Late goal leads Men’s Soccer over Vermont
By Willie Monty
The University at Albany men’s soccer team battled a tough Vermont side Saturday afternoon for their first America East conference game of the year. Wet and windy conditions played a factor throughout the game for both sides. Ultimately, it was the Great Danes who emerged victorious, earning three points in the standings with a 2-1 win.
UAlbany maintained most of the possession in the beginning of the first half, but the tides quickly turned in Vermont’s favor. The Catamounts had several opportunities to strike early, with multiple shots being taken inside the goalie box, but Tim Allen was there to save them all. The senior goalkeeper had a great game for the Danes, with six saves at halftime and eleven total.
“The wet conditions make the game very fast, and we have to go back to the basics. It levels the playing field, and suits our quick passing playing style,” Allen said.
As the first half wore on, the physicality of the game increased. Both sides fought hard as Vermont controlled the game going into halftime. The visitors out shot UAlbany 12-3.
The second half saw goals from both sides, as the game started to open up. Thirteen minutes into the second half, UAlbany defender Keith Traut brought the ball up the right side. He entered Vermont’s box, bouncing off defenders, but keeping the ball close. Traut then fired a shot that hit off a Vermont defender, and found its way into the net for his first goal of the year.
The Great Danes’ goal seemed to energize both sides, as the game speed picked up from that point. UAlbany’s Brandon Wilson hustled throughout the match, but with poor passing could not connect with his midfielders.
With around 15 minutes to go, and the win within reach, UAlbany decided to park the bus. Their midfield dropped back in a more defensive position, with their two strikers looking for counter attacks.
With around 11 minutes left in the second half, Vermont’s Jaime Miralles fired a free-kick from around yards out to the lower right corner. Allen dove for the save, knocking the ball into the box. There stood Vermont’s Jack Shea, another defender, who blasted the bouncing ball into the back of the net to tie the game.
Anthony Rozzano was crafty throughout the game for UAlbany. His foot skills and speed provided the Great Danes with a lot of opportunities. With a little under seven minutes to go, Rozzano was fouled right outside Vermont’s box, giving UAlbany a dangerous free kick. Phillip Persson lined up to take the kick, and sent it across the box, but it went through untouched for a goal kick.
With five-and-half minutes to go in the game, UAlbany had a free kick from about 40 yards away. Persson sent a soaring ball into the box, finding the high-flying Wilson for a header that hit off a Vermont defender and deflected into the net. The goal was Wilson’s first of the season.
“It feels good, really good to get a goal after conceding one late. In conference games, it’s gets scrappy, and turns into who wants it more,” Wilson said.
The senior from Troy, New York was eventually sent off with his second yellow of the match, two of six total given.
Finally, the referee’s whistle blew for the end of the match, with UAlbany winning 2-1. Vermont outshot UAlbany 22-8, with both teams earning three corner kicks each.
The Great Danes traveled to Syracuse on Tuesday night to play the No. 4 ranked Orange. In a tight game, Syracuse was able to beat UAlbany 2-1. After the loss, UAlbany continues its America East conference schedule with a road game at UMass Lowell on Saturday, Oct. 11. Kickoff against the River Hawks is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Click here for highlights from UAlbany’s win over Vermont.