“Big-time players do big-time things in big-time situations,” exclaimed Stony Brook head coach Sue Ryan after the match.
Her post-game quote perfectly encapsulated Friday night’s home win. In the 85th minute, senior midfielder Tessa Devereaux spun around a defender and elevated home a game-winning goal for a 2-1 Seawolves victory against the visiting Wagner Seahawks.
“The whole game, I was sort of out of my element,” Devereaux said.
“I think in that moment I relaxed a little more… I felt like I needed to put the team on my shoulders and finish the game somehow,” she added, speaking of the goal that earned Stony Brook their first victory of the season.
The captain’s heroics punctuated a second half in which the Seawolves outplayed the Seahawks. Stony Brook led in shot attempts 9-6 in the final 45 minutes and generally had the better of chances. This followed a largely uneventful first half where neither team had a legitimate scoring chance.
Redshirt junior Raven Edwards had a strong game, recording an assist and taking three shot attempts, striking one opportunity just wide of the post.
“Raven played up front as a forward in the first half and we pushed her out to the flank to utilize her speed out wide [in the second half],” Ryan said. “That really helped us get in behind them and it changed the game.”
Edwards’ speed was especially on display for the first Stony Brook goal of the afternoon. The New Jersey native crossed up a Wagner defender and drove wide along the left flank. As she approached the goal line, she turned and delivered a cross to junior forward Lindsay Huntchinson, who netted a 48th-minute goal with a beautiful left-footed finish.
The visiting Seahawks were resilient, however. After a small skirmish to the right of Seawolves freshman goalkeeper Cara Gallagher, junior midfielder Sydney McNutt emerged with the soccer ball. McNutt cut to the inside and banked a right-footed shot off the post and in to tie the game back up in the 55th minute.
After what could have been a very deflating goal for Stony Brook, Ryan was impressed with the way her squad hung in and continued an aggressive style.
“I was happy with our response [to the Wagner goal] because we kept playing,” she said. “When the other team scores, that can take the wind out of your sails but we kept playing and then we were rewarded with a second goal.”
Coming out with strong energy as they regrouped after the opposing goal, the Seawolves generated numerous chances. In the 56th minute, sophomore midfielder Christen Cahill struck a shot wide off of a Devereaux cross from the left. Later, in the 70th minute, Edwards hit a strong header off of an incoming corner kick, which was smothered by Wagner sophomore keeper Kaitlin Flaherty.
Approaching the final horn in a game that seemed destined for extra time, Devereaux came through in the clutch to drive home the winner into the net’s top-right corner. Stony Brook was off the schneid after a four-game losing streak to open the season.
“At this point we’d had a few tough games, and the scores haven’t reflected the potential that this team has,” Devereaux said. “To finally have it show in a win is huge for us, and I think it’s the next step in the process of us working towards conference play.”
The Seawolves retake the LaValle pitch on Labor Day for a non-conference bout against Marist. The Red Foxes have a 1-3 record in 2015 after their loss Friday night at Albany.