After casting aside Rutgers 43-10 last Saturday, Stony Brook sits atop the Empire DI college league with a 3-0 record, and no one else in the competition unblemished.
"It was a total team effort," enthused Head Coach Jerry Mirro. "The defense was strong, and while we've got good backs, I was very. very happy with the commitment of our forwards. We are not the biggest group, but they are very active and athletic."
Stony Brook is getting better each year, said Mirro, in part thanks to the burgeoning high school rugby environment in and around Long Island, including St. Anthony's. With players coming from further afield also - Xavier HS in New York City and McQuaid Jesuit in Buffalo, the freshmen coming into Stony Brook are bringing some serious rugby chops with them.
"We are working hard to be involved with high school teams in the area, too," said Mirro. "It makes a difference, and it's all part of building the program."
Leading the way on the field are Phil Salter, who has been solid at flanker, No. 8 Tom Kirmbauer, and prop/lock Jimmy Sheridan.
Jim Mutino broke in from the B side and has made a big splash at wing.
Looking ahead, Stony Brook hosts University of Buffalo, which sits at 1-1 after losing to King's Point and thrashing Rutgers.
"Buffalo worries me," said Mirro. "They are a very good team, and physical. We've started well but now we're at the point where we can't afford to look past anyone."
Empire DI college games this weekend:
Brockport (1-0-1) @ Iona (1-1-1)
Buffalo (1-1) @ Stony Brook (3-0)
Syracuse (1-1-1) @ St. Bonaventure (1-0-1)
Binghamton (0-3) @ Kings Point (3-1)
What's with all the ties? Fourteen games in the Empire and two were ties, which is a relatively high percentage (14%). What the ties do is keep everyone close in the standings. If Stony Brook is upended by Buffalo, then the winners in the other games will be in a much better competitive position.
Brockport and King's Point can make a big move if they win and Stony Brook loses.