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Stony Brook went 9-6 last season, advanced to the America East Tournament championship game, and lost just one starter and eight goals from last year's team. Yet, the Seawolves are barely getting a whisper in preseason discussions of the top teams in the nation.

Coach Rick Sowell did his best to downplay what could be perceived as a major snub.

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"It got under some of our guys' skin," he conceded. "But it's about getting ourselves ready. If we're off the radar, it's up to us to go out and play."

The offense is paced by midfielders Kevin Crowley and Robbie Campbell and attackmen Jordan McBride and Tom Compitello -- all of whom recorded 30 points or more last year. Junior Adam Rand, who led the nation with a .638 face-off percentage, is back, and a senior-laden defense anchored by long-stick midfielder Steven Waldeck and goalkeeper Charlie Paar looks improved.

Sowell, who began coaching at Stony Brook prior to the 2007 season, said this team reminds him of the Dartmouth squad that he mentored in 2003 that upset 2002 NCAA finalist Princeton, captured the Ivy League crown, and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"We've been building up, and I do feel like we do have the pieces in place to take a serious run at the [America East] conference championship," Sowell said. "We're the first to admit that we've got a lot of work to do, but we're also saying, 'Why not us?'"

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