Stony Brook Women’s Soccer picked up its first conference win of the season in convincing fashion over UMass Lowell at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium Thursday night. The Seawolves’ fast start allowed them to dictate the style of the game, ending the night with a 3-0 shutout win over the River Hawks.
“I was really happy with how we started the game, the assistants did a really good job with the scouting report, I thought the team was prepared to play from the first whistle,” head coach Brendan Faherty said.
Freshman forward Fanny Gotesson opened the scoring in the 14th minute, storming down the left side of the field before ripping a shot from 30 yards out that beat the goalkeeper to the far side of the net.
Freshman forward Alyssa Francese added to the lead just three minutes after the first goal with a tap-in on a rebound. The goal gave the Seawolves a 2-0 lead 17 minutes into the game, and was also Francese’s fifth in her last four games. Francese also picked up an assist later in the game.
“We’re not a ‘run all over the place’ kind of team,” Faherty said. “They were trying to work out of the back, which allowed us to press higher up the field.”
Because UMass was trailing, the River Hawks were forced to try and convert on more difficult types of plays in an attempt to catch up. They attempted to work long passes out of the back, which allowed Stony Brook to intercept the difficult passes. As a result, the team controlled possession and outshot Lowell 19 to 10.
Although UMass had 10 shots, just two required a save from freshman goalkeeper Sofia Manner. The Helsinki native picked up her fourth shutout of the season and the third in her last four games. The keeper rushed a UMass attacker who was alone outside the 18-yard box to keep her shutout. Manner drew a yellow card for the slide tackle, but preserved the clean sheet.
The fresh legs of substitutes contributed to Stony Brook’s overwhelming pressure. The Seawolves made 14 total substitutions on the night, getting a total of 20 players into the game.
“Younger players, especially in our attacking group, get opportunities and experience by getting minutes in game,” Faherty said.
Junior forward Julie Johnstonbaugh was effective in the final third, registering five shots in the game. She scored the game’s third and final goal in the 47th minute, beating the keeper shortside.
“We all know it’s just gonna come to us at the right moment, and we’ll be ready to go at it,” Johnstonbaugh said. “It’s fun scoring goals, I wanna be part of the forward club scoring goals.”
The convincing win has the team at 1-1 in conference play. The Seawolves resume conference play on the road this Sunday in West Hartford, Connecticut when they take on Hartford at 2 p.m.