The Stony Brook men’s soccer team could not get it going on Friday night against the Hartford Hawks, losing a tightly contested game on Oct. 11 by a score of 1-0. The loss marks the team’s second straight loss and their third straight conference loss this season.
Entering at 3-7-1 with two straight losses to open up conference play this season, the Seawolves needed a solid showing against the 6-2-3 Hawks to stop the bleeding. The need for a good game helped the Seawolves run with the Hawks for most of the game, matching them shot for shot as each had nine shots total.
While there were chances for both teams, the Hawks made more of those chances and firmly held the offensive advantage throughout the night, as Hartford put a total of four of their nine shots on goal. After the Hawks put three shots on goal, two in the first half and one in the 62nd minute, the Seawolves finally put up their first and only shot on goal of the night, an 80th minute low shot from sophomore midfielder Trausti Birgisson that was saved by Hawks senior goalie Jimmy Slayton.
Finally, in the 85th minute, Hawks sophomore back Nick Benjamin broke the tie when he tapped the ball into the net momentarily off a corner kick despite being surrounded by Seawolves. Benjamin’s goal gave the Hawks the win, despite a heroic three-save game from freshman goalie Edmond Kaiser to keep the Seawolves in the game. With the loss, the team walked away empty handed yet again as Hartford improved to 7-2-3 on the season.
“We’re disappointed with the result,” said head coach Ryan Anatol in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “As far as play, I thought we played pretty well and controlled large parts of the game. I think we could have been a little bit more decisive in the final period to create some more chances and better opportunities. Obviously, restarts are always a concern and we gave up one on a restart. But as far as the play, I thought we played pretty well.”
The Seawolves will need a short memory, as they are right back at it on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in Easton, Pennsylvania as they travel to face the Lafayette Leopards, marking the end of non-conference play for the team. Then, on Saturday, Oct. 19, the Seawolves will be back at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to play the Binghamton Bearcats.
“We’ve got the midweek game,” head coach Anatol said. “You’re always hoping to get a little bit of momentum. I think that’s what we are struggling with right now. Just that confidence, that belief. We are playing well. But again, we need a little bit of belief, a little bit of confidence, a little bit of luck. So hopefully we can go into Tuesday’s game and get a good, positive performance and result and hopefully that can propel us into the game over the weekend.”