Senior forward Vince Erdei has been playing at an elite level during his senior campaign, and is beginning to make his mark on program history.
Erdei scored the Seawolves’ lone goal, the 19th of his career at Stony Brook in the program’s first ever match-up with George Washington. With that goal, he is now tied for 10th place in career goals in program history.
“With Vince, I think it’s just continued progress,” Stony Brook head coach Ryan Anatol said. “Typically, your goalscorer and your forwards aren’t necessarily one of the more hard-working guys on the team, and I think it’s the opposite with him.”
The forward’s five goals this season are just one goal shy of his career-high from last season. But his main focus is on the team and Erdei believes his recent success is a product of how well the team is working together.
“When I score, it’s mainly the team’s success and it shows that the team did something good,” Erdei said. “When you look at the goals I score, nothing is like a crazy dribble where I go and I finish it. It’s usually me being in the right spot and my teammates always provide the balls for me.”
The senior is best known as a forward, but Anatol tried him out at several different positions when he first arrived at Stony Brook. He was surprised and proud to see how much Erdei has achieved in his four years with the program.
“When [Vince] first got here, we didn’t know a whole lot about him,” Anatol said. “His first year, we played him in a lot of different positions. When you look at him now — and he’s going to be one of the top 10 goalscorers in program history — it’s crazy that in his first year, he played everywhere but up top. That tells you a little bit about Vince, he wants to do things that helps the team be successful.”
Erdei’s willingness to help his team out in any way possible has been noticed by many of his teammates. When injuries occur to other members of the team, Erdei takes matters into his own hands. During a game against Binghamton on Oct. 1, junior midfielder Serge Gamwanya went down with an injury and left the game. Erdei stepped back and played center midfielder for the remainder of the game.
Whether it is the guys who have played with him for four seasons to this year’s freshman class, the whole team strives to match his intensity and work ethic.
“Freshman year, he played as a midfielder,” senior midfielder Thibault Duval said. “He’s also very automatic when it comes to playing forward. He knows when to make the runs and where to be on the field. I think he’s been getting better for us with each year.”
Erdei’s style of play affects the defensive end of the field as well. Even though he plays forward, his high energy and ability to score goals helps the defense get into better positioning following changes in possession.
“A lot of our work defensively starts with our forwards,” Anatol said. “So his ability to cause problems defensively for the other team allows us to defend the way we want to, but it also helps us attack from the defense as well.”
Fifth year defender and recent transfer Lars Togstad has played with Erdei for only one season, but he is not surprised that Erdei has found his way into the record books based on the style of play Togstad has seen for the last season.
“We like to call him ‘fox in the box’,” Togstad said. “He’s pretty good at finishing his chances. He also takes the penalties, and he makes those almost all the time. I don’t think he’s missed yet since I’ve been here.”
Erdei’s ability to score goals via a penalty kick might be one of his more underrated skills. In his career, Erdei is five-for-five when taking penalty kicks, including three-for-free on the season so far.
Erdei is tied with Raphael Abreu and Bosah Eirke with 19 career goals. Erdei can look to take sole control of 10th place when the Seawolves take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Oct. 3 at LaValle Stadium at 7 p.m..