Northeastern’s men’s soccer team entered Saturday night looking for their first home win of the season against a Stony Brook squad that was undefeated in conference play.
On the other side, the Seawolves were looking to break some looming streaks of their own. Coming into the match, Stony Brook was winless on the road for the season, and had not taken down Northeastern since 2013.
After the soggy 90 minutes were up however, neither side had washed away their winless streaks. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with both squads scoring in the second half.
The early part of the game didn’t bring much in terms of drama. The Seawolves appeared set on using their speed to challenge the Huskies’ defense while their opponents patiently strung together passes to try to get their offense going.
The conflicting approaches resulted in more stalemate than anything else. Stony Brook’s dribble heavy approach only utilized a few key attacking players, leaving a fortress behind in the defense. Northeastern’s squad, packed with more versatile players willing to flow between their own third and the middle of the field, constantly confused their opponents and led to rather easy turnovers.
As the two teams struggled to get their attacks flowing, frustration began to slowly build. Players on both sides felt rather comfortable making sliding challenges on the wet turf and when any standing bodies collided, someone was sure to go to the ground.
The first player to earn a yellow was Northeastern midfielder Thomas Vold in the 18th minute. Prior to the challenge, everyone at the match could read the freshman’s intent. Beginning his slide several yards away, Vold did dispossess a Stony Brook attacker but also sent him tumbling across the field.
Thankfully for the Huskies, the ensuing free kick was blocked by their wall and it actually ended up as a counter-attack. Going the other direction, junior forward Sebastian Restrepo sent Northeastern’s second shot of the match just wide.
In the second half, both the fouls and attacking intensity were dialed up.
Seven minutes into the period, junior defender Fabrizion Cubbedu cleaned out an oncoming Seawolf, earning a yellow. From the spot, Stony Brook midfielder Lorenzo Selini stepped up for the free kick.
Selini’s left-footed launch curled perfectly around the rushing Northeastern players and to the feet of teammate Olsen Aluc. The senior forward beat Northeastern keeper Gregor Shaw and earned his fourth goal of the season.
The Seawolf goal must have awakened something in the Huskies because from then on, they attacked relentlessly. Rather than slowly picking out passes, Northeastern players spent more time dribbling and for the most part, had no trouble tearing through their opponents.
The Husky wingbacks Kade Tepe and Cubbedu each applied plenty of pressure with the runs up the sides and Tepe even tried his chance at goal a few minutes after the Seawolves scored.
In the 60th minute, the lights showed back on Restrepo who took the ball off the left wing and curled a beauty over the glove of Stony Brook keeper Edmond Kaiser for his first goal of the season.
Just four minutes after that, Restrepo nearly had another as he rifled a ball a few inches below the crossbar. Thankfully for the Seawolves, the 6’4 Kaiser was able to tip it over at the last second.
The final 30 minutes of the match brought plenty of emotion but it was from hard fouls rather than game-deciding goals. There were 15 fouls committed in the final 30 minutes, including two yellow cards.
On various occasions referee Matthew Mercier had to separate players from each other and from himself as the end of the game drew near.
Neither side ended up with any red cards but each finished with 17 fouls, and Northeastern had three yellows while Stony Brook had two.
With the 1-1 draw, the Seawolves maintain their spot atop the CAA table while the Huskies find themselves tied for third with three other teams.
Next week, Northeastern will travel down to face No. 10 Campbell who has yet to win a conference match. After that, the Huskies get their only home-stand of the season with three straight games at Parsons Field.