Friendly confines reliable for Danes
By Lamya Zikry
September 8, 2015
With only one day in between their first two home games, the University at Albany women’s soccer team came in more than prepared and defeated Marist College 2-0 win on Friday night, Sept. 4 at Bob Ford Field.
“I feel like we were very prepared. We took it easy yesterday, we had a good short practice and today we had a nice walk through and prepared for Marist. We came in, we fought hard and got the win,” said goalkeeper Alana Brennan.
Brennan made six saves in goal and the back line made two team saves.
“We fought really hard but in the beginning of the game it took us a while to get adjusted to their pressure. They were coming at us really hard and they had a couple opportunities but we stopped them,” said Brennan.
UAlbany acting head coach, Nick Bochette, feels thrilled about the game results.
“We won a game in which we didn’t play well for a large portion of it. You can never be upset with a win. Good teams can find a way to persevere even when they’re not at their top level,” said Bochette.
He will admit though that it has been difficult. This early part of the year is a building time for the team.
“We’re building fitness. We’re developing tactics that we’re going to use later in the season in conference play. Short rest is never fun but it’s also good for us to play when we’re not feeling great. It’s good for us to play when we’re a little sore and a little slower because then we have to figure things out differently,” said Bochette. “It’s not easy to do but when we do go on the road to play conference games with two days in between we’re going to feel that much better.”
After they got possession of the ball, the Red Foxes came in hard with the attacks from the start of the game. UAlbany held off Marist’s attacks. UAlbany got their shot at the 36th minute when forward Kiana Rugar got the ball in the near side of the box. Rugar passed it to forward Mariah Williams who kicked the ball right inside the goal, giving UAlbany a 1-0 lead. The goal was Williams second of the season.
“They were all over us. We were really behind the game for the first 25 or 30 minutes. It’s good that we found a way to come out of that spell one nail up. That’s not easy to do,” Bochette said. “I think that speaks to who we are and the grit were willing to show to find a way when you’re under pressure to still come out and score some goals.”
With less than 10 minutes left in the first half, UAlbany had a few attempts with corner kicks in the final minutes of the half, but did not get another shot in. UAlbany went into halftime leading 1-0.
“We went into halftime needing an adjustment so we made a little bit of a tactical shift here and there but really how it got better was the response from the players. It’s the second game in a row we came out of halftime and we responded brilliantly. In the second half we decided we wanted to be the team controlling the pace and we were. I think we were in good shape after that happened,” said Bochette.
Bochette was right. UAlbany came out strong the second half. There were some shots by Rugar and forward Allison Carhart that were saved but lead to corner kicks.
UAlbany scored another goal in the 60th minute. Marist diverted the ball to the far side of the box. Forward Krista Fitzpatrick recovered the ball, passed it to forward Vivian Vega, who kicked the ball right into the net making the score 2-0 in favor of Great Danes.
“I think getting a goal before halftime was needed for us because we were put under a lot of pressure for most of the half. So it was good for us to go into halftime one nothing. And it was great for us to come out two nothing with a win against Marist. I thought we responded really well. It was really good to get the win and I think we’re headed in the right direction,” said Brennan.
UAlbany’s next game will be on Thursday, Sept. 10 against Dartmouth at 5 p.m at Bob Ford Field.