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Men's Soccer: ‘Cats stumble in conference kickoff

By Sam Donnelly, Staff Writer

UNH opened up conference play at Stony Brook University Saturday. The Wildcats fell to the Sea Wolves by a score of 1-0.

UNH surrendered the game-winning goal in the 84th minute of the game, after playing evenly the entire contest.

“It was a defensive mistake on our part,” UNH assistant coach Logan Hoffman said. “All conference games are tough and that was a teachable moment for us.”

The Wildcats seemingly dominated the first half tallying five shots and only allowing Stony Brook to get off one.

“We had good chances,” Hoffman said. “We played well, but you can’t expect to dominate an entire game.”

The script changed in the second half when the Wildcats manufactured five shots again, but relinquished seven to the Sea Wolves.

In the 84th minute, Stony Brook freshman Fernando Wadskier crossed a ball that found the head of sophomore midfielder Favio Sbarra, who put the ball into the back of the net to secure the win for the Sea wolves.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 4-5-1, and they start 0-0-1 in conference play for the first time since 2012. The win pushes the Sea wolves to 3-6-1 and 1-0-0 in conference play. UNH senior goalie Travis Worra made four saves.

Despite the strong first half, Hoffman made it clear that the offensive effort is not enough to win games in the conference.

“If we are going to be successful we need more opportunities,” Hoffman said. “We need to create 15-17 shots to win games.”

Hoffman said the Wildcats were strong defensively. Despite allowing 12 total shots to the Sea Wolves, only five of them made it on net. The one goal they surrendered was lapse, and one that Hoffman says can’t happen.

“I thought we played well defensively,” Hoffman said. “We had one mistake. One mistake can cost you a game.”

Although the loss was a tough one to swallow, Hoffman’s postgame message to the team was about knowing what went wrong and how to fix it moving forward.

“We have to understand the significance of conference games,” Hoffman said. “We just have to identify the mistakes and correct them quickly.”

Although a 0-1 start in conference isn’t what the Wildcats were looking for, they will have plenty more opportunities to regain that ground within the conference. Starting Oct. 11 the Wildcats will play three games in eight days, one at home and two on the road. With those important games on the horizon the Wildcats will turn these next few practices into really important ones.

“We will preach the same messages,” Hoffman said. “It’s not about just telling the kids what needs to be done, it’s about the application of what we have said.”

The Wildcats will play their next conference game against a struggling Binghamton team which stand with a record of 3-8 and is in desperate need of a big win.

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