The Stony Brook women’s soccer team’s unbeaten streak came to an end in the Battle of Long Island.
The Seawolves (3-2-4, 1-1-2 CAA) hosted the reigning conference champion Hofstra Pride (6-2-0, 3-0-0 CAA) on Sunday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Though Stony Brook got a career effort from forward Reilly Rich, it still fell 2-1 due to elite goalkeeping by Hofstra.
An explosive four-minute span in the first half contained all of the match’s goals. In the 16th minute, Hofstra midfielder Dagny Run Petursdottir found room to dribble the ball to the top of Stony Brook’s box before laying a pass off to fellow midfielder Thorhilder Thorhallsdottir. Now in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella, Thorhallsdottir ripped one into the back of the net to open the scoring.
The Seawolves responded less than two minutes later when midfielder Linn Beck played a precise pass to forward Reilly Rich at the top of the box. Rich buried it past the dive of Hofstra goalkeeper Skylar Kuzmich with a powerful header to tie the match 1-1. The Pride took the lead for good in the 19th minute, scoring off a corner kick served by defender Cailey Welch. Her corner was deflected by Pasquarella, but Hofstra defender Gabriella Marte headed it in off the rebound for her first goal of the season.
Stony Brook searched tirelessly for the equalizer over the final 70-plus minutes of the match, but could not slip one by Kuzmich. The Pride’s keeper was stout in net, as she saved each of the next seven shots she faced for the rest of the game, including five in the second half and four in a 17-second span. She finished the match with eight saves.
Though his team ultimately lost, head coach Tobias Bischof showed pride in his team’s ability to hang with top-tier Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) teams.
“Today was a real battle,” Bischof said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “There was a lot of 50/50 balls … It was a very intense game, very different to Thursday’s game. But I do believe that in both games … we did prove that we can be successful in this conference.”
Once again, the Seawolves outshot their opponent. They attempted 17 shots and landed nine on target while Hofstra took 15 and landed seven on goal. Rich posted career-highs with seven shots and six shots on goal. However, she was victimized by Kuzmich and Hofstra’s backline when they combined to save three of her shots in a row during the aforementioned 17-second span. Beck, defender Kerry Pearson and midfielder Allie Palangi each contributed one shot on goal.
Pasquarella had a good day in net, saving five shots that came her way. Her performance kept Stony Brook within a goal of the Pride, but the offense could not reward her for her efforts.
“If your goalkeeper plays well … it makes you a little more calm,” Bischof said. “Nicolette has had a good season so far, plays well, and we are happy with her performances.”
Pasquarella and the rest of her squad will return to action next Sunday when they travel to West Long Branch, N.J. to take on the Monmouth Hawks. The Hawks are 2-3-1 on the season and 1-0-1 in CAA play after stomping Hampton 5-0 on Sunday. Opening kickoff is set for 1 p.m.