The Stony Brook Seawolves Men’s Soccer team came into Friday night’s match with the Rhode Island Rams on a 240-minute goalless streak, spanning over two and a half games. Third-year coach Ryan Anatol did not seem too negative about it, saying that his team was “creating chances in the previous games we have played. We know that if we continue to create chances then the goals will come.” The Seawolves created chances in the first half, but again could not score as they ended the half scoreless.
Senior midfielder Will Casey snapped that streak at 288 minutes. With 41:31 to go in the second half, Mario Mesen took a throw in and it found its way onto the head of Casey, who found the top corner of the net for his first goal of the season. It was also the only goal in the Seawolves’ 1-0 victory, moving them back to .500 for the season at 2-2. He came in leading the Seawolves in shots, but was not able to find the target in his first five tries, which included a header earlier in the first half.
Casey had a chance to make it two in the game when Alejandro Fritz split two defenders and crossed to a wide open Casey, only to see the shot go flying over the crossbar. Had it gone in, it would have doubled the lead with 6:37 to go in the half.
This chance came after the Rams had two golden opportunities, both coming from midfielder Ryan Oakley. Oakley found his way into the box with just under 24 minutes to play and shot one right at Seawolves keeper Jason Orban, who completed his second clean sheet in four games. The rebound came right back to Oakley who chipped it past Orban with the left foot successfully. However, it lacked power and Rodrigo Uriarte was there to clear it off the line.
The second opportunity from Oakley came when he dribbled his way into the box and drilled one straight on from 15 yards right at Orban again, who had 6 saves on the night.
The Seawolves’ inspiration did not come solely from coach Anatol’s pregame speech.
10-year-old Kevin Rosero has been in the Stony Brook Hospital since January with a rare malformation on his lip that made it hard for him to eat and was a huge risk for bleeding, blinding, or even death. “His story is so amazing and the guys immediately connected with him,” coach Anatol said after the game. “His courage and strength in the 10 years that he’s been alive really puts things into perspective.”
The Seawolves look to make it two wins in a row as they play at LaValle Stadium on Sunday against the Villanova Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.