Williams Golden Goal Sends UAlbany Women’s Soccer Back to Win Column with 2-1 Victory vs. URI
ALBANY, N.Y. – Mariah Williams scored the golden goal in the 92nd minute off Caroline Kopp’s corner kick to give the UAlbany women’s soccer team a 2-1 victory over Rhode Island in the season home opener.
UAlbany (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak with its overtime win over Rhode Island (0-2-2) in a physical, high shooting game. UAlbany outshot URI 21-18 in the game plus had 10 corner kicks to its opposition’s eight.
UAlbany controlled the overtime period with four shots, setting up Kopp’s corner kick after Kiana Rugar’s shot was punched out of bounds. The corner hit Meghan Cavanaugh and bounced to Williams, who kneed the ball into the net past a diving Katie Nickles.
“I was told to put pressure on the goalkeeper,” said Williams. “The ball was bouncing around in the box, I got on it and finished it.”
“This was our first overtime [game] of the season, and I was glad we were able to fight through it,” said UAlbany head coach Caitlin Cucchiella. “We were able to get some good service from Caroline [Kopp] and put the ball in the back of the net.”
Caitlyn Paltsios scored UAlbany’s regulation goal in the 44th minute of the first half off a free kick. URI equalized with a through ball score from Allyson Reynolds in the 56th minute. Williams got her goal 1:50 into the first overtime period.
Alana Olivieri picked up the victory in goal for UAlbany, saving seven in nine shots on goal, with a team save accounting for an eighth. Nickles got the loss for URI with eight saves in 10 chances.
Before the game started, UAlbany revealed its 2015 America East Championship banner in front of the crowd at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.
Rhode Island had the first opportunity in the fourth minute trying to place a free kick to the goal. Olivia Difonso fired from 30 yards out with a jumping Olivieri making the save. UAlbany looked to corner, drawing a corner kick. The ball was sent out of the box where Savanah Courtney tried to sent it back it with a defender blocking the ball.
In minute 18, URI sent a corner kick to Amanda Nardella for a header that missed wide left.
UAlbany sent its own chance with a couple of corner kicks in the 27th minute. The second found Alexa Schneider for a header that was blocked by a defender. Kopp’s corner seconds later did not result in a shot.
Both sides continued the long range shots, including one from Kimberly Dieroff being saved. Kopp tired one of her own cleared corner kick but missed the target high in minute 42.
UAlbany kept the pressure on and drew a URI foul in the waning seconds of 44th minute. Paltsios from long range fired a rocket into the box, which landed between a jumping Nickles and the crossbar to put UAlbany up 1-0, the eventual halftime score.
Each side started to put more shots on goal in the second half, including Williams having an early attempt three minutes in that was saved.
Emily Wakeford has a pair of shots in a span of 35 seconds, taking possession after a goal kick following a high header. Her second attempt was saved by a falling Olivieri.
In the 56th minute, Jaileen Goncalves sent a through ball to a running Reynolds, who got around a defender. She shot from left to right landed inside the post for the goal to tie the game at 1-1.
Olivieri and the defense held against a dangerous chance into the 62nd minute as Nicole Brennan put a corner into the box. After UAlbany cleared, twice, URI got the ball back in and saw shots blocked by Great Dane defenders.
The action kept high-paced as Cavanaugh got a header off a free kick, with Nickle making the save. Later, Rugar went for a long range fire and missed wide.
Donika Murray put a corner kick attempt towards the right post. The ball went past Olivieri but was headed away by a UAlbany defender in the 76th minute to hold the score at a tie.
UAlbany had three corner kicks in the final four minutes of regulation, but did not get off a shot. The teams went into overtime.
The home team pressured from the get go of overtime with Williams’s shot being saved and the rebound from Kopp going wide. Rugar got it back less than a minute later and had a close range shot being punched out of bounds, leading to Kopp’s corner kick. Williams kneed the ball past Nickles for the score.
UAlbany will head south for its next game, taking on Marist in Poughkeepsie on Sunday, September 4th at 1 p.m.