The Stony Brook men’s soccer team played their third game of the America East season against the No. 17 New Hampshire Wildcats on a cold and windy afternoon at home on Friday, March 19. In a very entertaining match, the Seawolves could not get their offense going, losing the game 2-1.
Sophomore goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser continued to shine with five saves, but the team’s offense once again provided little help. Stony Brook took just three shots on goal, compared to New Hampshire’s seven.
“It was a tough result today,” head coach Ryan Anatol said in a postgame press release. “I thought we started slowly and we struggled in the windy conditions to move the ball, and we were not sharp enough in possession. But we defended really well again and limited them to few good chances.”
New Hampshire started the first half of the game ready to win, playing with an attack-oriented starting formation. The Seawolves didn’t see much of the ball due to New Hampshire’s constant pressure.
The Wildcats were able to win a set-piece near the 10-yard line and got a shot on target, but it was an easy save for Kaiser.
The Seawolves defense stayed organized, with each player marking their man. Stony Brook was able to hold New Hampshire off by staying back and defending. The Seawolves kept the ball on New Hampshire’s side of the field briefly, but every time they attacked it was a quick burst, not a dangerous one.
In the 31st minute, New Hampshire developed a beautiful play, passing the ball quickly and effectively to convert a tap-in goal by defenseman Victor Menudier, who was able to score with his first touch of the game to make the score 1-0.
The Seawolves started to pick up confidence after conceding a goal by pressing the Wildcats’ defense. In the 40th minute, the Seawolves were able to earn a penalty after getting a cross into the box. The ball took a few bounces in the penalty area, but as the New Hampshire defender tried to clear the ball, he ended up fouling freshman forward Aki Solvason.
The Seawolves’ senior midfielder Kori Cupid walked up to take the penalty. Still, the shot was saved by graduate goalkeeper Alejandro Robles. But it wasn’t enough, because Cupid was able to get the rebound and tie the game up 1-1.
“We grew into the game in the first half,” Anatol said. “It was good to get the goal and go into the half tied.”
The Wildcats started the second half hot, converting a goal in the 45th minute. Forward Paul Mayer was able to run up on the Seawolves’ goalkeeper, causing a goalkeeper mistake. After trying to kick the ball with his weak foot, Mayer was able to convert from Kaisers’ error.
Freshman midfielder Trevor Harrison nearly tied the game in the 87th minute, but his shot bounced off the crossbar.
“I thought we had good momentum, but the mistake on the second goal changed the game,” Anatol said. “Credit the guys, they stuck with it and had a few near misses, and the shot off the bar, but ultimately we need to create more to put us in a better position to win these games.”
The loss dropped Stony Brook to 1-3-1 (1-1-1 AE). They have scored just four goals in their last four games.
The Seawolves return to action on the road on Friday, March 26 at 4 p.m. against UMBC.