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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Men’s soccer starts slow, finishes strong

    Leonardo Fernandes scored his first goal of the season on Friday. (Kenneth Ho/The Statesman).

    Within the space of one week, the Stony Brook University men’s soccer team reversed their fortunes, beginning with a loss improving to a tie, and finishing off a seven-day span with a solid win.

    The team was not able to find a rhythm last weekend when they traveled to Pittsburgh to play in the Duquense Invitational.

    The Seawolves lost to the University of Pittsburgh last Friday, 1-0, and tied with Duquesne University, 1-1, the follwowing Sunday. They defeated High Point this past Friday, 3-1.

    While those students unfortunate enough to have Friday classes were setting out to begin their Labor Day weekend, the Seawolves took to the field at 5:30 in the evening to face Pittsburgh.

    Pittsburgh returned six starters and 16 letter winners from their 2010 squad. Jon Luxbacher, the Panthers’ coach for the past 28 seasons, is trying to lead Pittsburgh to the Big East Championship after his team went only 6-9-2 last year for the season and 1-6-2 in conference play. They had lost their first two games.

    The Seawolves had their chances in the first half to take an early lead. Sophomore Will Casey nearly delivered a devastating blow to the Panthers three minutes after subbing into the game. But Lee Johnston of Pittsburgh saved what could’ve been Stony Brook’s first goal. The Seawolves made seven shots in the first half overall.

    The deciding goal came in the 59th minute. Seawolves junior goalkeeper Stefan Manz saved a potential goal from Pittsburgh’s Terry Akpua. However, Manz could not hold onto the ball, allowing it to meander to Panthers’ Nico Wrobel, who shot it past Manz for the 1-0 lead.

    “It was not our best performance,” head coach Ryan Anatol said. “We didn’t come out sharp. But we had enough chances that the result could have gone our way.”

    Stony Brook made 12 shots in the second half to outshoot the Panthers by eight overall.  But Johnston made Wrobel’s goal the difference-maker by holding the line with seven saves.

    The Seawolves did not intend to return to Long Island empty-handed.

    They had a second opportunity to swipe a win at the invitational on Sunday afternoon against Duquesne University.The first half had a similar tale to that of the first game. Neither team was able to put the other out of reach.

    It was in the second half when senior Steve Medwinter scored the first Stony Brook goal of the invitational and of his career as a Seawolf.

    In the 53rd minute, Medwinter found himself on the receiving end of a loose ball after a throw in.

    He seized the day and, from eight yards out, struck the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

    It appeared as though Stony Brook would hold on for its first victory, but Simon Gomez of Duquesne gave his teammates a sigh of relief in the 72nd minute with an equalizing goal. Stony Brook was unable to strike back.

    “I thought we had the better of the chances in this game,” Anatol said, “And I thought we outplayed our opponent for most of the game, but after we scored, the game got away from us a little bit, and we gave them a chance to get back into it.”

    Neither team scored in the first frame of overtime, but the Seawolves came close to sealing the deal when senior Kyle McTurk’s 105th minute shot nearly got past goalkeeper Colin Thorp.

    The team would return to campus that week with heavy hearts, but they would not have to wait long for another chance at victory and yet another invitational.

    For their next game, the Seawolves traveled to High Point, N.C., to play High Point. This time, they would score quickly and jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the 35th minute off of the foot of sophomore Will Casey.

    High Point past Manz. But their efforts were in vain, for it would be Stony Brook who would deliver the first blow in the second half when junior Berian Gobeil scored the Seawolves’ second goal.

    Less than a minute later, High Point would be given a decisive opportunity with a penalty kick, but Shawn Sloan’s shot veered to the left, leaving Stony Brook untainted for the game thus far.

    But it would not last for Stony Brook, who would finally let up their first goal in the 65th minute. Manz saved another shot a minute later to preserve the lead.

    His team rewarded him for his efforts with a third goal when junior Leonardo Fernandes took advantage of a penalty kick.

    It was High Point’s first loss at home in 13 matches, a streak that dates back to October of 2009.

    The Seawolves will play their final game of the invitational at noon on Sunday against Radford University.

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