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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook men’s soccer remains the top dog in the CAA

Forwards Caleb Danquah (17) and Jonas Bičkus (11) celebrate a goal against the University of North Carolina Wilmington on Saturday, Sept. 30. The two combined for all three of the Stony Brook men’s soccer team’s goals on Saturday. MACKENZIE YADDAW/THE STATESMAN

Three goals in an 18-minute span was more than enough to keep the Stony Brook men’s soccer team atop the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) table.

In a first half loaded with scoring, the Seawolves (4-3-2, 3-0-2 CAA) did most of the damage and defeated the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Seahawks (5-2-3, 1-1-2 CAA) 3-1 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. All four goals came in the first half, and Stony Brook’s insurmountable lead allowed it to defend comfortably en route to another crucial three points.

For the third time in five conference matches, the Seawolves scored before the 10-minute mark. In the 10th minute, forward Jonas Bičkus found a pocket behind the UNCW defense. With the help of poor positioning from UNCW goalkeeper Jacob Randolph, Bičkus met a cross from midfielder Alex Fléury and tapped the ball into an open net.

Stony Brook successfully executed a designed play off a corner kick to double its lead. Midfielder Lorenzo Selini played a give-and-go with midfielder Amit Magoz off the corner. Selini then found Fléury at the edge of the box, whose attempted shot found the feet of forward Caleb Danquah. Danquah placed the ball into the bottom left corner for his first goal as a Seawolf.

Stony Brook rehearsed that play in practice this week, making the goal all the more sweet for head coach Ryan Anatol.

“Good to get one off of a set-piece,” Anatol said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “Something that we worked on just this week. It was great to pull that off.”

In the 28th minute, the Seawolves’ passing broke down UNCW’s defense once more. A through ball from defender Jon Jelercic left forward Olsen Aluc with acres of space as he approached the box. Randolph saved his shot from up close, but the ball ricocheted through his legs and into Bičkus — who reached back to head it in.

In the 38th minute, Stony Brook’s search for a second consecutive shutout faltered. Off a deflected pass, defender Bas van Beckhoven found himself on the wrong side of UNCW forward Cannon Tootle and ran him over in the box. UNCW midfielder Pep Casas scored on the penalty kick to cap off the match’s scoring.

The Seahawks generated plenty of opportunities in the second half, taking five shots and landing all of them on target. However, goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser was a brick wall in net and redirected all five of them to preserve the win.

UNCW wound up outshooting the Seawolves 11-10. Stony Brook only landed four shots on goal to the Seahawks’ seven, but it made the most of its limited chances. Danquah led the team with four shots taken, landing two on target.

In their three conference home matches, the Seawolves are averaging 3.33 goals. In their two conference away games — both ties — they average only six shots and one goal per game.

Not only did Stony Brook maintain its stranglehold on first place, but it also held its lead in the CAA in goals per game (2.67). Bičkus — who now co-leads the team with five goals — attributes the offensive success to a team-wide effort, not just the attack.

“Everybody works,” Bičkus said. “It starts from our goalie, defenders, midfield. That’s how we score goals.”

The Seawolves’ effective passing was reflected in the statistics. Fléury led the team with a pair of assists while Aluc and Selini each recorded one.

Fléury has been a big part of their ongoing hot streak, as he has been a regular in the starting lineup since CAA play opened. Anatol has used him in a variety of ways, and he has been effective in what they have been able to accomplish.

Fléury is happy to be one of the team’s keys to success.

“I really like the confidence that the coach has put in me,” Fleury said. “Right now with the guys around me, I feel like wherever the coach decides to put me — midfielder or winger, where I’ve played most of the season — I can do my job properly.”

Kaiser made seven saves, while Randolph finished with just three.

Now getting a reprieve from CAA play, Stony Brook will gear up for a nonconference showdown in New Jersey with the Seton Hall Pirates on Tuesday. The Pirates are 5-3-1 on the year and are coming off a 3-1 loss to No. 5 Akron. Opening kickoff is set for 6:56 p.m.

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About the Contributor
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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