Helmke Plays Hero as No. 22 Great Danes Blank No. 16 Maine, 1-0
Field Hockey Score: No. 22 UAlbany 1, No. 16 Maine 0
Location: Albany, N.Y. – Alumni Turf
Records: UAlbany (11-3, 5-1 AE), Maine (13-3, 4-2 AE)
Short Story: Senior Frederike Helmke’s late goal in the 58th minute pushed the No. 22 UAlbany field hockey team past No. 16 Maine, 1-0, to earn sole possession of first place in the America East Conference standings, Friday afternoon.
Head Coach Phil Sykes
“This is a great win for us. To move into first place and get the win is what we wanted. It is always a close game with Maine, they are a great team. They got us earlier in the season on their home turf and we took the win today on ours. When it comes down to close games like this its about who wants them more and our team wanted it, we love playing at home.”
Goals: Frederike Helmke (1)
Assists: Dana Bozek (1)
- Goalkeeper Melissa Nealon’s 11 career shutouts rank fourth all-time in UAlbany program history. She also sits tied for fifth all-time with 22 career wins.
- Helmke posted her fourth goal in as many games.
- With an assist in today’s game, Bozek and Ghislaine Beerkens own a team-high 21 points.
- UAlbany improves to 8-0 at home.
- The Great Danes are now 2-3 against opponents ranked in the top-20.
Recap: Senior Frederike Helmke’s late goal in the 58th minute push the No. 22 UAlbany field hockey team past No. 16 Maine, 1-0, to earn sole possession of first place in the America East Conference standings, Friday afternoon.
The win is the second for the Great Danes against a ranked opponent this season, after defeating then-No. 15 Delaware, 2-1, on Sept. 23
“This is a great win for us,” said Sykes. "To move into first place and get the win is what we wanted. It is always a close game with Maine, they are a great team. They got us earlier in the season on their home turf and we took the win today on ours. When it comes down to close games like this, it’s about who wants them more and our team wanted it.”
With the win, UAlbany improves to 5-1 in conference action while Maine falls to 4-2. The win is the fourth straight for the UAlbany, while the loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Black Bears.
Both team’s were held scoreless after 35 minutes as neither team could find a groove in the opening frame. Maine held a slight 4-3 advantage in shots but couldn’t break Nealon who held strong in the cage.
Coming out of the break possession began to sway in favor of the Great Danes, thanks to heavy pressure on the attack. The pressure eventually cracked the Black Bears who receded a goal to UAlbany in the 58th minute. Bozek connected with a wide open Hemlke who struck from the top of the circle for her career-high seventh goal of the season.
“Once we scored, I told the team relax and play our game,” explained Sykes “I emphasized that the pressure is on Maine to come back and score so let’s keep the ball wide, make good passes and play our game.”
The defense held strong as Maine was kept off the board in the final 12 minutes. Libby Riedl gave the Black Bears their best chance to tied the game but Nealon denied Libby of any glory.
Next Up: No. 22 UAlbany concluded its five-game homestand with a match up against No.10 Louisville on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The team will honor its 2018 Senior Class and welcome back alumni with a special pregame ceremony.