Danes Back in the America East Championship
Burlington, VT – The Great Danes are heading back to the America East title game for the second year in a row.
The UAlbany men’s soccer team defeated number one-seed Vermont on Wednesday night in a repeat of last year’s semifinal match to earn a spot in the America East Conference title game for the second straight year.
The Great Danes beat the Catamount’s by a score of 1-0 after Nico Solabarrieta’s goal in the 32nd minute turned out to be the deciding goal.
The 1-0 shut out over Vermont was the Great Danes fifth consecutive shutout against their conference rival and fourth overall shutout in their past five matches. The win was also their 13th victory on the year, tying their previous Division 1 program era record.
UAlbany improved to 13-4-2 on the year, and are looking to get that record setting win in the championship game, and Vermont ended the season at 10-8-1, but 5-1-1 in America East conference play.
The Catamount’s controlled much of the game, outshooting the Great Danes 6-2 in the first half and 11-6 for the entire match. Vermont also had five shots on goal compared to just two from UAlbany. Vermont kept the pressure up most of the game with five corners, meanwhile UAlbany failed to register a single corner.
However, at the end of the day it was Solabarrieta’s goal that saved the Great Danes season and put them in the championship for the second consecutive year, looking for back to back America East Tournament crowns.
Solabarrita’s goal came in the 32nd minute when he received a through ball from midfielder Daniel Krutzen. Solabarrita put the ball into the bottom right corner of the net past the outstretched arms of America East Goalkeeper of the Year, Aron Runarsson, to give the Great Danes the lead that would turn out to be the final score.
On the defensive end the Great Dane’s goalkeeper Danny Vitiello made five saves on the night and earned his 8th overall clean sheet of the season.
UAlbany almost tacked on an insurance goal in the 83rd minute as Daniel Krutzen took a shot from 10 yards out and the ball bounced off the near post.
The Great Danes will be looking to capture their second America East championship in as many seasons as they will travel to Lowell, Massachusetts on Sunday November 12th and get set to take on number two-seed UMass Lowell in the title game. The Great Danes defeated the River Hawks earlier in the season in a hard fought 1-0 victory at Tom and Mary Casey Stadium.