The half was about to close when Vermont junior midfielder Jon Arnar Barddal took the shot. The ball fell in front of Barddal on the left side of the box, and after a quick dribble he launched it into the right-hand corner of the net. Barddal’s goal put the Catamounts ahead with 12 seconds left in the first period, a score that proved to be the winning goal in Vermont’s 2-1 victory over Stony Brook Men’s Soccer on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Seawolves’ defeat on the road was their first conference loss all season, dropping them to 4-1 against America East opponents. The Seawolves remain in control of their own destiny for winning the regular season crown, holding a one-game lead for the top spot in the conference with two matches left. Additionally, New Hampshire’s 1-1 tie with Hartford earlier Saturday afternoon secured a spot in the America East playoffs for Stony Brook.
The Seawolves put themselves behind early in the match. Vermont sophomore defender Jonathan Bryant found the ball in front of the goal line in the second minute and put the Catamounts on top with a header past the reach of Stony Brook freshman goalkeeper Christian Miesch. The play was set up by a corner kick and a cross from senior forward Trevor Colazzo.
The Seawolves answered back in the 38th minute. Freshman midfielder Jack Valderrabano and junior striker Jarred Dass worked a give-and-go that culminated in Valderrabano finding Dass in the center of the box, and Dass hit a one-timer inside the post. Barddal’s goal broke the tie in the 45th minute, and the Seawolves couldn’t find an equalizer in the second half despite outshooting the Catamounts 6-3.
“Though our overall performance was strong tonight and we dominated large periods of the game, we gave up two goals at really bad moments,” head coach Ryan Anatol said in a press release. “A little bit of poor concentration and individual defending contributed to this. We can’t give up two goals and have to chase games and expect to get results, especially on the road. We dropped points tonight and only have ourselves to blame, but this disappointment will fuel us this week and we will be ready for our next opportunity.”
Stony Brook will have a full week to prepare for that next opportunity, which comes on Saturday, Oct. 27 on the road against Hartford at 7 p.m. Hartford is sitting near the bottom of the America East standings with a 1-3-1 record, and is struggling overall with a 1-8-5 season record. The Hawks are winless in their last three regular season matchups against the Seawolves, going 0-2-1 with a -3 goal differential.