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Stony Brook women’s soccer goes for upset at Monmouth

Forward Gabrielle Côté takes the ball up the right sideline against Hofstra on Sunday, Sept. 17. Côté has scored three goals this year and will look for more at Monmouth this Sunday. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

After having a letdown week at home, the Stony Brook women’s soccer team will look to return to form this weekend after getting some extra rest.

The Seawolves (3-2-4, 1-1-2 CAA) will travel to New Jersey to take on the Monmouth Hawks (3-3-1, 2-0-1 CAA) on Sunday in hopes of pulling off a bounce-back upset win. The two sides squared off for the first time as NCAA Division I teams last year, ending in a 1-0 victory for the Hawks. Stony Brook will come into this match after getting six full days to prepare, as unlike Monmouth, it did not have a game scheduled for Thursday.

The Seawolves will look to ride their offense to victory this Sunday, which is currently tied for second in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) in goals per match with 1.89. Their potent attack is marshaled by forwards Reilly Rich and Gabrielle Côté. Rich leads the team with five goals, placing her in a four-way tie for second-most in the. Rich also leads the team in shots with 28 and shots on goal with 16. Côté is having a good sophomore season and has scored three times while also forcing an own goal.

Midfielder Linn Beck helps facilitate the offense, as she leads the squad with three assists while also scoring two goals of her own. Midfielder Ashley Manor has improved her offensive game and has chipped in another two goals, as well.

Eight different players have scored for Stony Brook thus far, and the team still has more talented pieces looking for their first goals of the season. Forward Luciana Setteducate has racked up two assists and had a goal disallowed due to an offsides infraction but has not officially found the scoreboard yet. Defender Catharina von Drigalski is a big playmaker for the offense and has two assists but is also looking to score her first goal of the season.

No matter who has the ball, the Seawolves are likely going to make life difficult for Monmouth goalkeeper Cassie Coster. They have outshot their opponents 145-94 and lead the conference with both corner kicks (60) and penalty kick attempts (four).

Luckily for Coster, she is in good hands. The Hawks’ defense has only allowed 33 shots on goal in seven matches (4.71 per game), and she has saved 25 of them. Her .758 save percentage is the fourth-best mark in the CAA.

Monmouth employs a strong backline with defenders Ava Allen, Gabby Allen, Chloe Ferreira and Clara Ford. Those four have started in all seven matches the team has played in, while defender Lauren Bruno has started in all but one. Bruno is the only one who has contributed to the scoreboard, as she has racked up two assists this year.

On offense, the Hawks have been average by CAA standards. They are seventh in the conference with 1.57 goals per match. Midfielder Liza Suydam and forward Loren Gehret co-lead Monmouth with three goals each. Those two will likely have to carry the load for an offense that struggles to generate opportunities, as the team is just ninth in the CAA in shots.

Stony Brook’s defense will look to get right against the Hawks’ mediocre offense after having a rough week. The Seawolves were fourth in scoring defense at the start of the previous week before allowing two goals against both Delaware and Hofstra. They are now sixth in goals against average as a team.

The defense is led by von Drigalski and defenders Kerry Pearson and Aneta Sovakova. Midfielder Gabby Daniels also contributes to the defense. Outside of those three, head coach Tobias Bischof rotates a handful of defenders on and off the bench with Angelina Lent, Emma Beattie and Grace Cagnina.

Those players have given goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella a lighter load this year. She has played in nine of Stony Brook’s 10 games and is just ninth in the CAA in saves per game at 2.89. Only 16 opponents’ shots have challenged her since conference play began. Her .703 save percentage falls short of the conference’s top 10.

A win for Monmouth could potentially move it into a tie for first place in the CAA. Stony Brook currently sits at seventh place in the conference, and a win could shift it back into the conference’s top six.

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