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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


America East Champs

Freshmen were the heroes on Sunday, as the Stony Brook Seawolves won the America East Championship by beating the UMBC Retrievers, 2-0, and earned an automatic bid in the NCAA College Cup.

Freshmen Raphael Abreu (New York, NY.) and Leonardo Fernandes (North Babylon, NY.) both scored second-half goals for Stony Brook.

Redshirt freshman Anthony Rogic (Boonton, NJ.) was named Most Outstanding Player of the America East Championship, after recording two saves on his way to a shutout, including one on a penalty reminiscent of last Wednesday’s shootout win over Hartford.

In the 36th minute, the referee whistled for a foul in the Stony Brook penalty area. Rogic, in a carbon copy of Wednesday night’s clinching save, dove to his left to stone the UMBC forward, preserving his clean score sheet. Head Coach Cesar Markovic called the save ‘the turning point’ in the match.

It would go down as one of the best chances for Stony Brook to make a statement in the first half. The Seawolves produced three shots on goal, including a virtual breakaway that was stopped by the UMBC goalkeeper. However, the home team couldn’t find the back of the net, and the two squads went into the locker rooms at the half, tied 0-0.

The Seawolves have established themselves more and more as a second half team, and Sunday’s match was no different. Stony Brook came out of the halftime break with a new fire. Known for playing the ball long up the field and counter-attacking, the Seawolves dabbled with possession, as the forwards would stop the long passes and wait for support from the midfielders before attacking the’ goal.

In the 67th minute, a UMBC player received his second yellow card of the match, earning him an automatic ejection.

Not long afterwards, Stony Brook made full use of the man advantage. Two minutes after the sending off, defender Damion Brown (Kingston, JM) received a UMBC clearance at midfield, and immediately kicked it back where it came from, sending it high towards the UMBC goal. Abreu was waiting and, after benefitting from an awkward touch off the UMBC goalkeeper, coolly slid the ball into the open goal, setting off celebrations in the crowd of over 1000 at LaValle Stadium.

In the 77th minute, Stony Brook was awarded a free kick about 25 yards out in front of goal. America East Rookie of the Year Fernandes stepped up and sent the ball curling off his left foot and into the upper corner of the goal. Fernandes seventh goal of the season leads the team and clinched the game for the Seawolves.

The team and the fans sensed that victory was imminent. Some Seawolves doused Markovic with the classic ice water shower a few minutes before the end of the game.

The final whistle set off an avalanche of fans, as the crowd poured out of the stands and onto the turf field, singing and celebrating alongside the players.

The first time Stony Brook and UMBC met this fall, The Retrievers handed the Seawolves a 2-0 loss. But Stony Brook has not lost since that Oct. 7 meeting, going 6-0-1 over the last seven matches, including two America East Tournament playoff victories.

Selection for the NCAA College Cup bracket takes place at 5:30 on Monday, November 16 on ESPN News.

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