STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Alyssa Francese, a 2017 Yorktown graduate, had a standout girls soccer career for the Huskers. The success she had on the pitch in high school has carried over into her college career at Stony Brook, where she just completed her junior season.
There, she was named the America East Conference’s Striker of the Year, finishing the regular season with a league-high 12 goals. Seven of those came in league play, including four game-winners.
She was the first Seawolves women’s soccer player to earn the award since its inception in 2002.
“To earn Striker of the Year meant so much to me,” Francese said. “After falling short of the conference First-Team honors last year, I had set the goal for myself this year to earn both First-Team and Striker of the Year. It was something that I worked hard toward and was honored to have been recognized for my efforts.”
Francese said that she was able to earn this honor because of her teammates.
“Without their efforts to get the ball to me in scoring positions, I would not have been able to perform the way I was able to this season,” Francese said. “They continue to push me at practice and it is something that helps me even more against the real opponents come game day.”
Francese earning such a prestigious honor doesn’t surprise Yorktown Coach Rich Armstrong.
“From the time Alyssa entered high school, I knew she was going to change our program,” Armstrong said. “We all know she holds the record for goals in a season (37) as well career goals (96). Within the four years at Yorktown, she led by example demonstrating what it takes to be a scholar athlete.”
Team wise, Stony Brook won the America East Conference Championship for the second time in Francese’s three years at the school, which she says means the world to her.
“It was our team goal this year and we worked ourselves to our maximum every day for the 96 days it took to get to that day,” Francese said. “A second time around felt even more special and a third will without a doubt be my goal come next season.”
In the process of winning the title, Stony Brook tied the school record with 14 victories.
“It was also a great accomplishment to tie the school record with 14 wins,” Francese said. “We played a competitive schedule and to come away with those wins was awesome.”
Stony Brook (14-6-1, 6-1-1) qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Tournament, where they played tough against host Penn State, winners of the 2015 national title.
The Seawolves led 1-0 at halftime before losing to the Nittany Lions, 3-1, in an opening-round contest on Nov. 15.
While Francese has enjoyed great success at Stony Brook, she has not forgotten her roots, Armstrong said.
“Even today, she seeks out opportunities to help make the future Yorktown soccer players better through clinics, 1v1 training or group work,” Armstrong said. “I use her frequently when talking about leaders, passion, commitment to excellence and most of all remaining humble but playing with confidence. What amazes me the most is through all her success and accomplishments she remained the most humble kid I know. Her parents have a lot to be proud of as I certainly am.”