The inaugural “Lacrosse for Autism” game drew in an attendance of over 5000 as both the Stony Brook Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams went against the blue and gold Lions from Hofstra. Brandon Fleming, who spearheaded the awareness game, has a son who was diagnosed with autism in 2004. “It is important to let people know about autism. I feel that only people who have a close relationship with someone with autism are aware and it is important that everyone knows,” said Fleming. Fleming works for Lacrosse Unlimited, a lacrosse equipment store on Long Island, and has organized three other games promoting awareness for autism with matches between Duke and Dartmouth, Fairfield and Yale, and University of Maryland: Baltimore County and the University of Albany. Fleming decided to choose the Hofstra and Stony Brook match because the game was at a great venue and in April, which is Autism Awareness Month. Proceeds of the game went to The Cody Center For Autism and Developmental Disabilities, which, according to staff assistant Lisa Platania, works on research, treatment, workshops, and information. The Cody Center hosted its Annual Cody Walk on April 27 and will host a comedy show on May 14 with all proceeds heading to the center. For more information on lacrosse and autism, log onto www.lax4autism.com or for information about the Cody Center, log onto www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/codycenter.
Women’s Lacrosse Defeats Hofstra
Senior Day marked the first time in the Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team’s history that the mighty Seawolves defeated Hofstra, leaving the Pride with nothing to be proud of. Six minutes into the first half, junior Kaitlin Leggio (Bay Shore, NY) pierced the stale mate with a riveting shot leaving Hofstra breathless. For much of the first half, Hofstra kept the margin of goals close trailing by three despite their 11 shots to the Seawolves 17. Stony Brook responded with goals by freshman Samantha Djaha (East Islip, NY) and junior Jenna Celano (Farmingdale, NY) with free position shots as well as freshman Melissa Cook (Bay Shore, NY) and senior Amy Hallion (Glenelg, South Australia). As the lights on the scoreboard flashed to zero, the lady Seawolves held an 8-5 lead heading into the locker rooms.
The momentum the Seawolves had in the first half carried over to the second as Hofstra was outperformed and outplayed. With 14 groundballs a piece in the second half, Stony Brook capitalized on their possessions, outscoring Hofstra 6-5. The climax of the game came with 20 minutes remaining when Hofstra tied up the game at 9-9. Two goals by senior Diana Caroleo (North Babylon, NY) padded Stony Brook’s lead and a goal by freshman Melissa Cook (Bay Shore, NY) erased any anxiety over who would win. The Lady Seawolves led 13-10 with 11 minutes remaining and added insult to injury with Cook scoring once more in the final minute of the game leaving Hofstra’s ego deflated.
The win over Hofstra improves the Lady Seawolves’ record to 9-6 and tarnishes Hofstra’s record to 7-9. Sophomore goalie Mickey Cahill (Bay Shore, NY) earned the American East Defender of the Week award for her play in the Hofstra game as well as for her 21 combined saves in past wins against Marist and Albany. The Lady Seawolves also have five players selected for the All-America East Women’s Lacrosse team. Both Kaitlin Leggio and Diana Caroleo were selected for first All-Conference team. Selected for second All-Conference team was junior Jenna Spenard (Cicero, NY) for her 14 caused turnovers. Both Melissa Cook and Samantha Djaha were named on the all-rookie team for their exceptional play as freshmen.
The Lady Seawolves tied fourth with Albany, a team they won against 9-7, in the American East Conference only to be snubbed and denied a playoff berth.