Ella Bramwell/WRBB Sports File

From the start of Thursday’s contest, the Northeastern Huskies played like a team that had already clinched a spot in the CAA Tournament. On the other side, the Stony Brook Seawolves came out firing, knowing they were in a win-and-in scenario at Parsons Field. 

In the first 10 minutes, the Seawolves launched three shots and took four corner kicks. None of the attempts were threatening to Husky keeper Holland Stam who came in riding three straight clean sheets.

Whenever Northeastern recovered the ball, they struggled to execute any type of game plan. The forwards would expect short passes as defenders and midfielders lifted the ball long. When they tried to play it short, the forwards would be busy rushing forward, expecting a ball in the air ahead of them.

After 15 minutes, the Huskies got on the same page and remembered what made them so dangerous in their previous 15 games. Jessie Hunt was the igniter of the offense as she had been all season long, racing  across the pitch, picking out passes from the middle and sending in crosses.

Her main target was Maggie Cochran to start the game but as the half worked on, she found Northeastern’s leading goal scorer Vivian Akyirem. The star forward proceeded to have a mercurial 30 minutes of play. The sophomore flexed her superior touch, pace, and intelligence, while also forgetting where the ball was on multiple occasions and completely missing passes heading right towards her.

To end the half, Akyirem nearly broke the draw as she stopped, twirled, and fired a shot that Stony Brook goalkeeper Nicolette Pasquerella was able to dive on.

In the second half, the Huskies attempted to change things up with their offense, subbing on Ava Nace, Lauren Ahles, and Lauren Dupont, all of whom came on as substitutes in the first half. 

Akyirem, moving over to the right wing after playing on the left in the first 45 minutes, was far more consistent in the second. Her shot in the 53rd minute nailed the bottom of the cross bar but bounced down in front of Pasquerella who made the save. Akyirem finished the game with seven shots, but only two were on target and none found the back of the net.

The leading shot-taker for the Seawolves was right-winger Gabrielle Côté who finished with four. The sophomore came closest to breaking the tie in the 78th minute but her shot from the right-side was snagged by a diving Stam who promptly tucked it in for her eighth and final save of the game.

Over the final 10 minutes, the Huskies appeared content to finish the game with a draw. Any time they got the ball they would just launch it back up the field and not put in much effort to score. The ball rarely made it up to the forwards who were mostly focused on the defensive end anyway. 

In the end, their tactics worked and they came away with a lone point. As it stands now, Northeastern sits in fourth place in the CAA table, one point behind Monmouth, and Stony Brook is in sixth, two points ahead of UNC Wilmington who still has a game left to play. 

Northeastern’s final game of the season will be Sunday against fifth-place William & Mary in Williamsburg. A win doesn’t guarantee the third seed in the CAA Tournament but it does give them a chance to slide up one spot if Monmouth falls to Campbell on Sunday. 

The Huskies will conclude conference play with a match at William & Mary. WRBB Sports will have written coverage of the match on Sunday.