DANES DROP VERMONT, UNH PUSH WINNING STREAK TO FIVE
The University at Albany Women’s soccer team is is on a five-game winning streak after a 2-1 win over the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Thursday night and a 3-0 win over Vermont Sunday night at Tom and Mary Casey Stadium.
The Great Danes took the lead against UNH in overtime, scoring the golden goal and sealing the win on the spot.The girls fought hard from the start, especially when UNH came out strong in the first half and maintained a lot of ball possession. After UNH scored the first goal towards the end of the first half, the team knew they needed to make a comeback.
The Great Danes started the second half with everything needed to win a soccer game. They put a heavy amount of pressure on the defense and kept the ball circulating around UNH territory. With almost full possession of the ball by the last quarter of the game, Mariah Williams put the ball in the back of the net in 68th minute, which gave them the boost of confidence they needed and the mindset that they were still in the game.
In overtime, at the 94th minute of play, defender Caroline Kopp scored the golden goal for UAlbany straight from a corner kick, leaving them to celebrate their victory over UNH. Not only was this Kopp’s first goal of the season, it was the first goal of her career with UAlbany Women’s Soccer. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way for it to happen” said Kopp. “We came out strong in the second half and pressured as a team, so we were able to win the ball and put them in positions they didn’t want to be in.”
This win is extremely important for Great Danes Women’s Soccer because UNH was the only team ahead of them in terms of points, which determines the top spots for teams leading into the playoffs. This win took points away from UNH, knocking them out of first place in the America East Standings.
Thursday’s win for the Great Danes kept the energy high and consumed the players with an overwhelming sense of victory.
“Hopefully we can use this momentum and keep pushing forward. It’s really helpful because other teams don’t necessarily have that momentum, and it gives us confidence for upcoming games,” Kopp said.
Head Coach Caitlin Cucchiella is very pleased with the team’s recent successes, and she hopes that, by the next game, they can come out with a better mentality from the very first minute of the game. “I think it took us about 45 minutes to get comfortable, and if we can come out and play good quality soccer for the first 45, we’re going to be in much better shape” said Cucchiella.
“The girls always feel more comfortable at home, and I think that our win tonight is only going to give them more confidence” said Cucchiella. “So, as long as we do the right things in preparation for the next game, I think we’ll be in a good place.”
The Great Danes extended their winning streak on Sunday night as they defeated the Vermont Catamounts by a score of 3-0.
UAlbany scored their first goal at 30:55 of the first half, off of the leg of Vivian Vega. The second goal, which was scored as a rebound off of a missed header that bounced off of the crossbar, was scored by Kiana Rugar with an assist by Megan Cavanaugh at 53:40. Bianca Webb was able to score the insurance goal at 87:25, off of a cross from right to left and a shot that went inside the right post. Chloe Borasky was credit with the win and shutout, for UAlbany, after stopping all six shots on goal. The win guarantees that the Great Danes will be at least a top-four seed in the America East Tournament and will play one home playoff game.
The Great Danes look to extend their winning streak on Thursday, October 20th as they take on Maine at 7 p.m.