The Stony Brook men’s soccer team took on George Washington University for the first time in program history Tuesday evening. It was the final game before conference play starts, and the Seawolves were looking to end their non-conference schedule with strong play and a win.
The team came away with a tie. However, head coach Ryan Anatol was not pleased with the result.
“I didn’t think we played with enough intensity,” Anatol said. “We pride ourselves in competing and playing hard, and I don’t think we did a good job with that, and that’s disappointing.”
The Seawolves came from behind with eight minutes to play in the second half, with senior forward Vince Erdei’s penalty kick. However, the team was unable to find a game-winner in the two overtime periods and would end up tying the Colonials 1-1 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium.
Erdei scored his fifth goal of the season via penalty kick, the same way he has scored two goals this season already. The senior was fouled in the box in the 82nd minute and placed the shot away from junior goalkeeper Thor Arne Höfs to score the equalizer.
The goal was a historic one. Erdei’s goal was the 19th of his career, tying him for 10th place in men’s soccer program history with Raphael Abreu and Bosah Eirke.
The Seawolves were missing two key starters in redshirt senior goalkeeper Tom McMahon and fifth-year defender Lars Togstad. McMahon has been absent on the field since tweaking his leg in the second half of the game against Bryant on Sept. 16. Togstad did not play in the game against then-16th ranked Georgetown and did not take the field due to an unspecified injury.
Anatol did not see their absences as a reason for the team’s poor play in the first half.
“We have guys out, but you have to expect that throughout the course of the year,” Anatol said. “It’s always better to have everyone available, but I don’t think that was the reason why we didn’t play with the energy we needed in the first half.”
Stony Brook usually puts on a high-energy, high-octane performance when playing in front of its home crowd. However, they took on a George Washington team that was much bigger in height and much stronger than them that halted their performance almost dead in its track. The opponents were too much for Stony Brook, and George Washington was able to strike first.
Colonials’ freshman midfielder Oscar Haynes Brown snuck behind the defense on freshman midfielder Peirce Williams’ free kick in the 10th minute and headed the ball past Stony Brook’s sophomore goalkeeper Jacob Braham. McMahon’s replacement made eight saves on the night, giving him 13 saves over the last three games playing in place of the injured keeper.
“Overall, I was disappointed because this was a big opportunity for us,” Anatol said. “I don’t feel like we gave enough of an effort to get the result that we wanted.”
The Seawolves finish their non-conference schedule with a 5-2-2 record, and will only have a few days off before kicking off conference play.
“Conference play is always a new challenge,” Anatol said. “There’s points on the line and it’s a new season so everybody can put their records aside. Everybody starts with zero points and everybody is fighting for those points. I think that everybody understands how each other plays, and it’s a tight conference, so I’m looking forward to some good games.”
Anatol is looking at the future with a positive outlook with a home match against Binghamton on Saturday at 7 p.m..