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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Men’s soccer wins home opener, 4-2

Stony Brook men’s soccer defeated the Central Connecticut Blue Devils in a decisive 4-2 victory to win its home opener and improve its record to 3-4  as the team looks to turn its season around with conference play just around the corner.

“You saw the kind of energy the guys threw out there in the beginning of the game, thats how we feel, ” said head coach Cesar Markovic. “We’re really happy to be home, the guys were pumped about tonight, and they can walk away happy and get ready to go for Sunday.”

Stony Brook controlled the tempo of the game early on, missing out on several great goalscoring opportunities between  sophomore midfielder Leonardo Fernandes (North Babylon, N.Y.),  and  sophomore forward Raphael Abreu (New York, N.Y.).

The pair finally hooked up in the 17th minute when Fernandes stole the ball from a flat-footed Central Connecticut defender then sent it off to Abreu, with two defenders chasing him.  Abreu made a nifty move to avoid the diving Central Connecticut goalkeeper, Anthony Occhialini, and drove it in for the easy score and the early 1-0 lead.

The Blue Devils struggled to get any pressure on the Stony Brook defense early on, but a defensive lapse by the Seawolves allowed Shawn Buchanan to get behind the Stony Brook back line and score an easy goal on the Devils first legitamite threat in the 34th minute, tying the game at one.

Then, in about a span of five minutes separated by the half,  Stony Brook  took back control of the game. In the 42nd minute  sophomore Berian Gobeil (Montreal, Quebec), with an assist from  sophomore Mehdi Belakehal (St.-Hubert, Quebec), used a light touch to get the ball over the outstretched arm of the Connecticut goalkeeper and score.

Then in the first minute of the second half  junior Wilber Bonilla (Brentwood,N.Y.), scored off a deflection when the keeper couldn’t corall a shot by Belakehal.

Stony Brook, now up 3-1, had another lapse in defense when they allowed Central Connecticut’s Robert Cavener to score an unassisted goal in the 63rd minute to bring the Blue Devils within one.  Cavener was granted too much time about 25 yards from goal, and used it to line up a screaming shot into the upper corner of the goal that left the Stony Brook goalkeeper standing still. Coach Markovic felt outside a few slip ups his team came ready to play.

“Two mistakes, two goals,” said Coach Markovic. “I felt other than that we played a very nice game, controlled the tempo of the game, moved the ball very well, created many chances and played as good as you can play offensively. Defensively, we’ve got to minimize the mistakes.”

Fernandes, who scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 71st minute to cap the victory, echoed that sentiment.

“Its a good win. We had a rough start to the season but things are turning and we’re playing much better.”

Both Fernandes and Abreu are coming off of injuries and played limited minutes in the game, with Fernandes splitting time with Bonilla.  However, Fernandes feels by the time conference play rolls around he should be at his best.

“I’m still dealing with a knee injury but overall I’m fine,” Fernandes said. “I can play the game. Hopefully, I’ll be perfect for next game and when conference comes I’ll be 100 percent.”

Coach Markovic acknowledged it will be difficult with his style of play to find room for both the explosive Bonilla and for Fernandes as he’s  returning back to fitness.

“It’s debatable.  In this system maybe not. But I think they both had a major impact on today’s game, and if we can get that every night, we may not need to do anything else.”

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