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Manor’s late goal lifts Stony Brook women’s soccer over Merrimack

Midfielder Ashley Manor handles a corner kick in a match against Bryant on Sunday, Aug. 20. Manor scored the game-winning goal against Merrimack on Sunday. MIKE ANDERSON/THE STATESMAN

Midfielder Ashley Manor picked a great moment for her second career goal, as it gave the Stony Brook women’s soccer team a narrow victory in its road opener.

Following their first win of the season, the Seawolves (2-1-1) picked up another victory 2-1 over the Merrimack Warriors (1-2-0) on Sunday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field. Another strong performance on both ends brought Stony Brook a winning record for the first time this season.

The Seawolves struck first in the 18th minute when a deep right cross found forward Gabrielle Côté right outside the penalty box. While Côté nearly lost possession of the ball, she slipped past a defender and Merrimack goalkeeper Lily Morgan to sink a shot into the back-left post.

It only took seven minutes for the Warriors to respond with a goal of their own. In the 26th minute, Merrimack forward Molly Murnane received a pass from midfielder Emily McCabe and put one by goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella to tie the match.

Stony Brook had a prime chance to break the deadlock before halftime, but midfielder Allie Palangi missed a penalty kick to keep the match knotted at one apiece. The 1-1 tie carried past halftime and into the 77th minute, where Manor took over.

Off a counterattack, Manor capitalized on a shanked clearance attempt that deflected off a Merrimack defender and into the middle of the pitch. Manor was there to corral the loose ball and lofted up a shot from nearly 30 yards out as a defender closed in on her. Manor’s shot had too much arc for Morgan to save, as it sailed over her head and into the net for the score.

The Warriors created a few more chances to generate a clutch equalizer, but they failed to respond. The Seawolves’ defense allowed just three shots over the final 13 minutes, none of which got past goalkeeper Ava King.

Head coach Tobias Bischof was pleased with his team’s resilience after squandering its initial lead, but said the team still has room to get better.

“I’m proud of the team and the grit that we showed to get a result today,” Bischof said in a postgame interview with Stony Brook Athletics. “We had some good phases in the game and some phases we need to improve. Overall, I’m happy with the two wins this week.”

Stony Brook’s offense had another quality showing on Sunday, as it took 17 shots and landed 10 on target. Manor led the team with four shots and totaled three shots on goal. Côté’s goal was her second of the season, as well as her second in two games. Côté co-led the team with three shots on goal, alongside Manor.

Forward Luciana Setteducate attempted two shots and landed both on net. Forward Reilly Rich and defender Kerry Pearson each attempted two shots and picked up one shot on goal.

Defensively, the Seawolves allowed Merrimack to attempt 16 shots. However, only five of those looks were good enough to challenge their goalies.

Subbing in for Pasquarella in the second half, King made her season debut and did not disappoint. She saved all three shots that came her way, shutting the Warriors out in the second frame.

Stony Brook will finish its short road trip in Queens, N.Y. on Thursday at the Fordham Rams. The Rams are 2-1-0 this season and are also looking for their third-straight win after beating Stonehill College 2-0 on Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Jack Coffey Field.

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