Michelle Rubino was among the first players recruited by head lacrosse coach Joe Spallina to play lacrosse at Stony Brook University. Now, the sophomore midfielder – a product of Comsewogue High School – is showing just how much of an impact she can make at the Division I level.
Rubino, who was a four-time All-League selection in lacrosse in high school, has tallied 31 goals and 10 assists as a starter in all 16 Stony Brook games so far this season. She has also picked up 30 groundballs and 49 draw controls, and she was named America East Defensive Player of the Week on April 8.
Spallina said the team is excited about Rubino's continued development as a player.
"She’s somebody who creates matchup difficulties with the
other teams due to her athleticism," he said.
Rubino credited some of the team's seniors, including Claire Petersen, Demmianne Cook and Janine Hillier, with helping her get acclimated to the team's high level of play.
"During practices, each one of them helps me every day," she said. "Claire’s always giving me tips behind the cage. Demmi is always pushing me
to go to the cage, and so is Janine."
Heading into the America East championships on Friday, the team is 14-2 overall and undefeated in six games of conference play. The team is ranked the No. 10 team in the nation in the IWLCA (coaches') poll, and is ranked at No. 7 team in the deBeer (media) poll.
Rubino said that when she arrived at Stony Brook, she was expecting the transition to a Division I program to be challenging – but said she was a bit shocked to see just how good all the other players were.
"I’ve never been a part of something like this before," she said. "I’ve never played on a team where everyone has so much talent before."
Rubino said the effect of the national rankings has been to keep the team focused. "It helps us build confidence and realize that our goals are
really realistic," she said.
Spallina called her an emerging star.
"She's getting better by the day," he said. "Not a lot of people knew about her last year, but they’re finding out in a hurry who she is this year."