Stony Brook Women’s Soccer almost pulled off a dramatic comeback on Thursday, Sept. 27 in the team’s first road conference game of the season but fell short of a victory, tying Albany 3-3.
In the second and seventh minutes of play, Albany senior forward Mariah Williams and redshirt-sophomore midfielder Meghan Cavanaugh fired two shots past sophomore goalkeeper Sofia Manner to put the Great Danes up 2-0 in the first half.
“Tonight was a battle, both physically and tactically, and credit to Albany for making it such a difficult game,” head coach Brendan Faherty said in a press release.
Stony Brook’s offense kept pestering Albany in the first half but to no avail, going into halftime down by two.
Stony Brook sophomore forward Alyssa Francese was tripped in the box in the 60th minute, earning her a third penalty shot in three games. The initial shot was deflected by sophomore goalkeeper Andrea Leitner, but Francese snatched the rebound and scored on her second kick. The goal was the confidence booster Stony Brook needed to get back into the game.
Great Danes senior defender Meghan Malone regained her team’s two-goal lead in the 69th minute, but Francese responded soon after. Spinning around her defender and catching the goalie out of place, Francese scored her second goal into the right side of the net in the 79th minute, cutting Albany’s lead to 3-2.
Down by one and on the attack, sophomore midfielder Chelsie DePonte created space for an open look goal, striking on a cross outside the box in the 81st minute to tie the game 3-3. Neither team was able to score again in regulation and the game went into sudden death overtime.
Both teams were persistent in their defense and allowed few scoring chances in the first overtime period. The second overtime produced a couple for Stony Brook, but it couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities.
Heavy rain started to come down at the start of the second overtime, and the Seawolves used it to their advantage.
In the second minute, senior forward Julie Johnstonbaugh laid an impressive cross in front of the goalkeeper to Francese. The ball missed her left foot by centimeters, denying her a hat-trick and game-winning goal.
The Seawolves had one more opportunity in double overtime before the whistle blew to end the game.
“To come back from two goals down twice in the second half says a lot about the character of our student-athletes,” Faherty said. “There are a lot of positives we can take from this game, but Albany also exposed some areas in our game that we need to develop more.”