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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 beats Vermont, 3-2

    Berian Gobeil Cruz (#12) was all over the field last Friday, scoring two goals while assisting on the third, finishing the night with five total points. (Efal Sayed/ The Statesman).

    Early in the season, with the Seawolves failing to score in four of the first six games, head coach Ryan Anatol stood by his attack, insisting that the opportunities were coming, and so would the goals, eventually.

    He was right.

    The Stony Brook men’s soccer team (6-4-2) has exploded for 14 goals in the last six games, including a 3-2 win over the Vermont Catamounts (6-5-0, 1-1 AE) at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium in front of about 250 people on Friday night.

    The win, capped by a Berian Gobeil Cruz goal in the 84th minute, marked the third straight for the Seawolves, who are off to a 2-0 start in America East play.

    “Conference, there’s always a little bit more on the line,” Anatol said. “We spoke about that before we went into the New Hampshire game. But our focus hasn’t changed, we’ve been trying to get better every day.”

    Cruz’s game-winner, his second goal of the night, came as the junior forward received a long chipped through pass from Leonardo Fernandes with his chest and lofted the ball high over a charging Vermont goalkeeper.

    It was made possible in part by a late tactical switch by Anatol, who put out a more attacking formation in the final 10 minutes of the game.

    “We went with two up top to put a little more pressure on their back four,” Anatol said “Sometimes you take a gamble, and this one paid off.”

    It was Cruz’s team-leading sixth goal of the season, and Anatol said the striker’s off-field efforts are showing on the scoresheet.

    “It’s more than the goals,” he said. “Berian has been great in training every day. His work rate has been phenomenal. He’s really been working hard and stepping up his leadership. As a result, the goals are coming.”

    It was Stony Brook that took the lead first, when Cruz was left with only the keeper to beat off a pass from Will Casey.

    Casey made a smooth turn at midfield and burst forward, drawing the defenders and opening up space for Cruz, who was able to slide the ball under the goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.

    But just four minutes later, the Seawolves relinquished the lead as Vermont’s Joe Losier blasted home from inside the six-yard box following a failed clearing attempt.

    The goal seemed to give the Catamounts confidence, as the visitors took control of the game. They took the lead in the 26th minute, as Losier again found the goal off a splitting pass by Sean Sweeney.

    It was the third time in four games that the Seawolves have allowed more than one goal, and Anatol said that Stony Brook has begun to focus a little more on defense in training.

    “We would want to shut teams out, we want to give up less chances,” he said. “I think definitely, we’ve got to do a better job of shutting teams out and keeping them off the board…We tell the guys, we feel pretty confident that we’ll get goals, and that we’ll create chances. But still, at the end of the day, we’ve still got to do a better job of not giving up chances.”

    The Seawolves reached level pegging again before halftime, when Fernandes got around the goalkeeper and tapped into the open net. It was Fernandes’ fourth goal of the season, as the junior midfielder hopes to eclipse last season’s total, in which he won all-conference honors.

    “I think even though we were down, we created a lot of chances,” Anatol said. “I thought we were creating chances, and I felt we could get back into the game. We spoke at halftime, and there were a few adjustments that we made.”

    Stony Brook continues conference play at home against Albany on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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