UAlbany Men’s Soccer Heading Back to NCAA Tournament
Lowell, MA – It’s took nearly two overtimes, but the University at Albany’s men’s soccer team is back to back champions of the America East conference.
Andreas Assiotis rifled a one-touch shot off the left goal post and into the back of the net as the Great Danes defeated the UMass Lowell Riverhawks on Sunday by a score of 1-0 in the America East championship game, giving them their second America East title since last year.
The Great Danes battled the Riverhawks for over 103 minutes of hard-fought soccer with both defenses flexing their muscles for the full 90 minutes and then some.
By time the Great Danes scored to end the game, both teams had eight shots, with Albany having two shots on goal and UMass Lowell only having one shot on goal.
Finally in the 103rd minute, on the cusp of a penalty kick shootout, Carlos Clark found Assiotis near the top of the box, where he shot the ball off a first touch off the post and in to give the Great Danes the championship.
It was Assiostis’s first goal of his career, and for the freshman midfielder, it couldn’t have come at a bigger time.
“It was a great time for us, in the final, in extra time,” Assiotis said. “It was a hard year because of my injury but I managed to score one goal and that goal was for the title.”
The win was also the Great Danes 14th of the year, who went 14-4-2 on the year, 4-2-1 in conference. The 14-win season is a new division one record for the team, whose previous record was 13 wins.
The story again for the Great Danes was their defense as they held yet another opponent scoreless, holding both the number 1 seed Vermont and now number 2 seed UMass Lowell scoreless in the America East tournament.
“We weren’t the most talented team this year, but we are the most hardworking,” senior defender Moosah Khanat said. “We work for each other and it ended paying off with this championship.
That was the fifth time in six matches that the Great Danes have their opponents scoreless A common theme throughout the Great Danes championship season.
The Riverhawks finished the year 10-7-1 in a season where they finished 5-2 in conference play to lock up the 2 seed in the tournament.
“This year we had to go on the road a couple of times, and this conference is one of the best in the country,” Coach Gorman said after the game. “I’m so proud of the way our guys kept playing in a hostile environment.”
Daniel Krutzen, Danny Vitiello, Nico Solabarrieta, and Carlos Clark were named to the All-Tournament team. Krutzen was named tournament Most Outstanding Player.
“We had two very hard games in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but we got through them,” Krutzen said. “I feel like we’re really a family on the field and off the field.”
This was the Great Danes second time this year beating the Riverhawks, the first coming on Sept. 30th of this year also by a score of 1-0.
For the the second year in a row that the Great Danes will be heading to the NCAA tournament. Last year the Great Danes beat Boston College in their first match of the NCAA tournament before losing to Clemson in the Sweet 16 3-1.