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UAlbany Women’s Soccer Season Outlook

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By Alec Ambruso

After winning back to back America East conference championships in 2015 and 2016, the University at Albany women’s soccer team took a step back in 2017, falling to Vermont in the first round of the AE tournament.

Led by second-year head coach Nick Bochette and five seniors including defender Caroline Kopp and forward Mariah Williams, the Danes hope to return to championship form this season.

Under Bochette last season, Kopp was selected to the United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Team, as well as being named the America East Defender of the Year – a first in program history. Both Kopp and Bracamonte were named to the All-Conference First Team, and Williams was selected to the Second Team.

Their season began on Aug. 17 against the University of Arizona—a team that’s received votes for national rankings—with a 1-0 victory. Two days later, they followed that impressive win with a convincing 3-1 victory versus New Mexico State.

While the Great Danes have since suffered tough losses against opponents Boston College, Colgate, and Buffalo, they responded with victories against nearby rivals Iona and Siena.

Siena was 3-1 heading into last Thursday’s matchup against UAlbany, but the Great Danes took that match in a shutout, winning 3-0 on the road.

The goals were divided between freshmen Jada Colbert and Christina Cernuto, as well as senior Mariah Williams, who was the leading scorer for the Great Danes last season with seven goals and 14 points to her name.

“We have been creating quality chances in just about every game we’ve played,” said Bochette. “But it’s fantastic for those chances to culminate in three goals.”

Not only was Bochette pleased with the scoring, but he was particularly impressed by the source of the goals.

“I’m also happy to see two of our freshmen get on the score sheet today. We have some real quality and danger in our youth, and we’re excited to see Jada [Colbert] and Christina [Cernuto] open their scoring career here.”

Bochette is well aware that more work has to be done to get back to the championship form of the past.

“We still have a lot of progress to make in order to be where we want to at the end of the year.”

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