The Stony Brook men’s soccer team continued its hot start with a 1-0 win at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium over the Columbia Lions on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 6. With the win, the Seawolves improved to 3-1 overall on the season in an impressive non-conference stretch. It was the team’s second straight win, after pulling off a double-overtime victory at Drexel last Friday.
Now, winners of back-to-back matches, Stony Brook is on its first winning streak since September 2019, when the Seawolves beat Siena and Hofstra 2-1 in consecutive contests. It is their best four-game start to a season since 2017, when they also started 3-1 in the same pattern as this team.
“It was a great team win for us today,” head coach Ryan Anatol said. “We defended well to keep their opportunities to a minimum and did a good job creating chances, ultimately getting the goal in the first half.”
This match saw a couple of firsts for this season. One of those firsts was Stony Brook’s first penalty kick of the year, which graduate midfielder Gabriel Fernandes promptly zipped past Columbia freshman goalkeeper Andreas Zamanian for the first goal of the game. Zamanian was playing in place of junior goalkeeper Michael Collodi, who received a red card and was ejected from the match after taking down sophomore forward Aki Solvason in the box.
Fernandes’ penalty kick was the first play of Zamanian’s college career. It was also the first red card issued in a Stony Brook match this year. This came inside at the last minute of the first half, with only 42 seconds left on the clock. Fernandes, the team captain, came off the bench for the first time this year, only to score his first goal of the year. At the collegiate level, it was his first career penalty kick. He celebrated his penalty emphatically, pretending to strum a guitar, using a flag as a prop.
Outside of those unique milestones, the Seawolves played the same game they have played all season. The defense was suffocating once more, as it held Columbia scoreless on only five shots. The offense was aggressive, as they attempted ten shots of their own, but only three were on goal.
As fate would have it, Fernandes’ penalty kick was the only shot that went in. The defense held on to their 1-0 lead while the offense could not pad on to the advantage.
“I’m proud of our defense, who has done well to start the year, especially at home, only allowing one goal,” Anatol said. “This is something we’d like to continue as we build throughout the course of the season.”
Junior goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser posted his second clean sheet of the year, only allowing three goals through the first four contests. After the match, Kaiser spoke on his team’s success and what they have done well so far this season.
“We’re doing a good job right now,” he said. “Our backline shifts really well and any shots on goal are very tough to get.”
The Seawolves now turn their attention to the Fairfield Stags, who they will host on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. at LaValle Stadium. It will be Stony Brook’s fourth home matchup already this year as they will look to go 2-0 on this homestand and improve to 4-1 on the season.