After starting the season 3-6-2, the Stony Brook women’s soccer team has found success in conference play.
With a 3-2 win against UMass Lowell Sunday afternoon at the Cushing Field Complex, the Seawolves advanced their conference record to 3-1 and continued to climb the America East standings with playoffs quickly approaching.
The start of the game looked as though it was going to be decided by detrimental miscues due to poor weather conditions. Sophomore goalkeeper Cara Gallagher seemed to save a long pass that was kicked into the goalie box by River Hawk junior midfielder Rachel Morrier, until the ball slipped out of her hands.
Even though UMass Lowell jumped out to an early lead, Stony Brook took control, ultimately defeating the River Hawks, 3-2.
“I would say the most pivotal moment of the game was when they scored the first goal,” head coach Brendan Faherty said in a phone interview. “I think our kids didn’t hang their heads. The players responded brightly and just continued to try to solve problems and we were rewarded with a goal pretty soon afterwards.”
The Stony Brook offense started to cook in the twelfth minute of the game when senior midfielder Amy Thompson was able to steal the ball at midfield and dish it off to redshirt senior forward Raven Edwards. Edwards then showcased her quickness, dazzling past the goalie and three defenders as she scored with ease on a wide open net.
Soon after, senior defensive midfielder Priscilla Wiggins beamed a crossover to the middle of the net where she found junior midfielder Sam Goodwin, who promptly netted the first goal of her career with three minutes left in the half, allowing Stony Brook to take the 2-1 lead going into halftime.
“One of the strengths of our team is the ability of players to come in at any time and give a good performance,” Faherty said. “Obviously Sam came on today and scored a big goal that changed the mood of the game and for our team.”
Stony Brook was able to keep the ball in the UMass Lowell territory for a majority of the second half. The Seawolves created space throughout the remainder of the game which helped increase their lead.
A free kick in the 71st minute helped Stony Brook expand its lead to 3-1. Thompson quickly set up in order to capitalize on the free kick, but hesitated to shoot; she then regrouped and beamed the ball over the heads of multiple UMass Lowell defenders, grazing the top of the crossbar and bouncing right into the net.
With 15 minutes remaining in the game, it seemed as though it was all over for the River Hawks until freshman defender Courtney Coleman was able to kick the ball into the back of the net with her left foot, establishing a 3-2 score.
The Seawolves displayed a dominant defensive push at the end of the game, parking the bus in order to curb any River Hawk momentum.
In the last five games for the Seawolves, Edwards and Thompson have accounted for a combined seven goals, helping the team win three straight conference games. Stony Brook is now 6-7-2 overall on the season.
“They both are able to work off each other’s strengths,” Faherty said. “ I think Amy is a technical player who has good vision with the ball. Raven is technical as well but she also has great speed.”
The Seawolves will play at home on Thursday night at 7 p.m., where they prepare to host the Maine Black Bears for their fifth conference matchup of the season.