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The Statesman

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Stony Brook women’s soccer overmatched by first-place Towson

Forward Graceann Murphy (16) prepares to pass the ball to Linn Beck (10) against Hofstra on Sunday, Sept. 17. Murphy led the Stony Brook women’s soccer team with a season-high three shots on Thursday at Towson. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

A string of bad results continued for the Stony Brook women’s soccer team, as it suffered its most lopsided defeat of the season.

The odds were not in the slumping Seawolves’ (3-4-4, 1-3-2 CAA) favor heading into Thursday night’s match against the first-place Towson Tigers (9-1-1, 5-0-1 CAA) at Tiger Field in Maryland. The Tigers showed why they are the Coastal Athletic Association’s (CAA) top dog and dominated Stony Brook 3-0.

In the 27th minute, Towson defender Sydney Cradle dribbled the ball past midfield and played a precise pass to forward Nia Christopher. Christopher took one touch to push the ball into Stony Brook’s box, and with a defender right next to her, she hit a powerful volley past goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella to make it 1-0.

The Seawolves held strong against the Tigers, stopping three scoring opportunities after the first goal, but they were not able to escape the first half without sustaining further damage. With 17 seconds remaining before halftime, Towson midfielder Phoebe Canoles played the ball into Stony Brook’s box off of a corner kick. Towson defender Maja Hansson stood strong in the middle of traffic and deflected Canoles’ cross into the back of the net with her head, making it 2-0.

The Seawolves played a stronger second half, recording seven shots and landing three on goal, but they never put one past Towson goalkeeper Riley Melendez. In the 61st minute, the Tigers created another scoring chance with a series of crisp passes. The final pass found Canoles, who scored from right in front of Pasquarella’s face to put the game out of reach.

While Stony Brook created more shots than it did last match, it never put any real pressure on the Tigers. Midfielder Linn Beck recorded the team’s only shot on goal in the first half, making Towson’s 2-0 lead at halftime seem insurmountable. Overall, forward Graceann Murphy led the team with three shots and two shots on goal. Midfielder Kristina Garcia tallied the only other shot on target. Forward Reilly Rich and midfielder Jadyn Lui each took one shot.

Unlike prior matches, Pasquarella did not keep Stony Brook afloat. She let in three goals while only saving two shots before getting pulled in the 72nd minute in favor of goalkeeper Ava King. King made one save in the last 18 minutes of the match, keeping her 1.000 save percentage on the season intact.

Melendez’s clean sheet was her fourth of the season, tying her for the second most in the CAA. Towson forward Jasmine Hamid — the conference’s leading goalscorer — was held without a goal. However, she led her team with five shots and two shots on target while also contributing an assist.

The Seawolves will now return to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to play a potentially season-defining match on Sunday against William & Mary. The Tribe are still unbeaten this year, sitting at 7-0-5 overall and 4-0-2 in CAA matches. They beat Hofstra 1-0 on Thursday. Opening kickoff between the two sides is set for noon.

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