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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Stony Brook men’s soccer draws in high-scoring midweek contest

Midfielder Trevor Harrison dribbles the ball up the left wing against Le Moyne on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Harrison scored his career-high fourth goal of the season in the draw against the Dolphins. STANLEY ZHENG/THE STATESMAN

In a midweek game full of hard-earned goals and fast responses, the Stony Brook men’s soccer team settled for a draw.

Returning to Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium after a two-game road trip, the Seawolves (5-3-4, 4-0-2 CAA) hosted the Le Moyne Dolphins (1-5-5, 1-1-1 NEC) on Wednesday night. Though the two teams are finding considerably different levels of success, they drew evenly 3-3 in a high-scoring affair.

In the fourth minute, a long-range effort from Le Moyne midfielder Ziad Abdul-Malak forced goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser into making a finger-tip save. The ball deflected off the post and was collected by forward Felix Ludemann, who caressed a strike into the bottom right corner to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.

Stony Brook’s response did not come until late in the first half. In the 40th minute, forward Moses Bakabulindi delivered a corner kick into the run of midfielder Trevor Harrison. He controlled the cross with his chest and scored with an acrobatic volley, tying the match at one apiece.

Head coach Ryan Anatol attributed the road trip as a factor for the team’s lethargic start to the match.

“I think we could have started the game faster and with more energy,” Anatol said in a postgame interview with The Statesman. “Maybe there was a hangover from playing a game over the weekend and traveling, but overall I don’t think it was the best performance.”

The offensive tempo picked up following halftime, as the rest of the match’s goals were scored during the first 22 minutes of the second half.

In the 54th minute, midfielder Alex Fléury dropped his shoulder on the right flank and sent a cross into the box. Forward Jonas Bičkus met Fleury’s cross and tapped the ball into the net, giving the Seawolves a 2-1 lead.

The teams then traded goals off penalty kicks. In the 56th minute, Le Moyne defender Jack Goodrich smashed a penalty into the top right corner after a foul by Kaiser in the box, knotting the match up at 2-2. In the 62nd minute, Bičkus won a penalty down the middle, allowing forward Olsen Aluc to hammer in the penalty and retake the lead for Stony Brook.

Once again, the Seawolves relinquished the lead quickly. In the 67th minute, Abdul-Malak equalized the game off a header from a set-piece cross by Goodrich.

The biggest chance for a victory came in the 84th minute when Aluc drove down the right wing and set up Bičkus with a cutback ball. Bičkus’ strike was heroically stopped by Le Moyne goalkeeper Matthew Gera, who made a sprawling save to spare his team from another loss.

Although the Seawolves extended their unbeaten streak to eight games, Anatol was not satisfied with the result.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed with this result at home,” Anatol said. “When you score three goals you should win the game. The tempo of the game wasn’t high enough. We have to defend better and [we] can’t give up three goals.”

Stony Brook outshot the Dolphins 15-13 but landed seven shots on goal in contrast to Le Moyne’s eight. Aluc led the team with six shots, while Bičkus had four. Both landed two on target. Midfielders Amit Magoz and Lorenzo Selini each finished with a shot on goal. Harrison, Bakabulindi and Fléury all recorded one assist each.

Bičkus’ goal was his seventh of the season, which is the most by a Seawolf in a single season since former forward Vince Erdei scored eight back in 2017. Aluc’s goal was his sixth of the year, giving Stony Brook its first six-goal duo since Erdei and former midfielder Thibault Duval back in 2016.

Kaiser finished with five saves. His counterpart, Gera, made four stops.

The Seawolves will remain at home and return to LaValle Stadium on Tuesday for another nonconference match. They will host the Temple Owls, who are 2-5-3 overall in 2023 and are coming off a 2-1 win over No. 10 Syracuse. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Owls will host the University of South Florida on Saturday before their match with Stony Brook.

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