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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Back on top: Men’s soccer wins second America East championship in three years

    Midfielder Leornardo Fernandes scored two goals in the 4-2 win over the Hartford Hawks. (Ezra Margono/The Statesman)

    If there’s a big moment, Leo Fernandes will always be there, it seems.

    The reigning America East Midfielder of the Year had himself another night to remember on Sunday, as he scored two goals and an assist for a tournament-record five points to lead the Stony Brook men’s soccer team to a second conference championship in three years with a 4-2 win over the Hartford Hawks.

    “It’s an incredible feeling,” Fernandes, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, said. “I enjoyed this one more. I’m a junior now, I’m one of the leaders, and I feel like it was my responsibility to help lead the team.”

    Head coach Ryan Anatol, in his first season with the Seawolves, praised Fernandes as a “special player.”

    “There are times when he adds a little quality in the game,” Anatol said. “He works very hard, so he ends up helping the group as a whole.”

    The Seawolves got off to a flying start when Fernandes lined up a free kick from about 30 yards out on the right wing, and drove in a cross that bounced around in the six before eventually finding the foot of sophomore Will Casey, who stuck it in the net to give Stony Brook the lead in the first five minutes.

    In the 16th minute, Hartford’s David Bernhardsson took a free kick from 30-yards out and drove a curling ball right past Stony Brook goalkeeper Stefan Manz and into the side netting, knotting the score at one.

    Then, with 3:36 to go in the first half, the Seawolves took the lead on a great team play. Keith McKenna passed to forward Raphael Abreu, who calmly turned and laid a pass to the center of the penalty area, where it was slammed home by a streaking Fernandes, giving Stony Brook a 2-1 halftime lead.

    The Seawolves pulled away in the 50th minute, as Cruz chased a long ball, barging into the keeper but winning the ball free. With Hartford’s goalkeeper Luke Citriniti laying on the ground, Fernandes picked up the loose ball, took it wide to the left and slotted it through the scrambling defenders for his second goal of the game, giving Stony Brook a 3-1 lead.

    Kyle Schlesinger added an insurance goal in the 79th minute, running down a pass from Christian Molinar to make it 4-1 Stony Brook. In the 83rd, Hartford’s Anthony Santaga pulled one back, but the damage was done.

    The Seawolves will learn who they play in the first round of the NCAA national championship tournament on Monday at 4:30 p.m., when the pairings are announced on

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