A late goal from Seawolves junior defender Kaitlin Loughren in the closing minutes of Sunday’s match between the Stony Brook women’s soccer team and Dartmouth helped stave off a shutout, but failed to spark a comeback as the Seawolves fell 2-1 to the Big Green.
“I thought it was a good college soccer game,” Seawolves head coach Brendan Faherty said. “Dartmouth plays a 3-5-2, so it’s a different formation than we’re used to, but I thought our team adjusted well to their playing style. Both teams did really well in the middle of the field when they had the ball, but I thought Dartmouth was a little bit better than we were in the attacking third.”
While Stony Brook had the edge in possession early on, Dartmouth’s offense still outshot the Seawolves 9-2. Freshman goalkeeper Sofia Manner managed to notch four saves in the opening half, but could not do anything after a costly foul allowed Big Green junior midfielder Remy Borinsky to net a penalty kick in the 29th minute of action.
The Seawolves’ first shot in the game came in the 33rd minute on a fruitless strike from freshman forward Alyssa Francese. Their lukewarm, early offense stood in stark contrast to their last two efforts against UMass and Iona, both of which saw the team tally goals within the first 10 minutes.
“We had a lot of the ball to start the game with, we just didn’t take any shots,” Faherty said. “We probably had more possession to start the game but Dartmouth did a good job of getting numbers behind the ball, so it limited our opportunities to get shots off or get in dangerous areas of the field.”
Heading into the second half, Faherty focused on getting the Seawolves to put the finishing touches on their offensive drives.
“I thought we actually played pretty well in the first half,” Faherty said. “We were just struggling connecting that final ball in the first half. I thought in the second half we were able to connect that final ball, our spacing was better, we were more dangerous going forward.”
The Seawolves came out firing in the second half, flipping the script on the Big Green and outshooting Dartmouth 5-2. The score stayed static until Dartmouth senior forward Bianca Ribi found the back of the net in the 69th minute. Her first goal of the season would ultimately prove to be the decisive moment in the match, and the Big Green lead was pushed to 2-0 late in the game.
Loughren’s goal came with just under four minutes left in regulation. She took her strike from 30 yards out — well beyond the penalty box — and watched it ricochet off the crossbar and touch down past the goal line. The late score was Loughren’s first as a Seawolf.
While Stony Brook failed to finish their late rally with an equalizer, Faherty was largely satisfied with the team’s performance.
“You play to win and we lost, so I’m not happy about that,” Faherty said. “But I thought we did some really good things on the attacking side of the ball. I thought defensively we were organized. We didn’t give them many quality chances. I think we had some quality chances in both halves that we just weren’t able to capitalize on.”
Sunday’s loss at Dartmouth drops the Seawolves to 2-2 on the season, with both losses coming on the road. Stony Brook will look to bounce back at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium for their next match against Boston College on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7:00 p.m.