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No. 16 Field Hockey’s Late Comeback Not Enough in America East Final

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No. 16 Field Hockey’s Late Comeback Not Enough in America East Final



DURHAM, N.H. – University at Albany field hockey (16-5) lost a tough game 3-2 at Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon against No. 1 seed New Hampshire.

UAlbany was looking to avenge a 3-0 defeat to the Wildcats earlier this season at Memorial Field, but fell just short after scoring to make the score 3-2 with less than three minutes left.

New Hampshire took an early 1-0 lead on its first shot of the game in the 31st minute as UAlbany attempted to clear the ball. The Great Danes turned it over again in the 26th minute in their own circle. UAlbany surrended a penalty stroke goal shortly after, going down 2-0.

UAlbany earned a penalty corner in the 15th minute after Paula Heuser hit the ball off of a New Hampshire defender’s foot. The ensuing corner earned Daphne Voormolen the team’s first shot of the game.

The Great Danes got their first shot on goal with seven minutes left in the first half from Emily White. The forward poked at a pass across the circle, but couldn’t get around the New Hampshire goalie.

Paula Heuser nearly converted on a penalty corner shot to close the half, but her attempt was tipped high by a New Hampshire defender. Echo Bretz was on the receiving end of a 2-on-1 opportunity after the corner. Midfielder Laura Page came streaking down the right side, and found Bretz across the circle, but the New Hampshire goalie came out to keep Bretz from getting a good look.

UAlbany had a 7-4 shot advantage and 5-2 edge in penalty corners at the half.

Heuser scored her 17th goal of the season early in the second half. The freshman midfielder took the ball into the left side of the circle, and fired an off-balance shot into the lower right corner of the cage to make the score 2-1.

New Hampshire charged down the field 26 seconds later to widen the margin back to two goals. Jordyn Homyak made the initial defensive save on a Wildcat shot, but the New Hampshire rebound snuck through.

With 10 minutes gone in the second half, Corrine McConville launched a pass into the circle looking for a deflection. The ball rolled into the net, but her feed from outside the circle was ruled un-tipped.

Head coach Phil Sykes pulled goalie Maxi Primus with four minutes and 27 seconds remaining in regulation in an effort to get all 11 players into offensive mode. The move paid off with less than three minutes to go, as Amy Nicklin deflected in a pass from Heuser to make the score 3-2.

The Great Danes couldn’t quite find the handle in the closing moments of regulation.

“We looked nervous coming in, and going down by two goals early was tough,” said Sykes. “But all-in-all we had enough chances to come back. It was on us to get the equalizer goal that we needed. We had some good chances, but we battled back. It’s just a tough way to go out.”

In addition to finishing as the America East tournament runner-up, three Great Danes were honored for their play in the league tournament. Heuser, McConville and Voormolen earned spots on the America East All-Tournament team. McConville has been selected to the All-Tournament three times, while Voormolen has now garnered All-Tournament honors twice.

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