A full minute of game time hadn’t even gone by before the ball found the net. Penn State redshirt-sophomore midfielder Daniel Gonzalez received the pass inside the box and drilled a strike past freshman goalkeeper Christian Miesch to give Penn State a lead it would never surrender.
Gonzalez’s goal set the tone early for the Nittany Lions, who defeated Stony Brook Men’s Soccer 3-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The loss drops the Seawolves’ overall record to 6-4-2, with no more non-conference games remaining. The Seawolves had few opportunities in the match, and the ones they did get wound up breaking against them.
The first near miss came in the 27th minute. Already down 2-0, Stony Brook had yet to get a shot off in the game. Redshirt-sophomore midfielder Gabriel Fernandes changed that, finding separation and launching a strike. Unfortunately for Fernandes, the shot banged off the crossbar, narrowly avoiding a much-needed deficit cutter.
The Seawolves had only one more chance to break the shutout. Junior striker Jarred Dass found a shot in the 73rd minute, but the ball bounced off the post. Penn State junior goalkeeper Arie Ammann only faced one shot on goal the whole night, as the offense overall failed to generate consistent pressure.
“We did not perform well enough tonight,” head coach Ryan Anatol said in a press release. “We made some early mistakes and credit to Penn State, they were able to take advantage of their opportunities. But our guys stuck through with it and had some really good moments.”
“We were a little unfortunate on two occasions to be denied by the woodwork. Sometimes you need a little luck to get back into games like this and it went against us tonight. But ultimately we need to be better, especially defensively. We can’t give up three goals and expect to win games.”
Gonzalez was key in the Nittany Lions’ offense. The midfielder found senior forward Mac Curran in the top left of the box in the 27th minute, and Curran took the shot off a dribble to double Penn State’s lead. Gonzalez struck again in the 55th minute, following up on a rebounded shot to score the final goal. Prior to Tuesday, Gonzalez had yet to score this season.
The loss concludes a three-game road trip for Stony Brook, who went 1-1-1 during that stretch. The team returns home for one game on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. against New Hampshire. The Seawolves currently sit atop the America East standings with a 3-0 conference record, while the Wildcats are in striking distance at 2-1.