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Stony Brook men’s soccer earns point in fiery Battle of Long Island

Goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser rolls the ball out to a teammate against Iona on Monday, Aug. 28. Kaiser recorded nine saves to help the Stony Brook men’s soccer team earn a point at Hofstra. TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

Helped by a controversial foul call, the Stony Brook men’s soccer team fought to a draw against the defending Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) champions.

Counterattacking was the name of the game for the Seawolves (1-3-1, 1-0-1 CAA) as they traveled across town on Saturday to take on the Hofstra Pride (3-1-1, 0-0-1 CAA) in the Battle of Long Island. Stony Brook sat in a low block for most of the game and put forth a strong defensive effort, allowing it to secure a point in a 1-1 draw.

The Pride suffocated the Seawolves in the opening minutes, repeatedly launching crosses into the box. Stony Brook stood tall and cleared them all until the 19th minute, when its backline had a lapse of concentration. Hofstra forward Ryan Carmichael was in the box unmarked and a cross from defender Stefan Mason found his head. Carmichael placed the ball past goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser to open the score.

After falling behind, the Seawolves upped the tempo and spent more time in the attacking half. 

In the 26th minute, defender Bas van Beckhoven poked the ball away from Hofstra midfielder Albert Kang in front of Stony Brook’s box. The loose ball ended up with attacker Caleb Danquah, who quickly sent it up the pitch and found forward Jonas Bičkus in Hofstra’s third. In a one-on-one situation, Bičkus cut the ball to his left foot and slotted a shot to the opposite corner of the net to tie the game.

The goal did not alter Stony Brook’s game plan, as it went back to a low block and enabled the Pride to have better opportunities to close out the half. Hofstra’s biggest chance to retake the lead came in the 34th minute off a corner kick when midfielder Eliot Goldthorp’s cross found Carmichael. His header ricocheted off the crossbar and returned to defender Gabriel Pacheco, whose own header was on target, but Kaiser leapt to tip the ball over the bar.

Both teams had opportunities to win the match after halftime but squandered their best chances. The Seawolves had the first clear scoring opportunity of the second half in the 56th minute when a counterattack led forward Moses Bakabulindi to the doorstep of Hofstra’s goal. Bakabulindi had two passing options in the box but opted to take a shot that Hofstra goalkeeper Wessel Speel saved.

The Pride responded five minutes later with fancy footwork from forward Oliver Svalander. He dribbled past two defenders in one move, but his shot was crucially deflected wide by defender Sean Towey to keep the tie intact.

In the 83rd minute, Hofstra midfielder Roc Charles appeared to have given his team the lead with a goal off an assist from Svalander. However, the goal was disallowed, as Svalander was deemed by the official to have interfered with Kaiser while he was securing the ball. Both defenses held their ground after that, allowing each team to earn a point in the CAA standings.

Hofstra outshot Stony Brook 19-8. The Pride also landed 10 shots on goal, which was twice the Seawolves’ total. Hofstra had more set-piece opportunities as well, winning the corner kick battle 9-2.

Kaiser had another strong performance with nine saves. He is up to 34 saves in the season, which leads the nation. Bičkus’ goal was his first of the year, and he co-led Stony Brook alongside Aluc with two shots.

Danquah, Bakabulindi and midfielders Amit Magoz and Trevor Harrison each landed a shot on target. Even though Danquah made the final pass on Bičkus’ goal, only van Beckhoven was credited with an assist.

Defender Jacson Coppack was shown a red card in the 71st minute for a late slide tackle on Hofstra defender Pierce Infuso. He will miss the next game due to the red. Hofstra midfielder Eoin Farrell suffered the same fate in the 88th minute when he was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct against Magoz.

With four points in the CAA standings, Stony Brook is tied at the top of the conference table. The team will now return to nonconference action on Tuesday against the Merrimack Warriors in Massachusetts. The Warriors are 1-3-1 this year after drawing 2-2 with the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Saturday. Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Alex Streinger
Alex Streinger, Assistant Sports Editor
Alex Streinger is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. He is the beat reporter of the Stony Brook men’s soccer and nationally-ranked women’s lacrosse teams. He interns at Movendi International, the largest independent global social movement for development through alcohol prevention.
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