Down 1-1 with just under 10 minutes to play in its game against Central Connecticut State, the Stony Brook men’s soccer team was looking to find the one quick opportunity it needed to get the win. The team’s offensive pressure mounted, hoping to crack the defense.
Graduate forward Robin Bjornholm-Jatta was the Seawolf to do it.
“When you concede first, college soccer is very hard to come back in,” Bjornholm-Jatta said. “We came back and got the win, and we’ve won three out of four, so that’s a good start.”
Senior forward Vince Erdei and Bjornholm-Jatta each scored one goal, including Bjornholm-Jatta’s game winner with seven minutes left in the game, as the Seawolves came from behind to take down the Blue Devils 2-1. This was also head coach Ryan Anatol’s 50th win as a Division I head coach.
The forward was able to break free from his defender after Erdei’s pass deflected off a Blue Devils defender in the 83rd minute.
Bjornholm-Jatta had a chance to take the lead early in the first half with a one-on-one situation, but the shot went wide. He made up for it with his second opportunity, taking the shot that hit the left post and rolled into the back of the net.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, but Central Connecticut State looked like the stronger team in the first half. With more ball control and corner kicks, it was inevitable that they would score first, which they did.
“It was a bit scrappy,” Anatol said. “I didn’t think our energy was as good as it should’ve been tonight. We went down a goal, and I think we had to fight back.”
Blue Devils sophomore midfielder Andres Muriel Albino ripped a shot just outside the 18-yard box over the head of redshirt senior goalkeeper Tom McMahon to put the Blue Devils up 1-0 against the Seawolves in the 19th minute of play.
Erdei answered back 10 minutes later, as he headed home a pass from senior forward Akeem Morris after the throw-in came from senior defender Danny Espinoza. His second goal of the season tied the game at one.
“We’ve been practicing [restarts] for a long time now,” Erdei said about his goal. “That was how I scored my first goal, too. Danny threw a good ball in, Morris found me and I was just in the right spot at the right time.”
Stony Brook finishes its homestand with a 3-1 record, its only loss coming at the hands of Army.
“It’s huge, we definitely need that. We need as many wins as we can,” Erdei said. “We have 12 home games in total, some home-court advantage is huge. Even if we don’t believe that, it’s always better to play at home.”
However, the Seawolves have to go out and win games on the road. Stony Brook will be taking on the Hofstra Pride on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. They last played Hofstra on Aug. 26 last season, losing 3-1 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
With an overall record of 3-6-1 against Hofstra, the team will be looking to continue their success this season and get back in the win column against their crosstown rivals.
“It’s important for us to win at home, but now we need to turn around and go on the road. That’s a part of it as well.” Anatol said. “Being on the road is going to present new challenges as well, but that’s what we need to do if we want to achieve the goals that we want to achieve.”