Four days, two games, two losses and zero goals. That is how UNH’s brief road trip went for the team.
On Saturday the Wildcats traveled to New York for the third time this season, but this time to face Stony Brook University. Unlike their previous two trips, the Wildcats were not victorious. The Seawolves trumped the Wildcats 2-0.
The loss against Stony Brook was highlighted by a quick succession of the goals in the first half of the game from which the Wildcats never recovered. It started with Stony Brook’s Thibault Duval putting the Seawolves on the board first with his goal at 18:33.
Duval got the ball from a volley and was able to get behind the UNH defense. A confused UNH back three thought Duval was offside and waited for a call that never came. With defenders at a standstill, Duval got into a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Andrew Pesci. Duval was able to beat Pesci and get the ball into the back of the net. That put Stony Brook up 1-0. Before the Wildcats had a chance to respond, Duval struck again.
A mere 128 seconds had passed on the clock and the Wildcats were down 2-0. Duval scored a goal at 20:41 from a cross that traveled into the box and found his foot for a one-time goal. The score would remain the same until the final whistle.
“We played a team that naturally sits in [defensively] and likes to counter [attack]. When they score two goals like that, they’re going to sit back,” coach Marc Hubbard said of how Stony Brook was able to keep UNH out of the net. “They made it difficult to break them down and we didn’t create enough natural opportunities in the wide areas to beat the defense.”
UNH’s dynamic offense was held in check again on Saturday as no one was able to score. The once in form sophomore forward Chris Arling could not find the back of the net despite his efforts. He finished the game with six shots and two being on goal. Arling accounted for almost half of the team’s shots for the game.
UNH tried its best to level the score for the entire game. The Wildcats had 14 shots with three reaching the net compared to Stony Brook who had six shots with three on net. The Wildcats also had 10 corners, which eclipsed Stony Brook’s three.
Despite displaying tendencies, such as a high shot volume and constant pressure, that have usually gotten the team goals, UNH fell frustratingly short and was unable to capitalize on chances.
“I think the guys need to look into themselves and live up to their potential,” Hubbard said of what needs to happen in order to stop the losing skid. “There are a good amount of guys that are not showing well. When that happens, you don’t win.”
The loss puts UNH at 9-3-0 on the season and 1-1-0 in America East conference play. The loss is only the second time the Wildcats have given up multiple goals, the first being the ill-fated 3-1 defeat to Holy Cross. Stony Brook, who was coming off a 2-1 loss to Vermont, improved to 6-3-2 for the season and 1-1-0 in conference play.
The ‘Cats return home Wednesday, Oct. 12 when they take on the University at Albany at 7:30 p.m. at Bremner Field.