After nearly a month, Stony Brook men’s soccer has not gotten off to the start it had hoped for. Through six matches, the Seawolves have gone just 1-4-1. Before the start of conference play, the Seawolves have the worst record of any America East team in non-conference schedules.
The team’s low-scoring offense has been the main reason for the record. While midfielder Alejandro Fritz has been a formidable force with a goal on ten shots this season, the team has collectively failed to put the ball in the net. Stony Brook has already been shut out four times this season while only scoring four total goals. This failure to establish any type of scoring consistency has hampered any chances the Seawolves have had to be a winning club.
The attacking struggles have been rather difficult to take since goalkeeper Tom McMahon has played relatively well. Despite the losing record, the redshirt freshman has posted a stellar 1.29 goals against average while not missing a minute in net. He is even second among America East goalkeepers in saves during non-conference play. His ability to keep the team in games has never been in question, but goal support has been a major issue for this budding star. No matter how well McMahon plays, not many wins will come when the offense is averaging less than a goal per game.
Playing away from Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium has also been problematic. When on the road or at a neutral site, the team is 0-4. The goal differential in those matches is a lopsided 8-1.
Stony Brook’s struggles away from home were magnified by their recent trip to the SMU Invitational in Texas. The invitational began with a 1-0 loss to Memphis and finished two days later when SMU beat the Seawolves 3-1. Dario Vanegas’ late goal in the SMU game was the only one Stony Brook scored in Texas and was the first road goal of the season.
Although the Seawolves have gotten off to a rough start, there is still time to turn the season around. Stony Brook has 12 games remaining including, its entire America East schedule, in which five matches will be held at LaValle Stadium. Stony Brook must play well against conference opponents to make up for the ground they they have lost through the first seven games. If the goalkeeping holds up and the offense can find ways to put the ball in the net on a consistent basis, Stony Brook soccer may be able to rebound from a dreadful start.
If the team can play well against other America East clubs, than a playoff appearance is not out of the realm of possibility. Again, the Seawolves are playing in a relatively weak conference. Other than Vermont, most of the conference has struggled to stay above .500 in their non-conference games. So, even though it has been a difficult start, some signs of life on offense could catapult the Seawolves into the playoffs.