One of the better defensive performances from the Stony Brook men’s soccer team could not save it from playoff elimination.
The Seawolves (4-11, 2-6 CAA) held the UNC Wilmington Seahawks to just one goal on Saturday, but it was still too much for them to overcome. With the 1-0 loss down in North Carolina, the team secured a winless record on the road against conference opponents in 2022. Stony Brook was also officially eliminated from the postseason, becoming the first team in the conference to reach that low.
The Seahawks dominated possession from the get-go, getting close shots from midfielder Bachir Ndiaye and forward Jalen Anderson within the first six minutes. Goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser was able to fend off shots for the time being. He helped keep the game scoreless for the first 15 minutes, highlighted by a leaping save on a shot from midfielder Gabe Mercer. UNC Wilmington finally broke through in the 16th minute when Mercer played a through ball to Anderson, who slipped it past Kaiser for a goal.
Stony Brook was able to solidify their defensive line for the remainder of the game, as defenders Evan Peters and Jon Jelercic played a pivotal role in forcing poor shots and limiting chances for the Seahawks.
On the other side of the ball, the Seawolves struggled, logging in zero shots in the first half. While in great form this season, forward Jonas Bickus was limited in his touches. He only took three shots and had a lack of chance creation, as the Seahawks focused on getting the ball out of his control.
In the second half, the game quickly became a slugfest with midfielder Bruno Penney and Peters receiving yellow cards. Other Stony Brook players committed fouls left and right, totaling 12 as a team. Bickus and substitute forward Olsen Aluc had great chances to equalize but simply could not find the goal.
Overall, the Seawolves could only muster up nine shots with five on goal. The Seahawks attempted 14 shots, but Stony Brook held them to only three on goal. A big reason for the Seawolves’ defensive performance was the backline’s improvement in form. However, key fouls and offsides calls throughout the end of the second half made it difficult for the offense to capitalize. The unit often found itself rushing through chances rather than creating quality opportunities to tie the game.
After losing their fourth straight game, the Seawolves fell to last place in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Their next game will be against fourth-place Drexel next Saturday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. Stony Brook’s last meeting with Drexel last September ended in a 3-2 win in double overtime. The Dragons are 5-3-6 on the year and 3-2-3 in conference play. They are coming off of a 2-2 tie with Hofstra on Saturday.