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From L-R: Boston U.'s Mallory Collins, Stony Brook Head Coach Joe Spallina, Stony Brook's Claire Petersen
Courtesy: America East Communications

Stony Brook's Petersen, Spallina Take Home Hardware

Release: 05/02/2012
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Stony Brook University junior attacker Claire Petersen, a two-time Division II National Offensive Player of the Year honoree, garners the 2012 America East Player of the Year award in her first year of Division I competition. Petersen’s head coach, Joe Spallina, also in his first year with the Seawolves, captures the Coach of the Year award as both he and Petersen helped turn Stony Brook around into a title contender this season. Freshman attacker Mallory Collins of the America East Regular-Season Champion Boston University Terriers receives the league’s Rookie of the Year recognition. These awards and the all-conference teams, determined in a vote by the league’s head coaches, are being announced on the eve of the 2012 America East Women’s Lacrosse Championship May 3 and 5 at Boston U.’s Nickerson Field.

Petersen (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh/Adelphi) has had a record-breaking career and continued that trend since joining America East. The junior attacker ranks third in Division I with 93 points and dished out 54 assists to break the previous conference single-season record of 49 set just last year. Petersen notched 23 goals and 19 assists in six conference games for a league-leading 7.00 points per game average. Her 42 points against America East foes again broke a conference record, superseding the previous mark of 37 that had stood since 2006. Petersen, the only unanimous all-conference first-team selection, reached the 10-point plateau twice this season, including a seven-goal, three-assist effort against Vermont in league play.

Collins (Boston, Mass./Thayer Academy/Loomis Chaffee) was a scoring threat all season long, tallying at least one goal in every single game of her first collegiate season and recording nine hat tricks. She is the top-scoring freshman in the nation with 45 goals this season while ranking second on Boston U. and fourth in the league with 2.81 goals per games. She added eight assists to finish the regular season with 53 points, eighth in America East with 3.31 points per game. Collins, a five-time rookie of the week selection, notched five goals in a game three times and scored the game-winning goal against Stony Brook which clinched the conference tournament’s number one seed for the Terriers.

Spallina has turned the Stony Brook program from a four-win squad to a 13-win team in just one season at the helm. After winning three straight NCAA Division II titles down the road at Adelphi, he has led the Seawolves to their first America East Championship appearance since 2007 as the second seed with a 5-1 mark in league play. Stony Brook knocked off the program’s first-ever ranked opponent earlier this year and made its debut in both the coaches’ and media top-20 polls this season. The Seawolves enter the tournament ranked among the nation’s top 10 in points (10th; 355), scoring offense (10th; 14.53) and scoring margin (ninth; 5.24).

The past two conference players of the year in Petersen and Boston U. junior Danielle Etrasco (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) highlight the first-team all-conference attackers along with Stony Brook junior Janine Hillier (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale/Florida) and 2011 Rookie of the Year Sydney Mas (Bedford, N.Y./St. George’s School (RI)) of University of Vermont. The midfielders on the first team are University at Albany sophomore Ariana Parker (Port Ewen, N.Y./Kingston), University of New Hampshire senior Kate Keagins (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) and the Seawolves’ Demmianne Cook (Nesconset, N.Y./Smithtown East/Adelphi), a junior, and Michelle Rubino (East Setauket, N.Y./Comsewogue), a freshman. Due to a tie in voting, five defenders have earned first-team status, including Albany senior Jenn Primeau (Niskayuna, N.Y./Niskayuna), Boston U. junior Brittany Carlin (Summit, N.J./Chatham), UMBC junior Jamie Fahey (Baldwin, Md./Loch Raven), Stony Brook junior Melissa Rotante (Norwalk, Conn./Brien McMahon) and Vermont senior Caitie Izzo (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow). Stony Brook sophomore Frankie Caridi (East Northport, N.Y./Commack), who has played much of the season despite tearing an ACL in March, has earned the coaches’ nod as first-team goalkeeper.

Collins is one of two rookies on the all-conference second team along with UMBC goalkeeper Anna Barnett (Midland, Texas/Midland). Albany juniors Jess Antelmi (Bridgeport, N.Y./Chittenango) and Rachael Burek (Rensselaer, N.Y./Columbia) and Vermont senior Samantha Stern (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) make up the second-team attacking unit along with Collins. The midfielders, all seniors, are Boston U.’s Molly Swain (Cambridge, Mass./Beaver Country Day School), UMBC’s Alicia Krause (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron/Duquesne), New Hampshire’s Ilana Cohen (Andover, Mass./Andover) and Vermont’s Adison Rounds (Centennial, Colo./Arapahoe). Rounding out the second team are defenders Steph Kempf (Wantagh, N.Y./Holy Trinity) from Albany, junior Monica Baumgartner (Silver Spring, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) of Boston U., and sophomore Jessica Romano (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) of Stony Brook.

The all-rookie team includes 10 players regardless of position. Collins, Barnett and Rubino were all selected, including Collins and Rubino unanimously. Also earning all six possible votes were Albany’s Nichole Eamer (Watertown, N.Y./General Brown), Lexi Brannigan (Loudonville, N.Y./Colonie Central), UMBC’s Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston), New Hampshire’s Laura Puccia (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) and Stony Brook’s Amber Kupres (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Connetquot). Binghamton University’s Renee Kiviat (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho) and Stony Brook’s Marina Mestres (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) complete the team.

Twenty-five of the 33 award winners will be in action at the 2012 America East Women’s Lacrosse Championship beginning with the semifinals on Thursday, May 3 at Nickerson Field in Boston and concluding with the final on Saturday, May 5 at noon. The championship game on Saturday will air live on ESPN3. Tickets can be bought at the gate up to two hours prior to each day’s action, or $2 tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased ahead of time from the Boston University Athletics Ticket Office by calling 617-358-4170. For more information on America East women’s lacrosse, visit championship central.
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