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Danes Season Comes to an End

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It had all the makeup to be a perfect finish for the University at Albany women’s soccer team in the quarterfinals of the America East playoffs.

Allow an early goal in the first half, tie it up in the second half and score in the closing seconds in front of home fans to seal a comeback victory.

Except the goal wasn’t scored by the Great Danes. It was tapped in by America East rival Vermont and, just like that, UAlbany’s season was over.

UAlbany’s run at a third straight conference championship was over.

The 3-seed UAlbany women’s soccer team suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to 6-seed University of Vermont Thursday night in the first round of the America East playoffs. UVM’s sophomore midfielder Brooke Jenkins found the back of the net in the 90th minute for the game-winning goal.

With the score tied 1-1, Jenkins ripped a long range shot that deflected off the back of UAlbany defender Megan Malone and rolled past the diving goalkeeper Andrea Leitner to give the Catamounts the victory.

In the 36th minute, Vermont got the Catamounts on the board first off a back kick from Sarah Martin finding her trailing teammate Taylor Palmer who scored inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.

The Great Danes battled back, tying the match 13 minutes into the second half to even the score at 1-1. Junior defender Caroline Kopp, who received AE Defender of the Year honors earlier in the week, sent a corner to Katie Gowing who tapped it in for her first goal of the season.

UAlbany outshot Vermont 18-14 in the match overall but was outshot in each individual half including 8-3 in the first half.

Senior forward Vivian Vega finished her collegiate career with 23 goals, tied for first in UAlbany women’s soccer history.

“Anytime you lose a playoff game, especially at home, is difficult,” UAlbany head coach Nick Bochette said. “I thought we were the better team in the second half, but Vermont fought and battled, they earned the victory they got tonight.”

“The team is disappointed, and I am right there with them, but we had a lot of growth his year.”

There will be a new conference champion in the America East with the Great Danes loss. UAlbany won back-to-back America East tournaments in 2015 and 2016.

In his first season as head coach, Nick Bochette and the squad finish the 2017 campaign with a record of 6-11-1 overall.

It was an up-and-down season for the Danes who suffered three separate winless streaks of three or more matches before finishing the season with three straight wins.

UAlbany outscored their opponents 6-1 during the three-game-win streak coming into Thursday’s loss.

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Rob "Lep" Lepelstat is the sports editor of the Albany Student Press. Along with the ASP, Lep works as Vice President of ATV and sports director for WCDB. During the summer of 2017, he interned at WABC-TV in New York City.

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