Field Hockey shuts out Maine on senior day
By Kristin Flatow
It was one of the most important games of the season for the University at Albany women’s field hockey team. It determined whether they would host the America East tournament in the post season. With a 3-0 win over Maine, UAlbany will officially host the conference tournament for the third time in the last decade. UAlbany clinched first place in America East standings and picked up their fourteenth win of the season. It was also the senior game for Great Danes, as it was their last home game of the regular season.
The Great Danes were off to a great start as they got their first penalty corner kick four minutes into the first half. Off the penalty corner kick, Paula Heuser, with assists from Laura Page and Flori Van Rijswijk, got the game’s first goal, and her 20th goal of the season. Kelly Bonner had a wide shot not too long after. Heuser had a run down the middle and UAlbany got another corner penalty kick which was taken by Van Rijswijk. It resulted in UAbany’s, and Heuser’s, second goal of the day 10 minutes into the half. Page and Amy Nicklin got assists on the goal.
The Great Danes continued to put pressure on Maine as Kelsey Briddell had a fast break up the middle towards Maine territory. Danielle Aviani for Maine had a rush up the middle and had two attempts on goal but was stopped by Pahlia Arnold and Van Rijswijk. Molly Mariano had another shot for UAlbany that went wide and Emily White shortly after had a shot that was stopped by Maine goalie, Emily Corbett. Page had her first goal of the season, and third goal of the game with a pass from defender Van Rijswijk, who made a one touch pass from a bounce. Heuser had another shot shortly following and Nicklin had a shot that went out of bounds. Echo Bretz for UAlbany got a green card. Maine had one last shot as Becca Paradee stole the ball from UAlbany and took it into their territory. UAlbany’s Molly Mariano received a green card. The first half ended with the Great Danes leading 3-0.
In the second half, Maine changed their goalie to Emma Cochran and put more pressure on UAlbany’s defense. In the first 10 minutes, Maine had a penalty corner and three shots, one saved by Maxi Primus, one shot high over the goal post, and one shot wide. Jaclyn Hibbs had a good battle with Maine to clear the ball. A time out was called by UAlbany 15 minutes into the second half.
Maine had another penalty corner taken by Nicole Sevey. Page made a nice clear from the corner kick. Heuser had a pass to Mariano from the middle for run down to Maine territory. Maine Berkey made the clear. Jaclyn Hibbs regained the ball for UAlbany.
Liza Morgan charged to the goal for UAlbany and had a shot that bounced of a Maine defender’s shin guard and went out of bounds. Bonner had a shot that was saved by Cochran. Morgan had another shot that went over the goal post and Arnold had a shot as well that went wide. Zoe Berkey attempted to clear the ball for Maine, but Heuser got it back and ran it down the middle. Bretz passed to Morgan who ran it down middle and attempted a shot but instead the ball found Page whose shot was blocked by Maine defender. Sevey took another Maine corner kick and Primus had a dive out save dive out save. Bonner had a rush down the middle with a field pass to Bottino for a blocked shot by Cochran with 10 seconds left.
Overall, UAlbany outshot Maine by 14-4. Primus made two saves and both of Maine’s goalies made four saves. Maine had three penalty corner and UAlbany had two.
When UAlbany’s leading goalie Maxi Primus was asked if she feels pressure going into games, she said, “Actually I don’t feel a lot of pressure because my defense makes me look so good, they are so good. I trust them and they trust me.”
The America East Tournament consists of two semi-final conference games, and then the final conference game, with the winner going to the NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Phil Sykes was very excited to be hosting the tournament. “It’s huge, it was a big game today as both teams were on seven to eight game winning streaks, and a lot riding on the game,” he said.
The game was also UAlbany’s senior day, as Anna Berman, Kelly Bonner, Echo Bretz, Jordyn Homyak, and Amy Nicklin were honored before the game. “You just reflect on how fast it goes by and it’s amazing from them being kids 16 to 17 years old that you’re recruiting to 22 year old young –women, it’s fun to see but shocking how fast it goes,” Sykes said.
Before the America East Tournament begins on Nov. 6, UAlbany will finish their regular season schedule at Vermont on Halloween at 2 p.m.
Click here for highlights of UAlbany’s win over Maine.