Tuesday night’s game celebrated Stony Brook’s international students along with the international players on the men’s soccer team. Hoping to celebrate a win as well, the Stony Brook men’s soccer team faced a good Villanova team in a non-conference matchup. An early second-half goal pushed the Seawolves behind in a 1-0 loss to the Wildcats.
“I thought it was a pretty even game. But, if we want to win games, we have to create more chances and more opportunities,” coach Ryan Anatol said. “Some of that is having more of the ball and we didn’t do enough to get a hold of the ball.”
The first half ended scoreless as both teams failed to find the back of the net. The Seawolves were unable to create many chances, as they were outshot by the Wildcats 5-2.
Stony Brook sophomore midfielder Jorge Torres gave the Seawolves their best scoring chance with a free kick in the 33rd minute. The shot was kicked directly to the Villanova goalkeeper, Will Steiner, who defended effectively by punching it away and clearing the zone.
After averaging over 10 shots per game this season, the Seawolves knew going into halftime that they needed to get the ball on net more to give themselves a chance to win this game.
“I didn’t feel as though we created enough in the second half and enough chances to be dangerous,” Anatol said.
Stony Brook failed to improve their offensive presence and ended the game getting outshot 13-4.
Villanova capitalized in the 56th minute scoring the go-ahead goal, giving them the only lead they would need to win the game.
Senior forward Hayden Harr put away a pass from sophomore forward John Jlopleh for his fourth goal on the year. The play started with Stony Brook goalkeeper Tom McMahon making an aggressive save, yet leaving a rebound for Villanova to jump on and leaving himself out of position. Jlopleh gathered the rebound and passed it onto Harr who chipped it in for the 1-0 lead.
Other than the one goal from Villanova, the Stony Brook defense was excellent as they defended against a near 90-minute barrage from the Wildcats.
Before the game could end, tempers flared as both teams got into a bit of a scuffle. In the 89th minute, yellow cards had to be handed out to both teams as a physical play along the sideline caused both sides to take exception.
Nearly a minute after the yellow cards were handed out, Stony Brook defenseman Tavares Thompson was tagged with a red card after lowering his shoulder into a Villanova forward. The game finished with five yellow cards, three for Villanova and two for Stony Brook and one red card charged to Stony Brook.
Next game is an away conference matchup against Vermont for the Seawolves. They will look to go 2-0 on the year in conference.
“I know we’ll be up for Saturday and be excited for another opportunity to compete for three points. We just want to make sure we take the lessons from today’s game and get better,” Anatol said.