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UAlbany Falls to No. 6 Harvard in Overtime

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No. 22 University at Albany field hockey fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 6 Harvard.

Harvard controlled most of the first half possession and scoring chances, but it was UAlbany that scored first on a Lillian Hickey goal with 2:22 remaining in the first half.

UAlbany nearly took a 2-0 lead in the third quarter, but Dana Bozek’s shot off a corner hit the post. Harvard continued to bombard UAlbany goalkeeper Melissa Nealon and broke through on a Rachel Greenwood goal with 8:19 remaining in the game.

The game went into overtime, where Hannah Pearce scored 3:29 into the frame to seal the 2-1 Harvard victory.

“They are very sharp and well coached,” said UAlbany coach Phil Sykes. Late in the game they had a run in the play and we needed a little more composure, which I think will come with a few more games.”

The goal from freshman Hickey was the first goal of her collegiate career, scoring as a reserve who only played 28 minutes.

“It hit me when all my teammates came up to me and hugged me,” said Hickey. “They knew that I was happy about it, I’m glad I could get my first goal for this team.”

The overtime winner was junior Pearce’s eighth goal of her career and first in overtime. Sophomore Greenwood’s goal was the fifth of her career.

Nealon made nine saves in the game, and was helped on another opportunity by defender Pelou Bakker who hit the ball out of the air to save a goal in the first quarter.

“She [Nealon] had some amazing saves,” said Harvard coach Tjerk van Herwaarden. “I just had to keep telling my team to trust the process and things will fall. We knew she was huge for Albany.”

The loss pushes UAlbany’s record to 1-2 to begin the season and 0-2 against top-25 opponents – both one-goal losses.

“These teams are good at every position, they have speed, skill and intelligence,” said Sykes. “We want our girls to go in there and focus on what we do and have more composure in those stressful situations.”

The Danes have a week off before traveling to No. 5 Princeton Sept. 13.

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