Menís Soccer Defeates LIU Brooklyn; Pinheiro Becomes Career Points Leader
ALBANY, N.Y. – A long road trip has come to an end and the University at Albany men’s soccer team (4-3-1) finally got a chance to play at home, taking full advantage of the opportunity by dropping visiting LIU Brooklyn (5-3-1) 4-1.
“It’s always nice to get victories,” said head coach Trevor Gorman. “Every game in college soccer is hard. And coming home after being on the road for about a month, we wanted to set a good tempo and get a good result against a team that was in the NCAA tournament last year, and I believe we did that especially now we can focus on getting ready for conference.”
The Great Danes have now won three of their last four matches, and have scored seven goals in their last two. The offensive onslaught has come from six different players scoring at least one goal in the last two games.
“This time of year you want to see more guys get the ball in,” said Gorman. “You want to see as many guys scoring and in form as possible. So, to have all those guys getting goals was good for us.”
Junior Afonso Pinheiro has led the way in scoring for the Great Danes this season. He has already accumulated the most career goals in UAlbany history, and today he became UAlbany’s all-time leader in career points. Pinheiro scored UAlbany’s third goal of the game on an assist by Carlos Clark, breaking through the defense on the left side to net the ball on the far side. The goal gave Pinheiro 53 total points for his career, breaking the long-standing record of 51 set by Jarvin Skeete (1999-2001).
“Afonso scores goals,” said Gorman. “That’s what he does, that’s what he’s done since his freshman year. I’m certainly pleased to see him score today and really happy to see all the different goal scorers.”
The moment was bittersweet for Pinheiro, who lost his great-grandmother this morning.
“I’m happy,” said Pinheiro about his record, “especially today. I’m happy that I came to the game and it worked out pretty well. My great-grandmother would much rather see me here doing what I love. I’m so happy to fight for her, happy to help my team get the win.”
UAlbany scored first on a broken play in front of the LIU Brooklyn goal in the 15th minute. Senior Keith Traut took advantage of a misplayed bounce by the Blackbirds’ goalie that saw the ball bounce over his head. Traut worked his way past the goalie to push the ball into the open net.
In the 32nd minute, sophomore Nico Solabarrieta scored the first goal of his career. His first shot in this sequence deflected off the far post, then rolled agonizingly across the goal line without going in before bouncing out off of the near post. Solabarrieta collected his own rebound and ripped a shot along the near side that made its way past the goalie.
The Blackbirds answered with a goal of their own five minutes later to bring the halftime score to 2-1. Pinheiro scored his goal in the 53rd minute. The final goal of the game came off a lob to Daniel Krutzen from Luke Palmateer, which Krutzen netted into the far side of the goal, bringing the final score to 4-1.
“Seven goals in the last two games, three wins in the last four, that’s the kind of form you want to have heading into October, so we’re pleased that it’s gone that direction,” said Gorman.
The Great Danes home reprieve will be short-lived, as they hit the road once more to visit Hartford to open America East conference play.
“Certainly, America East conference play is challenging,” said Gorman. “Every team in our league is a good team, had a tremendous nonconference year for the America East, probably the best ever. So far I think three teams have been nationally ranked at various times or currently might be nationally ranked going into this week, and that’s great, we want the league to be as strong as possible. Every team knows each other well, every team will be prepared, every team will play really hard, and that’s what makes those games fun. We can’t wait for Hartford on Saturday night and I’m sure they feel the same.”
UAlbany plays Hartford on Saturday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m.