When announcing the hiring of Brendan Faherty as the new head coach of Stony Brook’s women’s soccer team last December, Shawn Heilbron, the university’s athletic director felt he had hit a home run.
“Brendan has experienced tremendous success throughout his career and is the right leader to propel our women’s soccer program to where we expect it to be each year – competing for America East championships and NCAA appearances,” he said.
Less than a year later, the hiring of Faherty is already paying dividends as the first year head coach was named the America East Coach of the Year after leading the Seawolves to its first playoff appearance in three years. This is the first time a first-year head coach has won the award.
Prior to joining Stony Brook, Faherty spent three seasons at the University of Washington, guiding the Huskies to NCAA Tournament appearances in his last two, including a trip to the NCAA Third Round in 2014. While at Washington, Faherty helped mold five NSCAA All-Pacific Region players, three Capital One Academic All-Americans and four NSCAA Scholar All-Americans. The Huskies recorded a 37-24-6 record (.597) during his tenure.
Stony Brook finished the regular season with a record of 9-8-2, and won six of eight conference matches. The team this season strung together a program record seven-game winning streak that also saw Stony Brook win five out of its final six games, outscoring its opposition 12-2.
In addition, Six student-athletes at Stony Brook were honored by the conference as seniors Raven Edwards and Priscilla Wiggins were named to the first team, senior Amy Thompson and sophomore Kaitlin Loughren (Huntington, N.Y.) earned second team accolades, and Leah Kalmbach and Jada Stewart were awarded spots on the All-Rookie team.
Edwards leads the team with seven goals on the year, having played in all 19 games. She will finish her Stony Brook career as the leader in goals (24) and points (56) in the program’s Division I history. Wiggins, a team captain, has helped the team to seven shutouts on the season, while adding four assists from the midfield. She has not missed a start in each of the past two seasons.
Thompson has played in 11 games in her only season of action, starting eight of those outings. She has tallied five goals, three game-winners and three assists. Loughran has assisted a goal and missed just one start on the year, playing in all 19 games.
In her debut, Kalmbach has played in 17 games, making nine starts. She earned America East Rookie of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 19 after scoring a goal and assisting another against Wagner. Stewart started the first 11 games of the season before being set back by injury, but has been a contributor on the defensive end throughout her 16 games played.