The Stony Brook men's soccer team came out of halftime on fire, scoring two goals in less than three minutes en route to a 3-1 win over Albany in the semifinals of the America East Championship Wednesday night at LaValle Stadium.
The No. 2 seeded Seawolves advance to their second America East Championship final in the last three years and will host No. 5 seed Hartford Sunday night at LaValle Stadium at 6 p.m.
"I thought it was a good overall team performance," head coach Ryan Anatol said. "I thought we wore them down enough to create some strong opportunities. Give credit to Albany, they were a good team, very organized. It was a tough game for us."
The Seawolves dominated the entire contest on offense, but the score at halftime was 0-0 despite Stony Brook outshooting the Great Danes 10-2. SBU had some good looks at the goal, including a free kick by junior Leonardo Fernandes (Sao Paulo, Brazil) that was blocked by an Albany wall.
The second half started and just 1:55 into it, junior Christian Molinar (Bay Shore, N.Y.) crossed a ball from the far side into the box. Albany goalkeeper Adrian Foncette made a play on the ball but couldn't hold on. The ball went right to Fernandes who chipped it in easily for a goal.
Not even one minute later, the Seawolves took control again as Fernandes got the ball and chipped it to a running junior Antonio Crespi (North Babylon, N.Y.), who was running side-by-side with a defender. Crespi got the extra step and outmaneuvered Foncette, who was running at him. Crespi got a clean shot off and easily scored the goal.
The Seawolves continued to dominate, not allowing any Albany chances while keeping possession of the ball. Stony Brook added a third goal in the 79th minute when junior Raphael Abreu (New York, N.Y.) took possession of a ball that was dropped into the box and then poked it past Foncette.
Albany scored with 10 minutes left when David Pinto one-timed a pass from Quintel Gates unchallenged.
Stony Brook advances to the America East Championship final for the third time in program history and second time in three years. The Seawolves previously won the final in 2005 and 2009. The team's opponent will be Hartford, which defeated the Seawolves, 3-1, back on Oct. 30. The game takes place Sunday at 6 p.m., at LaValle Stadium. For ticket information, visit GoSeawolves.org/tickets or call (631) 632-WOLF.