Forward Gabrielle Côté’s two goals helped lead the Stony Brook women’s soccer team past Hofstra and into the playoffs.
The Seawolves (7-7-4, 4-2-3 CAA) won the Battle of Long Island on Sunday to end their regular season and clinch the sixth seed in the conference tournament. Carried by Côté’s performance, the team defeated the Hofstra Pride 2-1, securing a playoff berth in its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
“I’m happy for the players and for the program to make the playoffs in our first-ever season in the CAA,” head coach Tobias Bischof said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “Hofstra is a well-coached team, but credit to my players to find a way to get the 2-1 victory. Now we turn the page and get ready for the CAA conference championship.”
It was not all smooth sailing for Stony Brook, as it dealt with adversity early on. The Pride drew first blood in the 27th minute when defender Anja Suttner scored with a header off an assist from midfielder Thorhildur Thorhallsdottir.
The Seawolves evened things up in the 34th minute when Côté scored off an assist from forward Luciana Setteducate that trickled past the goalie after vacating the box. Côté struck again 10 minutes into the second half, scoring off assists from defender Catharina von Drigalski and forward Reilly Rich to put the Seawolves out in front 2-1.
The Seawolves’ defense held on to the lead, forcing nine straight missed shots from Hofstra over the final 35 minutes. Côté’s second goal proved to be the game-winner, officially taking Stony Brook to the postseason.
The team partially owes its tournament seeding to Côté, as the freshman delivered several goals down the stretch that single-handedly impacted its place in the standings. On Oct. 9, Côté scored the game-tying goal against Drexel with six seconds left to salvage a point to keep Stony Brook’s playoff hopes alive. Her game-tying goal against Drexel and her game-winner against Hofstra spotted Stony Brook four points in the standings. Had those goals not been scored, the Seawolves would have finished as the eighth seed and would be facing Monmouth in the quarterfinals.
Stony Brook was able to get the win despite being heavily outshot by Hofstra. Stony Brook took eight shots with six on target, while Hofstra compiled 21 total shots with nine on target.
Goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella was also crucial in helping the Seawolves win the match. She tallied eight saves, including five in the second half. Her performance was critical, as Hofstra made a strong comeback effort with 15 second-half shots.
The defense made it a tough day at the office for Thorhallsdottir. She attempted eight total shots, but the Seawolves forced all eight shots to go errant and miss the net.
The CAA women’s soccer championship tournament will begin this Thursday. The sixth-seeded Seawolves will travel to Philadelphia to take on the three-seeded Northeastern Huskies. The Huskies are 8-5-4 on the season and went 5-2-2 in conference games. Northeastern lost its last game to Monmouth on Sunday 2-1. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The two teams previously met on Sept. 29, with Northeastern winning 3-0.