Stony Brook Women’s Soccer picked up its second consecutive win on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, breezing past the Binghamton Bobcats 4-0.
“Getting a shutout is important to us,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “At this point, I think we’re a team that can expect to score goals so if we can play well defensively we’re going to have opportunities going forward.”
Despite the scoreline, it was the visitors who would get the game’s first chance. Binghamton redshirt-senior forward Kayla Saager fired a shot from outside the 18-yard box, forcing Stony Brook sophomore goalkeeper Sofia Manner to hit the ground to make the save.
Senior forward Julie Johnstonbaugh and sophomore forward Fanny Gotesson ran the show for the hosts, linking up for three of the team’s four goals. The scoreless deadlock was broken in the 25th minute when Gotesson sent a driven ball into the box, finding Johnstonbaugh at the back post. Johnstonbaugh was able to get in front of her defender and redirect the ball into the back of the net for the lead.
The duo would go on to double the team’s lead two minutes later. In an almost identical play, Gotesson crossed the ball inside the eighteen, finding the head of Johnstonbaugh who nodded it past Bearcats freshman goalkeeper Haylee Poltorak.
“We’re out doing extra work every morning,” Johnstonbaugh said. “Our forwards are really trying to get the energy going by getting the ball wide and having runners in the box to finish goals.”
Freshman midfielder Ranae Ward provided much needed energy to the middle of the park. She displayed her ball control and physicality, helping the Seawolves avoid turnovers and maintain possession.
Tension between the two sides began to grow as the second half began. Following a Stony Brook foul, Binghamton head coach Neel Bhattacharjee made it evident that he was upset with the lack of a yellow card, eventually leading to him receiving his own.
The free kick that followed was the most challenging of the seven saves Manner was forced to make. Despite the set piece being driven hard on the ground, Manner was able to make a diving save and keep the visitors off the scoresheet.
For the third time on the night, Johnstonbaugh and Gotesson were able to connect for a goal in the 78th minute. Although the play appeared similar to the first two goals, it was Johnstonbaugh who found Gotesson with a cross, allowing her to volley the ball into the top left corner of goal for a 3-0 lead.
“We’ve spent a lot of time with the front four,” Faherty said. “The time they are putting in on their own is working in the game for sure.”
The Seawolves would go on to add a fourth goal before the game’s final whistle, this time with sophomore forward Rachel Florenz finding the back of the net. Florenz was sent into the box by sophomore midfielder Kimmy Chavkin, taking a pair of touches before slotting the ball past Poltorak’s near post.
“Our thing is to stay focused,” Johnstonbaugh said. “We’ve had limited home games so of course we’ve wanted to put teams away but on the road we all keep the energy up and no team can keep up with us when we’re really on.”
With Thursday’s victory, the team advances its record to 8-5-1 and remains undefeated in conference play, keeping a 3-0-1 record. The Seawolves head on the road for their next two regular season games, taking on the New Hampshire Wildcats on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. and the UMBC Retrievers on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.