Men's Soccer Clinches No. 5 Spot in the America East Tournament with 2-1 Win at Binghamton
VESTAL, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s soccer (5-10-4, 3-2-1 AE) won its first game on the road this season in Vestal by a score of 2-1 over the Bearcats.
“It feels good to get a win on the road, especially in conference play,” said head coach Trevor Gorman. “We knew it would be tough coming down here. We played well in the first half with the wind to our advantage. I’m really pleased and looking forward to whomever we play on Saturday.”
The Great Danes visited Vestal competing for the final two spots in the America East tournament against Binghamton and Stony Brook. A win secured the No. 5 seed, and Gorman’s squad will face Vermont in Burlington on Saturday.
UAlbany had a free kick opportunity in the 40th minute after Pomare Te Anau was taken down on the left side of the Bearcat 18-yard box. Thomas Manz controlled the rebound but couldn’t turn to make a play on goal.
Philip Persson played another Great Danes free kick toward the far post in the 38th minute, with Brandon Wilson and Dominic McGarr on the receiving end. UAlbany earned a corner kick for another attempt on goal with McGarr and Wilson in the box, but a Binghamton defender headed Te Anau’s service away.
UAlbany got on the board first on the road when Anthony Rozzano controlled a pass in the midfield 18-minutes into the first half. His pass across the 18 was deflected by a Binghamton defender into the Bearcat net. The own goal gave UAlbany an early 1-0 lead.
Mike Pizzuti made a crucial play to keep the one-goal lead in the 16th minute. A service into the box by Binghamton went long, falling to an open Bearcat. Pizzuti came across the ball to make the save before the Binghamton player could fire a shot.
Rozzano nearly had a goal in the 14th minute, volleying a rebound over the goalkeeper in the 14th minute. A Binghamton defender came across the goal line to clear the shot away.
Bernardo Mattos recovered his own rebound to force the ball pass the Binghamton keeper shortly after. The freshman scored his second goal of the season give the Great Danes a 2-0 lead.
The Purple & Gold got another free kick to close the first half, but couldn’t quite clear the Binghamton defense.
To begin the second half, freshman forward Jonathan Interiano split two defenders in the corner, but couldn’t find anyone across the box.
On the ensuing position for the Bearcats, a Binghamton free kick gave the Bearcats a tough shot far post, but Pizzuti made the save.
Binghamton closed the margin to 2-1 early in the second half.
Leonardo Rodrigues streaked down the left side in the 62nd minute and played a good ball across the six, past the Binghamton keeper. Rozzano was just behind the play, and the ball went out of bounds on the opposite sideline.
Rozzano nearly made the score 3-1 in the 70th minute, firing a shot from the right corner of the 18-yard box, sailing just wide.
Pizzuti continued to come up with huge saves in the second half. The freshman made several diving saves with less than 10 minutes to play. Pizzuti punched away a free kick attempt outside the box, before make a diving save on a header off a Binghamton corner.
Mattos skied for a header on a UAlbany corner, but couldn’t quite connect with six minutes left.
The Purple & Gold successfully defended its goal for the final five minutes.
“It’s good to get this win,” said senior co-captain Thomas Manz. “It means we have another game to play on Saturday, it doesn’t matter who it is. We just have to keep moving toward the final.”
The Great Danes finished with 10 points in the America East regular season standings, the most for UAlbany under Trevor Gorman. UAlbany’s game time against the Catamounts is forthcoming for Saturday.