 Was No Fluke". Lax Magazine. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  3. "Men's lacrosse ranked in top 10 in national polls".
  4. "Stony Brook Tabbed to Win Second Straight Men's Lacrosse Crown".
  5. "#1 Virginia edges #5 Men's Lacrosse in overtime, 11–10".
  6. "#5 Men's Lacrosse Tops St. John's, 9–4".
  7. "McBride, Campbell lead #14 Men's Lacrosse past Vermont, 12–9".
  8. "McBride, Sowell headline America East awards".
  9. Pm, 2019 11:04. "Stony Brook loses first conference game to Hartford". Newsday. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  10. "UAlbany men's lacrosse loses to Stony Brook | The Daily Gazette". Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  11. "UMBC upsets Stony Brook 14-8 to advance to America East title game". We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports. 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  12. "Stony Brook Parts Ways with Jim Nagle". Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  13. staff, Baltimore Sun. "Towson assistant Anthony Gilardi hired as men's lacrosse coach at Stony Brook". Retrieved 2019-06-21.
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