As sophomore goalkeeper Sofia Manner raced back toward the net from midfield to beat the UMass Lowell attack, Stony Brook Women’s Soccer was in a 1-0 deficit in the America East semifinals with just two minutes left.
UMass Lowell redshirt-junior forward Katelyn Vieira weaved past a defender and shot a ball to the right side of the net, sealing Stony Brook’s season.
The River Hawks’ 2-0 victory at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 28 marks the second consecutive year that a No. 1-seeded team in the America East Tournament has been upset in the semifinals — the Seawolves upset No. 1-ranked New Hampshire in last year’s semifinals. It also marks the first time the Seawolves have lost at home this season.
“Unfortunately today wasn’t our day, but that happens in sports,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “I want to thank all the student-athletes for their efforts this fall. Though the season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, we still accomplished a ton on and off the field.”
Both teams finished the first half just about even on the stat sheet. UMass Lowell led Stony Brook 8-6 on the shot count, while Stony Brook picked up the upper hand in corner kicks 3-1. The two teams had offensive pushes early, with the Seawolves pressuring the River Hawks defense in the early portion of the half, followed by the River Hawks going on the offensive later on.
Senior forward Julie Johnstonbaugh sent a bending shot from on the inside part of the box toward the River Hawks net in the eighth minute, but it skimmed the crossbar and flew high.
The Seawolves picked up physical play around the 25th minute, committing four straight fouls against the River Hawks. The team finished the game with 12 fouls, double the Red Hawks’ six.
The two conference foes battled by exchanging shots until the 59th minute, when freshman midfielder Lily Fabian took a shot that landed on her foot in front of the box and past Manner, breaking the scoreless tie.
Senior goalkeeper Julia Schneider provided a strong performance for the River Hawks in the matchup, saving eight shots on goal in the cleansheet victory. The eight saves were her third-highest total this season, tying her performance against Stony Brook on Oct. 21.
Stony Brook Women’s Soccer will graduate six seniors this season: Johnstonbaugh, goalkeeper Carolyn Carrera, forward Jordyn Klapper and defenders Allyson Baner, Kaitlin Loughren and Skyler Mackey. UMass Lowell moves on to the America East Final to face the Albany Great Danes on Sunday, Nov. 4.