Holding on to a 2-0 lead in the second half, the Stony Brook men’s soccer team appeared to be on its way to its first conference victory of the season at home on Saturday, Oct. 19 versus the Binghamton Bearcats. The Seawolves had scored multiple goals for the first time in eight matches, with their last multi-goal performance coming on Sept. 18 against Hofstra. Still, the renewed offensive firepower could not carry the team to a win as the lead fell apart in brutal fashion.
The Bearcats first got on the board in the 63rd minute when freshman back Oliver Svalander headed the ball into the side of the net off of a corner kick by junior midfielder Noah Luescher, who was credited with the assist. The equalizer came soon after in the 67th minute when Svalander positioned himself directly in front of the net and delivered the assist from redshirt-sophomore midfielder Lucas Arzan quickly through to tie the match at 2-2.
With the clock winding down, a foul called on sophomore midfielder Trausti Birgisson gave Luescher, the team’s leading scorer, a free kick. Luescher drove the ball past the outstretched arms of freshman goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser to give Binghamton a 3-2 lead in the 81st minute. With eight and a half minutes left for Stony Brook to try and send the match into overtime, they never got another shot off as Binghamton’s defense prevented them from gaining control of the ball.
The loss was extremely tough for the Seawolves given how well they had started the match off. Stony Brook began the scoring in the 18th minute when sophomore midfielder Cameron Bonfils hit a cross that deflected off of Binghamton sophomore goalkeeper P.J. Parker for the early 1-0 lead. The goal was Stony Brook’s first in four matches; the last time they had scored was on Oct. 1 against Fordham. The Seawolves doubled their lead twelve minutes later when senior midfielder Mark Irvine received the assist from Bonfils inside the box and buried the ball in the net for his first goal of the season.
Binghamton outshot Stony Brook 14 to 6, outpacing them eight to three in terms of shots on goal. Facing pressure all night long, Kaiser recorded five saves against the three goals allowed, the most since he allowed four against Penn State. Both teams entered the match winless in conference play, but it is the Bearcats who improve their record to 4-7-1 (1-3-0 AE) while the Seawolves drop to 3-9-2 (0-4-0 AE). Stony Brook had not lost a game in which they scored multiple goals since falling 3-2 at George Washington on Aug. 24, 2018.
The Seawolves will continue to search for their first conference win on Saturday, Oct. 26 when they take on the Albany Great Danes at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium at 7 p.m.