December 20, 2012
STORY NO. 10
Ryan, Stony Brook women are rewarded; Filigno, Rutgers makes the most of their opportunity
Talk about patience and persistence. After 28 years of coaching the women's soccer team at Stony Brook University, Sue Ryan and her team were rewarded with a berth in the NCAA Division I tournament.
|Sue Ryan (left) directed Stony Brook to the American East tournament championship and into its first NCAA Division I women's soccer tournament.
Photo courtesy of Stony Brook SID
And talk about making the most of an opportunity. The Rutgers women were an at-large selection in the tournament and reached the second round.
Those two teams made the biggest headlines in area women's soccer in 2012.
Stony Brook certainly had plenty of firsts during a memorable season. The school became the first sixth seed in America East history to win the post-season title, as it defeated the University of Hartford on the road, 1-0, on a goal by leading scorer, junior Larissa Nysch. It was its first AE crown.
The Seawolves took No. 9 Maryland to the wire in a 2-0 loss as goalkeeper Ashley Castanio made a career-high nine saves in the NCAA first round on Nov. 10. Two Terps goals in the final 5:56 turned the tide.
Stony Brook concluded its most successful season in history at 12-7-3, including an impressive 7-5-1 road record.
"We couldn't be more proud of the team," Ryan said. "We took the number nine team in the country to the limit and battled them blow for blow. We had a couple good chances, but we just weren't able to capitalize on them. I thought we had a good game plan - we did a good job containing their top players, who didn't get many dangerous looks despite the number of shots. Our seniors played a great game, and Ashley was confident and locked down in goal; she was terrific."
After the Seawolves reached the NCAA tournament, Ryan did not feel a weight was lifted from her shoulders.
“Not a weight, but it was very rewarding," she told BigAppleSoccer.com writer Matt Levine earlier this month. "It’s a fragile game, the best team doesn’t always win. It’s tough to win, win on the road and win consistently at this level.”
The fact that this was the Seawolves’ most successful season under Ryan really did not come as a surprise when she was asked what made this team different.
“The model was our family vs. your team," Ryan said. "It was about the whole being greater than the part. This has been the best team chemistry. We also won games by committee; you couldn’t just stop one player."
Despite an 12-7-1 record, the Scarlet Knights were an at-large selection to the NCAA tournament and they made the most of their opportunity. They defeated host Colgate, 1-0, on an early goal by sophomore Amy Pietrangelo in the first round on Nov. 10.
In the second round, Rutgers met its match, falling to third-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., 6-1, on Nov. 16.
“The one thing I said to the team after the match was that the final score did not reflect our effort,” Rutgers coach Glenn Crooks said. “We were playing one of the best teams in the country. We knew they were going to be fast and we had to be ready for it. I think we prepared well and I liked the way we came out, but once Virginia got their rhythm, it was tough.”
Canadian international Jonelle Filigno, a junior who scored the Scarlet Knights' lone goal vs. Virginia, tied a school record for the most goals scored in a season (15). She is tied with Carli Lloyd, Christa Aluotto, Kris Kurzynowski and Else Eichman-Dolan.
Not surprisingly, Filigno, a member of Canada's bronze-medal winning team, was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Division I women's All-America second team.
"She's a young player," said Canada women's coach John Herdman, who talked about Filigno‘s Olympic performance. "She has an edge to her and that's what I like about her. The goal against GB [Great Britain] was just unbelievable. Her performance against Sweden was fantastic.
"Every time she plays, she shows something else in her arsenal as a player. As a 22-year-old with more development and time, this player could start pushing to the highest level of women's football and be recognized as one of those world-class strikers. . . . That's the exciting part."
Friday: Story No. 9