April 25, 2012
With a 2-0 win over Columbia last Sunday, the Stony Brook men's soccer team completed a successful spring training season with an unblemished 4-0-0 record against collegiate teams as the Seawolves prepare for defense of their 2011 America East championship.
In addition to the 2-0 win over Columbia, Stony Brook topped Bridgeport, 4-1, on April 14, knocked off nationally ranked Connecticut, 4-0, on March 30 and defeated Seton Hall, 2-0, on March 24.
Against Columbia, senior Berian Gobeil Cruz (Montreal, Quebec) scored off a corner kick in the first half and then senior Leonardo Fernandes (Sao Paulo, Brazil) connected on a free kick from the 18-yard box for a goal.
On defense, Stony Brook did not allow the Lions any significant chances to score.
A week before beating Columbia, Gobeil Cruz notched a hat trick of three goals in the win over Bridgeport.
"I was pleased with our performance against Columbia especially with how we played defensively," head coach Ryan Anatol said. "We know we have a dangerous attacking group that will create chances, so a big focus this spring has been on our pressure, our shape and commitment when we lose the ball. To end the spring giving up one goal in four matches shows we have taken steps in the right direction."
Stony Brook returns 15 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last season's team that captured the America East Championship for the third time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Anatol has also brought in a highly talented recruiting class that includes spring semester transfers Ryan Price (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) and Shane Wixted (Melbourne Beach, Fla.), both of whom participated in this season's training.
"The spring has been very helpful for our growth and development as a team," Anatol said. "We are pleased with the results and are more encouraged with the overall changes we have made to improve as a group. We have created some positive momentum heading into the summer."