Win Grants Danes New Life
With a 2-1 loss to UMass Lowell on Oct. 8, the University at Albany women’s soccer team fell to 3-10-1 on the season while also extending their losing streak to four straight matches.
Two weeks later and three straight victories for the Purple and Gold, the Great Danes are back into the America East tournament looking to repeat as conference champions for the third consecutive year.
It’s something that just 13 days earlier would’ve been hard for those not inside the locker room at Casey Stadium to believe.
UAlbany women’s soccer defeated rival Stony Brook 1-0 behind Caroline Kopp’s first goal of the season in the 35th minute and a shutout performance by goalkeeper Andrea Leitner with nine saves in net for their third straight win to close out the 2017 regular season.
“It was a huge victory especially here on the road vs. Stony Brook,” Kopp said. “It’s always a great game here. Being conference champions, we have a target on our back and we want to repeat again.”
The lone goal in the match came with 10 minutes remaining in the first half when Kopp passed the ball off to freshman midfielder Sophia Eiffer and then gave it back to Kopp who ripped a long-range shot over the arms of the outreached goalkeeper Shannon Robinson.
Leitner saved three long-range shots in a span of fifteen minutes to give the Danes a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.
Stony Brook had their opportunities in the second half, including in the opening minutes off a cross over the head of Leitner. But they failed to put the ball into the back of the net, missing right on the shot.
The Seawolves outshot UAlbany 15-13 in the match and had five corner kick opportunities versus three for the Danes.
Despite a rollercoaster season that included three separate winless streaks of three or more matches, UAlbany women’s soccer is back in the tournament finishing the regular season with a 4-3-1 record in America East conference play and 6-10-1 overall.
“The character this team has shown in the last few weeks, I’m not only proud, I’m impressed,” head coach Nick Bochette said. “I could not be happier for this group and we are looking forward to what is next. We have talked about building and progressing all year, and we want to keep progressing.”
Playoff berths/seeding is determined solely by conference record, meaning despite a below .500 2017 campaign, the Danes currently sit as the #4 seed before the final seeding is determined Sunday afternoon with the conclusion of the regular season.
This is the first win for UAlbany women’s soccer at Stony Brook since 2011. Stony Brook falls to 8-9 on the season and will close out their 2017 campaign Sunday.
The Great Danes (6-10-1) will find out their seeding for the America East tournament after the league games conclude on Sunday. They are set to play in the Quarterfinals on Thursday, Oct. 26.