The Stony Brook men’s soccer team beat Marist in what was an exciting match that ended in an overtime winner for the Seawolves after sophomore forward Vince Erdei found the back of the net to complete the team’s 2-1 win.
The first half saw the Seawolves executing their counter-attacking game plan to perfection against the Red Foxes. Marist managed to come out ahead in time of possession, yet looked inferior to the Seawolves’ fast break and defensive prowess. It seemed like every time Stony Brook took possession, it would deliver a pinpoint long ball over the top to one of their forwards.
This paid dividends early, as the Seawolves were able to capitalize in the fourth minute. Stony Brook took the ball away from Marist in the Seawolves’ half, and freshman midfielder Serge Gamwanya swiftly delivered a long pass to Erdei, who was able to find senior midfielder Martin Giordano with an onside pass behind the defensive line. With only Marist sophomore goalkeeper Mark Rajovic in front of him, Giordano coolly slotted home the ball to give the Seawolves a 1-0 lead.
“I thought that we played well. We scored early which was good,” Stony Brook head coach Ryan Anatol said. “We’ve talked a lot about how we start games, so to get an early goal was good.”
The rest of the half played out with the Seawolves looking the more aggressive side, trying to capitalize on the philosophy that had netted them the first goal. Marist was able to hold onto the ball more, but Stony Brook looked to be the much more dangerous side. The Seawolves’ defensive line remained steadfast, only allowing two shots on net and four shots total during the half.
Stony Brook again looked the stronger team early in the second half thanks to its aggressive play. They were able to create some dangerous chances, looking to put the game out of reach. The Seawolves were able to force a great save from Rajovic in the 70th minute, coming within inches of adding another goal.
However, Marist got a break in the 80th minute, with a shot into the box rebounding right to the foot of freshman forward Cameron Harr, who tied the game. The momentum swung swiftly in Marist’s favor, as the Red Foxes looked superior for the final ten minutes of regulation time.
“I thought there was about a period of ten to 15 minutes where we weren’t as good defensively and we let them get into the game a little bit,” Anatol said. “But other than that I thought we dominated the game and created a lot of good chances.”
Marist had a great opportunity to take the lead in the 87th minute, with a handball on the edge of the penalty box from Stony Brook giving them a set piece opportunity. However, the defensive wall deflected the shot and the game went into overtime.
Overtime had its share of suspenseful moments. In the 97th minute, freshman midfielder Martieon Watson had a wide-open look at net at the top of the box, but skied the shot over harmlessly. Minutes after Stony Brook was almost able to capitalize on another cross from sophomore midfielder Thibault Duval. As the minutes ticked down, Duval attempted a bicycle kick in the box that failed to find the net.
The chances resulted in more success for the Seawolves in the second period of overtime. A sublime pass from senior midfielder Alejandro Fritz found Giordano onside, and his perfect pass to the far post was crisply finished off by Erdei.
The Seawolves will travel to Villanova to face off against the Wildcats on Sunday.