Senior midfielder Tessa Devereaux assisted on freshman midfielder Julie Johnstonbaugh’s first career goal in the 11th minute to give the Seawolves an early lead.
That score was all the Stony Brook Women’s Soccer team would need on a chilly Sunday afternoon at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, as the Seawolves shut out the opposing UMass Lowell River Hawks to win 1-0, advancing their record to 6-7-3.
“It was a dogfight, wasn’t it?” Stony Brook head coach Sue Ryan asked. “I think it’s the time of year where everyone is clawing to get three points. We did well to score early and then had to overcome tremendous pressure by UMass Lowell and we did well in that department.”
Devereaux’s first half assist came on a cross from the left side. Johnstonbaugh sprinted down the middle of the field, received the pass and headed the ball just inside the right post for an early goal.
Devereaux’s assist was the 18th of her career, one shy of tying the school’s Division-I record. The captain created many chances throughout the match from the left flank. Redshirt junior forward Raven Edwards had two good opportunities in the 52nd and 60th minutes off of Devereaux passes. Freshman defender Kaitlin Loughren hit the crossbar off a Devereaux feed in the 57th minute
“They had three backs, so that created a lot of gaps for us,” Devereaux said. “Especially in the second half we were finding those gaps.”
The UMass Lowell offense had several scoring chances themselves. The game ended with the two teams tied in shot attempts, 12-12. The River Hawks applied pressure early in the second half, testing the Seawolves defense. Just two minutes into the second half, sophomore midfielder Laura Gagnon hit the post from about 20 yards out.
“I think they definitely came out to win the game [in the second half],” Ryan said. “Our team has to adjust to that right away. When it gets close like that, it reminds the players that it’s a game of inches, so we have to be conscious of that. But I think our response was good.”
Stony Brook junior goalkeeper Emily Doherty had three saves in her shutout, including one on a diving stop in the 76th minute to rob UMass Lowell freshman forward Katelyn Vieira of an equalizer. Vieira was the match leader in shot attempts with four.
Stony Brook next plays on the road Thursday against Maine. The Seawolves and Black Bears are tied for third in the America East with both owning conference records of 3-2-1. The road match will be pivotal in determining home-field advantage in the upcoming conference tournament.
For the Seawolves, the road game is also an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are able to win a game as the visitors. Although they have been a dominant home team this season—the Seawolves are undefeated in their last eight games at LaValle Stadium—Stony Brook has not won a road match in 17 consecutive games, dating back to 2013.
“A few years ago we had the slogan, ‘Road Warriors’ and since then we’ve been focusing more on winning our home games,” Devereaux said. “I think we need to get that grit back on the road that we have at our home stadium. Once we find that, we’ll start having success on the road again.”