The Stony Brook women’s soccer team began its America East title defense with a two-game split on the West Coast.
The team fell 2-1 to the University of Oregon on Friday, Aug. 17 and picked up a 2-1 overtime victory against Oregon State on Sunday, Aug. 19.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sofia Manner saved four out of six shots faced in Friday’s game, including a close Oregon opportunity in the beginning of the first half. The reigning America East Rookie of the Year enters her second season as the starting keeper for the Seawolves.
The Seawolves went into halftime tied 1-1 with the Ducks. Sophomore forward Alyssa Francese, who led the team in points last year, notched the first goal of Friday’s contest in the 26th minute from an assist by sophomore midfielder Chelsie DePonte.
The Ducks tied the score in the 37th minute with a shot around the penalty marker by senior forward Marissa Everett. The game winner came in the second half as junior forward Emma Eddy netted a shot in the 63rd minute.
The team competed well on the offensive end, outshooting Oregon 8-7 in the second half with just one less shot on net through the whole match.
Head coach Brendan Faherty was optimistic about his team’s season-opening performance despite the defeat.
“For our first game of the season, we are happy with the way we competed over 90 minutes against a solid Oregon side,” Faherty said in a press release. “We will grow from this match — we will focus on fixing the mistakes, while also highlighting the positive play we had on both sides of the ball.”
The Seawolves’ next matchup against Oregon State on Sunday saw a similar effort, but with a different result.
With both teams tied at 1-1 following regulation, a 10-minute sudden-death overtime period would decide the victor.
Following a push towards the Beavers’ net, the Seawolves were awarded a penalty following a foul in the box four minutes into the action. Francese notched her second goal in as many games, the game winner.
“This was a very encouraging weekend for our team, and it’s nice to be rewarded with a win against a very organized Oregon State team,” Faherty said in a press release following the victory. “We didn’t have the best opening 45 minutes, but I thought our energy and work rate were fantastic in the second half and overtime.”
The first half finished in a scoreless tie, yet the Beavers held an offensive edge over the Seawolves, doubling them in shots taken. Manner was forced to make nine saves in the half, tying her career high for saves. She continued her dominant performance in the second half with help from her defense, who blocked three of the Beavers’ first four shots.
Manner finished the contest with a total of 12 saves, a new career high.
Senior forward Julie Johnstonbaugh broke the game’s scoreless draw with a shot crossed by freshman forward Tatum Kauka in the 72nd minute. The lead didn’t last long, however, as Oregon State notched a goal of its own on a free kick less than two minutes later.
The Seawolves had a pair of opportunities toward the later portion of regulation, with sophomore midfielder Kimmy Chavkin putting pressure on the Beavers defense and taking a shot which was saved with about 10 minutes left in regulation.
The Seawolves wrap up their road trip in South Bend, Indiana on Thursday, Aug. 23 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.