Danes Down Catamounts 4-1 for First Conference Win of 2018
Almost a year after the University of Vermont Catamounts (3-7-3, 1-2-1 AE) ended the University at Albany women’s soccer season (7-5-2, 1-1-1 AE) with a 2-1 loss in the 2017 America East quarterfinals, the Danes faced off against UVM once again.
The stakes were different. Thankfully for the Great Danes, the results were, too.
Senior Mariah Williams, who last month became the program’s all-time leading scorer, found the back of the net twice to lead UAlbany to a 4-1 victory Thursday night.
On top of knocking off the team that had ended their chances of an America East championship three-peat after titles in 2015-16, it sealed their first conference win of the season.
It also ended a four-match winless streak.
“It wasn’t just that we lost, it was the manner in which we lost that game,” Bochette said. “It ended our season. I think there was an extra sparkle on our girls tonight. Three points and it puts things right against a very strong Vermont team.”
Sophomore defender Katie Gowing got the scoring going early with a header just 44 seconds into the match, taking a free kick from teammate Caroline Kopp and ripping it past the UVM goalkeeper Kacey Lambertson right into the back right corner of the net. It was her second goal of the season.
Kopp joined her teammate Williams in the record books, becoming the program’s all-time leader in assists in a 3-1 win vs Northeastern on Sept. 13.
The scoring would remain the same for the rest of the half but the fireworks had just begun.
With 1:33, things got testy when Vermont senior midfielder Brooke Jenkins shoved UAlbany junior defender Kimberly Dieroff, resulting in a yellow card.
This was just the extra motivation the Danes needed as they came out in the second half firing.
In the 49th minute, sophomore midfielder Megan Cavanaugh ripped a shot past Lambertson to give the Danes a 2-0 lead.
Vermont would respond when freshman defender Alex West scored her first goal of the season off an unassisted corner kick to cut the lead to 2-1 in the 59th minute.
From there, it was all Williams, who found the back of the net twice for UAlbany in five minutes to extend her team-leading goal tally to 11 on the season.
In the 63rd minute, after being fouled in the box, Williams scored a penalty-kick goal to build the lead to 3-1.
Moments later, senior defender Savanah Courtney crossed the ball into the box from the far sideline and Williams, being guarded by two Catamounts, buried it once again to seal the win. In total, she now has 22 points in 2018.
“My job is to put the ball in the back of the net,” Williams said. “…I just kept at it. If I create enough chances, one of them is bound to go in.”
After the match, both Vermont coach Kristi Huizenga and the players declined to speak to the media.
The frustrations continue for a Catamount team that has not won a regular season match in Albany since 2012. Vermont also came in with a league best .815 save percentage. Lambertson was second individually with 49 saves.
On the other side, despite its in-conference struggles, UAlbany had the third-highest offensive output with 68 total points and second most assists (20) in the conference.
The Danes improve to 10-13-1 in the all-time series and have now won six of the last seven versus their America East foe.
“Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men played in the background after the clock hit zero. These dogs were ready for arguably their biggest challenge of the season thus far. Clearly, Vermont wasn’t.
“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel great,” Bochette said. “Winning is fun. It goes a long way.”