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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 women’s soccer competing for playoff spot at UNCW

Forward Luciana Setteducate intercepts a pass against William & Mary on Sunday, Oct. 1. Setteducate is one of the Stony Brook women’s soccer team’s leading facilitators on offense. MACKENZIE YADDAW/THE STATESMAN

Hoping to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Stony Brook women’s soccer team looks to build off its decimation of William & Mary from this past Sunday.

The Seawolves (4-4-4, 2-3-2 CAA) will travel down to North Carolina to take on the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Seahawks (3-6-2, 2-2-2 CAA) on Thursday. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The two sides are currently in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) table alongside Charleston.

Stony Brook has only faced off with UNCW once in program history, and it walked away with a 3-2 win last October. It will look to find more of the same offensive success on Thursday after having one of its best performances of the year. After thrashing the best defensive team in the CAA on Sunday, the Seawolves are now third in the conference with 1.75 goals per game.

In preparation for Sunday’s match with William & Mary, head coach Tobias Bischof made changes to the whole lineup, deploying a 3-4-1-2 formation. He selected a pair of strikers on the attack, starting forwards Gabrielle Côté and Reilly Rich up front. Behind the strikers was midfielder Linn Beck. Off the bench, forward Luciana Setteducate alternated with her, as both players played in the central attacking midfielder position.

Rich’s six goals lead the team and are tied for the third most in the CAA. Côté has scored four times, tying her for seventh in the conference. Beck, Setteducate and defender Catharina von Drigalski all co-lead the team with three assists each, placing them in a big tie for ninth most in the CAA.

It remains to be seen if Bischof rolls with the same formation, as Rich left Sunday’s match with an injury and was helped off the field. Her current status is unknown. Reserve forwards Graceann Murphy and Hannah Maracina will likely see time, either off the bench or in the starting lineup. Murphy has scored two goals and added an assist this year after recording one of each on Sunday. Maracina has been used less this year and has only scored once after putting up five goals as a freshman last year.

Beck has also scored two goals. Besides her, midfielder Ashley Manor has scored twice, while fellow midfielder Gabby Daniels has added one. Defenders Kerry Pearson and Sammy Hannwacker have each tallied one goal, rounding out a group of nine different goalscorers.

The Seawolves will get to face the Seahawks’ struggling defense that has conceded the second-most goals per match (1.55) in the CAA. However, in their past five games, they have allowed only three goals and kept three clean sheets.

In goal, UNCW goalkeeper Hanna Wise has made the seventh-most saves per game (3.18) in the CAA, making 35 in 11 appearances. Her .700 save percentage rounds out the conference’s top 10.

Protecting Wise will likely be UNCW defenders Bentley Settin, Taylor O’Brien, Rachel Fry and 2022 All-CAA Third Team defender Makaya Parham. Defender Amelia Forster started for O’Brien in the team’s last match against Campbell, leaving the potential for her to play again. Defender Summer Beesley has seen plenty of the pitch as well, playing in 10 matches and starting seven.

The Seahawks’ attack has not been good either, as they have scored the fifth-fewest goals per game (1.18) in the CAA. They struggle to create chances, as their 8.09 shots per match is the third-lowest figure in the conference.

Up front for UNCW are forwards Kenady Adams and 2022 All-CAA Second Team selection Kayla Burroughs. Burroughs co-leads the team alongside midfielder Viktoria Hankova with three goals. She also co-leads the team with two assists alongside fellow forwards Issy Bryant and McKenna Gardner. Adams — a former defender — has only contributed one assist. Hankova has also contributed an assist.

Stony Brook’s defense will look to feast on the Seahawks’ struggling offense. Their 1.25 goals against average ranks in the middle of the pack — seventh out of 13 — in the CAA. Leading the backline are von Drigalski and Pearson: the team’s co-captains. Defender Emma Beattie made her first start of the year opposite von Drigalski at wing-back and has not missed a match this year. Defender Aneta Sovakova has started every game this year, while fellow defenders Grace Cagnina and Angelina Lent have also seen the field often.

Behind the Stony Brook backline is goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquarella, who is fresh off her third clean sheet of the year. Her 3.58 saves per game is fifth in the CAA, while her .741 save percentage is seventh.

If either team wins this game to secure all three points, it will have massive implications on the CAA’s playoff picture, as there are only three weeks remaining in the regular season.

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