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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Seawolves Victorious in Conference Home Opener

    After surrendering their first two conference matches, the Stony Brook Men’s soccer team broke through to earn their first points of the America East season with their victory against UMBC last Wednesday night.

    Upon their return home, the Seawolves appeared to have forgotten about their consecutive 1-0 losses to Vermont and Albany. Not wanting to fall too far behind in the America East standings, the Seawolves played with a sense of urgency for the majority of the game, a mindset that earned them a convincing 2-0 win. The win improved the team’s record to 4-9 overall and 1-2 in conference play while UMBC’s record dropped to 3-7-3.

    At the commencement of the competition both teams appeared to be a bit hesitant. Neither team seemed to be going after the ball with any passion. Both teams were trying to thread the needle with their passes as opposed to making the smart simple play. However, this proved to be the typical feeling-out process that comes with the beginning of most athletic engagements, because fifteen minutes into the contest the pace quickened almost instantly.

    The battle to control midfield gained intensity. About halfway through the first half UMBC got their first two cracks at net, but their attempts were stoned away by SBU’s keeper, Rich Skoblicki. Skoblicki ended the game with five saves. This threat was immediately responded to as SBU unleashed its first shot on goal on their next trip down field. As the half-time whistle sounded the team’s upbeat first 45 minutes concluded with a pair of doughnuts on the scoreboard.

    One of the beauties of team sports is observing how one coach plans to out-coach their counterpart on the opposing sideline. Which coaching staff can devise a plan that will respond positively to the level of play exhibited in the first half of the match? That is the question that needs to be answered during virtually every game, and in this particular contest, the Seawolves coaches seemed to have the better strategy for getting their team a win.

    Intense aggression seems to be the best way to describe SBU’second half charge. The team out-shot the Retrievers in both the second half and in the entire game, a feat which Stony Brook had failed to achieve in its last two games. Midfielders Mahamadou Simpara and Michael Palacio led the Seawolves aggressive campaign in the second half. They kept intense pressure on the UMBC players and within five minutes the pressure paid off.

    Palacio, Stony Brook’s all time assist leader, sent a 40 yard free kick rocketing up-field. Striker, Adam Ciklic, ended up on the receiving end of this blast as he pounded a header into the back of the UMBC net. The goal was Ciklic’s fifth of the season and the assist was Palacio’s fourth of the season, both of which are team best for the current season.

    Soon after the Seawolves netted their first goal in three games, came their second score of the match. In the 65th minute Simpara added a second goal off of a beautifully executed corner kick taken by junior midfielder Tamer Mohamed. The remainder of the game tested the Seawolves back lines and they responded to every play the Retrievers made in the final twenty minutes.

    This Sunday, October 8th at noon, the Seawolves are looking to get their conference record up to .500 with a victory against the 25th best team in the nation, Boston University.

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