Fresh off its biggest blowout win of the year, the Seawolves (3-1-3, 1-0-1 CAA) will host the Delaware Blue Hens (3-3-2, 0-1-1 CAA) on Thursday, Sept. 14 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Delaware has yet to win in September, as it narrowly lost to first-place William & Mary 1-0 on Sunday. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 6:31 p.m. between Stony Brook and Delaware.
The Seawolves are 3-2 all-time against the Blue Hens and have won each of the last three matches. In their most recent matchup last October, forward Hannah Maracina scored the game-winning goal in the 74th minute and goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella posted her first career clean sheet.
This year, Stony Brook has returned mostly the same cast of characters that combined to score the most goals in the Colonial — now Coastal — Athletic Association (CAA). This season, the team has continued to dominate on the attack, as it is currently the third-best scoring offense (two goals per match) in the CAA.
Once again, forward Reilly Rich leads them with three goals scored. Rich is not the only one that requires attention in the final third, as forward Gabrielle Côté and midfielders Linn Beck and Ashley Manor have all scored two goals each. The Seawolves have eight different goalscorers and are still waiting for defender Catharina von Drigalski, forward Luciana Setteducate and midfielder Jadyn Lui to find their first goals of the season.
Stony Brook’s offense will have to crack the code of Delaware’s elite defense, which currently ranks third in the CAA goals allowed per game. The Blue Hens have only been scored on five times through eight matches, good for an average of just 0.63 goals per contest. Delaware’s defense is led by 2022 All-CAA Third Team selection defender Lea Panagiotidis. Other notable starters on the Blue Hens’ backline are defenders Constanze Viehmann, Carly Binn and Lauren Elwell.
Those defenders have made life easy for Delaware’s rotation of goalies. Starting goalkeeper Mia Reed is ninth in the CAA with 15 saves despite rotating with backup Kyla Burns. Burns has saved all 12 shots that she has faced across five matches played (three starts). Whoever is goalkeeping for the Blue Hens on Thursday, they will have their hands full, as the Seawolves currently lead the conference in shots taken per game (16.71).
Luckily for Stony Brook, it has also been playing at an elite level on defense. The team is currently fourth in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just one goal per match. Defender Kerry Pearson has been very active on the defensive side of the ball alongside von Drigalski, Manor, midfielder Gabby Daniels and defender Aneta Sovakova.
Stony Brook’s defense has made goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella’s job much less difficult this year, as she has only had to face 26 shots on goal in her seven matches played. Her 19 saves are the third most in the CAA.
The Seawolves’ red-hot defense will try to suffocate the Blue Hens’ struggling offense. Delaware currently owns the fourth-worst scoring offense in the conference, averaging just 0.88 goals per match. The Blue Hens have been shut out five times this year and in each of the last three matches.
Delaware forward Kristin Wolf has led the flock with a goal and two assists this season. Seven different Blue Hens have scored one goal apiece.
Another thing to look out for is the set-piece battle. Stony Brook has won both the most corner kicks (47) and penalty kick attempts (four) in the CAA.
A win for Delaware tentatively ties it for second in the conference, while a victory for the Seawolves could place them atop the CAA pending how William & Mary does on Thursday.