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St. Johns Red Storm


November 4, 2012
Stony Brook women capture America East title, clinch NCAA Division I berth for 1st time

Larissa Nysch celebrates her goal that lifted the Stony Brook women to a 1-0 win over Hartford and into the NCAA Division I tournament.
Larissa Nysch celebrates her goal that lifted the Stony Brook women to a 1-0 win over Hartford and into the NCAA Division I tournament.
Photo by Steve McLaughlin
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The Stony Brook women are going to the NCAA Division I women's soccer tournament for the very first time.

The Seawolves combined a goal from junior Larissa Nysch and a stellar defensive effort en route to a 1-0 victory over over the University of Hartford to win the American East championship on Sunday.

The Seawolves (12-6-3), the first sixth-seeded side to win the tournament crown, will discovered who they played in next weekend's first round during the NCAA tournament selection show on at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Stony Brook senior Sa'sha Kershaw (Baltimore, Md.) was named the America East Championship Most Outstanding Player and named to the All-Tournament team. She had a goal and an assist in the tourney and was a standout in midfield defense. Joining her on the All-Tournament team were junior Ahriel Fernandez (East Haven, Conn.), junior Ashley Castanio (Oceanside, N.Y.) and Nysch (Dresher, Pa.).

"We couldn't be more excited to represent the America East in the NCAA Tournament going forward. Winning the championship is a testament to the leadership of our seniors and juniors and the depth of our team," Stony Brook coach Sue Ryan said. "One of the secrets to our success this year is we've been able to run many players against other teams and wear them down. That's what happened today. I'm very proud of our players' effort today."

Stony Brook struck for the lone goal in the 13th minute. Freshman Kristen Baker had the ball on the far side of the field, and crossed it towards the middle towards Nysch. A defender tried to head the ball away from the box, but missed. Nysch received the ball and fired a shot into the top far corner of the net.

The Seawolves kept Hartford at bay, allowing two shots on net, which Castanio made a vital save on by tipping the ball over crossbar in the 77th minute.

Stony Brook, which improved to 7-4-1 on the road, knocked off the top three seeds in the tournament (Hartford, Maine, New Hampshire) to win the title.

The 12th win of the season sets a program best since joining America East in 2001.
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