UAlbany Women’s Soccer Earns 2-1 Comeback Victory at Maine to Match Program Record Fifth America East Victory
ORONO, Maine – Coming back to defeat Maine 2-1 on Thursday night on the road, the UAlbany women’s soccer team tied a program record with its fifth America East victory of the year.
Down 1-0 after 50 minutes of play and the Great Danes’ field hockey team cheering them on, UAlbany (8-7-1, 5-1-1 AE) was fueled by Meghan Malone and Meghan Cavanaugh each netting goals to complete the comeback and earn the victory over Maine (7-8, 3-5 AE).
“Tonight’s match involved a lot of quality from both teams, it was a true battle for 90 minutes,” said UAlbany head coach Caitlin Cucchiella. “Once we settled into our rhythm of play, we started to gain control of the game. We also felt incredibly thankful for the support of our field hockey team, who showed up to support us in the second half.”
UAlbany has matched its conference wins total from 2011, when it went 5-2-1 in league play. The Great Danes have a chance to surpass that mark with one league game left, hosting UMBC on Sunday at 1 p.m.
In addition, UAlbany, with 16 points in America East play, has earned at least the 3-seed in the upcoming conference tournament. A win on Sunday would give the Great Danes at least the 2-seed and a bye into the semifinal round.
Malone’s goal, assisted by Caitlyn Paltsios on a corner kick, was the first of her career. Cavanaugh netted her fourth goal of the season off a pass from Mariah Williams. Chloe Borasky earned the victory in net with three saves.
“It was a hard fought battle between both teams,” said Cavanaugh. “Without the help of my teammates, that goal wouldn’t have been possible.
For Maine, Vivien Beil netted the team’s goal off a rebound in the 50th minute. Samantha Cobotic had nine saves in the defeat.
In the opening 10 minutes, UAlbany defended against a pair of Maine corner kicks, not allowing shots on either.
In the 12th minute, a pass off to Alexa Schneider led to a long range shot, with Cobotic making the save. Off the resulting corner, a high-arc header from Savanah Courtney was grabbed by a diving Cobotic to stop the possession.
UAlbany continued to threaten in its offensive third as Cavanaugh got an attempt from long range, but the ball went right to Cobotic.
Caroline Kopp sent a corner kick to the middle of the box in the 32nd minute. UAlbany tried to kick the ball through a scrum close to the cage, not getting a goal. The two sides went into halftime tied at 0-0.
Maine attacked out of the gate in the second half as Vivien Beil tried a quick kick just inside the box, being blocked by a defender.
After a pair of missed shots, UAlbany put a corner back into the box. Caitlyn Paltsios got a foot off a clear attempt, with a diving Cobotic making the save. Maine countered, and off a save from Borasky, scored on the rebound from Beil to make it 1-0 in the 50th minute.
UAlbany responded in the 59th minute. On a second corner attempt, Paltsios found Malone for the header from eight yards out and the goal, tying the game at 1-1.
Minute 71 saw Cavanaugh try again on a long range fire towards the left post, being saved by Cobotic. Minutes later, a pass to an open Kiana Rugar up top the box was grounded towards the right post and saved.
With the UAlbany field hockey team cheering them on, the Great Danes kept the pressure on and drew a couple of corners. The first was deflected wide of the post, the second was headed by Malone just wide.
In the 84th minute, Schneider got the ball to the box in a scrum, finding Williams. Williams passed back and to the right for a running Cavanaugh, who fired a ground ball inside the right post for the goal, giving UAlbany a 2-1 advantage.
UAlbany held the Black Bears without a shot the rest of the way to ensure the 2-1 victory.
UAlbany returns home for Senior Day on Sunday, October 23rd at 1 p.m. vs UMBC.