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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 falls in home finale

Forward Jonas Bičkus scores his eighth goal of the year against Lafayette on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Bičkus is now fourth in the Coastal Athletic Association in goals scored. GEORGE CARATZAS/THE STATESMAN

Emotions were flying as the Stony Brook men’s soccer team failed to give its seniors a proper sendoff.

In a high-scoring match, the Seawolves (6-5-4, 4-1-2 CAA) lost 3-2 on Tuesday night against the Lafayette Leopards (8-5-3, 4-2-1 Patriot) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The loss wrapped up Stony Brook’s nonconference season, and it finished with a 2-4-2 record in such games.

The goals started flowing in the 26th minute, when forward Jonas Bičkus buried a shot past Lafayette goalkeeper Eric Axtman. The ball was placed on a platter for him towards the inner edge of the 18-yard box off a precise cross from midfielder Trevor Harrison.

The Leopards promptly answered about five minutes later with a goal of their own. Lafayette midfielder Max Fujimori nodded in a free header from the edge of the Seawolves’ six-yard box after being picked out by a cross from fellow midfielder Connor DeAngelis.

Head coach Ryan Anatol believes that Fujimori’s goal was the beginning of the end for his team on Tuesday night.

“I thought we let up a little bit after the first goal and allowed them to get back into the game,” Anatol said in a postgame interview with The Statesman.

In the 53rd minute, the Leopards took their first lead when midfielder Connor Houlihan took an unsavable shot from long range and beat goalkeeper Curtis Copenhaver to the top-right corner of the net. The contest was equalized in the 61st minute when defender Bas van Beckhoven emphatically drilled a shot into the bottom-right corner of the net after a free kick.

In the 72nd minute, Lafayette forward Lawrence Aydlett quickly dribbled down Stony Brook’s left flank and found fellow forward Andrey McIntyre with a cross. McIntyre comfortably poached the goal from the edge of the Seawolves’ six-yard box to put the Leopards ahead for good.

Both goalkeepers put up formidable performances, as they each made seven saves on the night. Ultimately, Lafayette’s clinical attacking play and a plethora of chances in their opponent’s final third helped propel them to victory. Stony Brook was outshot 19-16, and landed one fewer shot on target (nine) than the Leopards (10) did.

Despite the loss, Anatol thought Copenhaver played well.

“Curtis is a very good goalkeeper,” Anatol said. “We’re very fortunate to have two good goalkeepers. Edi [Kaiser] is our number one and he’s done really well all year … Curtis has worked really hard, so we wanted to give him the game tonight.”

The Seawolves’ loss came on their senior night. Before the match, all of their seniors and graduate students were honored except for Copenhaver and starting goalkeeper Edmond Kaiser, who were honored last year. Though he is only in his third year and listed as a junior on Stony Brook Athletics’ website, van Beckhoven was also honored.

Anatol was disappointed that his team did not capture a win on the emotional occasion.

“Obviously, we always want to go out with a W and give them a win,” Anatol said. “This is the last home game [that] we know for sure and we wanted to send them out on the right foot. We had moments, but [we’re] disappointed with the result, obviously.”

Forward Olsen Aluc had a good night, taking three shots and landing all of them on target. Harrison led the team with four shots and landed two on goal. Forward Selcuk Kahveci and defender Jacson Coppack each took two shots and landed one on goal. Midfielder Alex Fléury also found the score sheet, recording an assist on Bičkus’ goal.

Stony Brook will now head to Williamsburg, Va. to take on the William & Mary Tribe on Friday for its regular-season finale. The game will have heavy implications on the regular-season championship and the 2023 Coastal Athletic Association men’s soccer tournament seeding. The Tribe are 2-8-5 overall this year and 1-4-2 in conference play after losing 2-1 to Campbell last Saturday.

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