Junior forward Erin O’Connor in a game against Hofstra on Sept. 8. O’Connor scored both goals during a game against New Hampshire on Nov. 7. ABHI CHERATH/THE STATESMAN

The Stony Brook women’s soccer team defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats in the America East semifinals by a final score of 2-1 on Thursday, Nov. 7 at home. It was the second time that the Seawolves had defeated the Wildcats this season following a rain-soaked battle on Oct. 27. As the winners of the relentless back-and-forth matchup that transpired, the Seawolves advance to the America East Women’s Soccer Championship game.

Just like the last matchup between the Wildcats and Seawolves, the game between these teams was once again at the fate of the rain that came down on Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. While there was no delay this time, there wasn’t any scoring in the first half at all despite Stony Brook getting eight shots off and New Hampshire getting five shots off. The Seawolves’ three shots on goal placed them ahead of the Wildcats one. 

Also just like the last game, the Seawolves came out from halftime and brought their A-game. Junior forward Erin O’Connor kicked things off in the 60th minute by sending an assist from fellow junior defender Kimmy Chavkin into the back of the net. The celebration was barely over, however, when Wildcats senior forward/midfielder Kaylan Williams answered right back a mere six seconds later. 

However, O’Connor proved her night was not yet over when she scored the game-winning goal in the 63rd minute off a dual assist from Chavkin and junior forward Fanny Götesson. New Hampshire had no answer for O’Connor’s second goal, sending the Seawolves to the title game. 

“New Hampshire is a very well-coached team with a lot of seniors,” head coach Tobias Bischof said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “They performed really well and made it hard for us to find our offensive groove. We have some players who can shine in those moments and it was an overall great team effort. We know we can score if we create chances and just made a couple changes at halftime and it worked out for us.”

“I think that tonight was more of a team effort,” O’Connor said in an interview. “We’ve done everything together to get to where we are today and I couldn’t do it without the 10 other people out there with me.”

On deck next for the Seawolves are familiar faces: the Hartford Hawks, who the Seawolves played only a week ago in a draw. The Hawks defeated the Albany Great Danes 3-2 in their semifinal game, setting the stage for Sunday’s championship game at 1 p.m. at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Gunning for their second America East Championship in three seasons, O’Connor had some words for Seawolves fans:

“Come out on Sunday and watch us win.”

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