Rugarís Two Goals Sends UAlbany Womenís Soccer to 3-1 Comeback Victory vs. Quinnipiac
ALBANY, N.Y. – With a pair of goals by Kiana Rugar, the UAlbany women’s soccer team came back to defeat Quinnipiac 3-1 to end a two-game losing skid.
Rugar netted her first goal in the 30th minute to tie the game. UAlbany (3-5) netted a pair of second half goals, the winner by Gina Bracamonte and the insurance score by Rugar, to ensure the win over Quinnipiac (4-2-1).
“This win for us was absolutely one of the best we have had all season,” said UAlbany coach Caitlin Cucchiella. “We were able to score goals in the run of play, but we were also able to come back when we were down, which speaks volumes to the type of team we have.”
Rugar’s first goal was assisted by Alexa Schneider and Bianca Webb, with Caitlyn Paltsios helping the second. Bracamonte’s goal was unassisted. Alana Olivieri earned the victory in goal with seven saves in eight attempts on the cage.
“This win was very important to us after a couple of losses,” said Rugar. “We knew we had to go into this game and give it everything.”
For Quinnipiac, Jess Fontaine netted her second goal of the year in the 15th minute. Devan Malcolm got the loss as goalkeeper with three saves.
Quinnpiac had the first chance to score after pushing back after a goal kick. A pass to Nadya Gill came right next to the goal box, with a quick kick being stopped and grabbed by Olivieri on the ground.
In the 15th minute, Quinnipiac raced on a breakaway with a 3-on-3. As the ball was loose outside the goal box, Fontaine kicked the ball off the leg of a defender as the ball bounced into the goal for the score, putting the visitors up 1-0.
UAlbany got its first opportunity into the 27th minute as Meghan O'Neil cross a ball on the ground near the end line into the box. As Quinnipiac tried to clear, Schneider got back the ball and blasted the ball to the goal, with Malcolm making the save.
The Great Danes got on the board just as minute 30 was expiring. Webb threaded the needle on a pass to Schneider, who passed the ball between two defenders to Rugar. Rugar kicked the ball on the first touch into the upper right corner for the score to tie the game at 1-1.
UAlbany threatened later in the half with a close range Paltsios shot, but the attempt was blocked. The two sides went into overtime tied at 1-1.
Off a free kick for Quinnipiac in the opening minutes of the second half, the ball was placed to Jess Cascio, who headed the ball close range off the crossbar. The ball stayed in play as UAlbany cleared it out.
Minute 59 saw Rugar fire a pass across the field to Bracamonte on the far side. The freshman fired a shot towards the center with a Quinnipiac defender deflecting the ball inside the left post for the goal to put UAlbany ahead 2-1.
Later, Paltsios placed a through ball to a running Rugar past two defenders. Running 15 yards forward one-on-one, Rugar looped a shot over the goalkeeper and inside the right post for her second goal, putting UAlbany up 3-1 in the 68th minute.
Off a cleared corner kick in the 73rd minute, Caroline Kopp raced in from the back line and lasered a ball from 40 yards out, slamming the crossbar. Webb tried on a rebound shot but had her attempt blocked.
Quinnipiac had two more looks at the cage, with a long free kick being caught by the keeper and a last chance effort by Gill from long range being punched above the crossbar by Olivieri. UAlbany took the 3-1 victory.
UAlbany will play its final non-conference game on Friday, September 16th, heading north to Dartmouth for a 7 p.m. contest.