The Stony Brook’s men’s soccer team played against the UMBC Retrievers on the road in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, March 26. The weather was warm and sunny, hitting 80 degrees, but with high winds favoring the Seawolves in the first half it eventually became difficult for both teams to kick the ball high into the air. Stony Brook dropped the contest, losing 2-1 in the late stages of the match.
Sophomore goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser sustained an injury during a collision with a UMBC player in the first minute of the game. Kaiser, who has 18 saves this season, had to be helped off the field and was replaced by sophomore Curtis Copenhaver.
“Our guys went on the road today and competed in really difficult conditions and put in a performance that deserved better,” head coach Ryan Anatol said in a postgame press release. “We were in control up a goal in the second half. But the wind made difficult situations out of nothing and they were able to capitalize on a couple of those moments.”
Copenhaver, in his second-ever appearance, held UMBC scoreless during the first half with two saves.
The Seawolves were able to win a free kick at the top of the box after a UMBC player fouled the Seawolves in the third minute of the game. Despite a six-man UMBC wall, junior midfielder Trausti Birgisson placed the ball in the top right corner of the net to take a 1-0 lead.
The Seawolves had the majority of the possession throughout the first half, but UMBC grew more confident as the clock ticked. UMBC was able to get a shot on goal with a far-out free kick that Copenhaver got a touch on, hitting the crossbar before going out for a UMBC corner kick with 10 minutes left to play in the first half.
Tensions between the two teams heightened in the starting minutes of the second half, when UMBC was awarded a free kick near the right corner of the box after a foul just two minutes in. Defender Julian Conze shot a long line drive directly into Copenhaver’s hands for his third save of the day.
Once the referee called for another foul against Stony Brook, a skirmish broke out on the field in the 48th minute. After taking a few seconds to sort out the chaos, the referee awarded a red card to UMBC midfielder Jago Lott.
Even though they only had 10 men remaining — soccer rules prohibit replacing ejected players — UMBC was able to tie the game in the 57th minute. Forward Spencer Hanks’ calm play style showed during his finish after a calm and collected shot with his left foot, putting the ball in the back of the net.
UMBC seemed to want the win more than the Seawolves in the later stages of the second half with the wind in their favor, attacking Stony Brook’s defense nonstop. UMBC forward Marquez Vagner crossed the ball, but the wind dragged the ball out and it hit the crossbar without Copenhaver needing to get a hand on it.
In the 85th minute, Hanks put UMBC up 2-1 after a long ball into the Seawolves’ half by goalkeeper Jones Quantrell. Hanks was able to get a great touch on the ball, allowing him to set up a clear finish.
The loss dropped Stony Brook to 1-4-1 (1-2-1 AE) and third place in the America East Pod C. With only two games remaining, beginning with this Friday’s match at home with NJIT, the Seawolves will likely need to win out to make the postseason.