Top Offensive Output since ‘08 Leads UAlbany to 5-1 Win Over Vermont to Advance to AE Semis
BURLINGTON, Vt. – The best team offensive output since 2008 saw 5-seed UAlbany score five consecutive goals, leading to a 5-1 victory at 4-seed Vermont to advance the Great Danes into the America East semifinals.
“We are thrilled to have had one of our best performances in such an important game,” says coach Trevor Gorman. “We showed great composure in the attacking third, had good chances and executed well against a Vermont team that has had a very good season.”
The Great Danes (6-10-4) return to Baltimore to take on 1-seed UMBC in the America East semifinal round on Wednesday.
“We are looking forward to going back to Baltimore and playing a strong UMBC team again,” says Gorman.
It is the first time since October 18, 2008, a 5-2 home victory over UMBC, that UAlbany has scored five goals in a game. It is also the first five-goal contest on the road since September 28th of that year, a 5-1 victory at Marist.
In goal, Michael Pizzuti saved the first shot of the contest from Vermont’s (9-5-4) Mike Clayton on a dive to the left corner in the third minute.
In minute seven, UAlbany earned a breakaway attempt. Pomare Te Anau went down the center, passing the ball to Anthony Rozzano on the outside. Going into the goal box, Rozzano found a returning Te Anau, who kicked the ball into the right side of the net for his first goal of the year, putting UAlbany up 1-0.
Later in the closing seconds of the 17th minute, Jonathan Interiano hit a hard shot to the left side, which was knocked away for a corner. After Thomas Manz kicked it to Bernardo Mattos, a pass to Dominic McGarr outside the goal box was headed into the right part of the cage. UAlbany pushed to a 2-0 lead on McCarr’s second goal of the season.
Te Anau nearly got his second goal in the next minute, getting away from a defender at the top of the penalty box. A hard shot on the ground ground was saved by a diving Conor Leland.
On a free kick attempt in the 25th minute, Daniel Kuczynski jumped a headed a free kick pass near the goal box. A jumping Puzzuti punched the ball away, keeping the two-goal lead intact.
Vermont got a corner kick in the 33rd minute. After a deflection, Brian Wright headed the ball high above the crossbar, ending the threat. UAlbany counterattacked in the next minute and got a corner, but Manz headed the ball to the right of the post.
In the closing minutes of the half, Philip Persson drew away all defenders on a free kick into the box. Manz headed the ball over a charging Leland, placing his target into the right side of the box in 41st minute, putting UAlbany up 3-0. Manz pocketed his third goal of the year.
UAlbany protected against a couple of corners in the half’s final minute, not allowing a shot. The Great Danes went into halftime with its largest lead of the season, up 3-0 on Vermont.
The 49th minute saw Vermont get the first opportunity of the second half. Bernard Yeboah got a pass just ahead of the UAlbany back line. Yeboah shot was saved by a falling Pizzuti near the top of the box.
Just into the 54th minute, Brandon Wilson charged down the left side of the field, kicking it to Te Anau wide open on the upper left corner of the penalty box. Te Anau kicked it just inside the right post past a diving keeper for his second goal of the day, putting UAlbany up 4-0.
Shortly after, UAlbany almost got a fifth goal after a Te Anau free kick found Wilson behind the back line. Wilson kicked the ball into the net, but an offsides call prevented the score.
In the 60th minute, Te Anau took a free kick just outside the penalty box. His kick was headed inadvertently by Clayton into the net for a Vermont own goal, giving UAlbany a 5-0 advantage.
UAlbany stayed aggressive, seeing Te Anau set up Leonardo Rodrigues on a cross. The cross went past the keeper, but the shot just missed left of the post.
With about 21 minutes remaining, Beau Johnson received a ground pass from Wright next to the keeper. Johnson turned, got around the keeper and scored for Vermont’s first goal, making it 5-1 UAlbany.
At minute 79, UAlbany pushed and got Martin Gorrie with the ball on the left side. Gorrie crossed and found Denara straight away, but the header went right.
Te Anau nearly got a hat trick, kicking a bouncing ball toward the right post, missing wide with two minutes left. Neither side got an opportunity for the remainder of the game as UAlbany earned the 5-1 victory.
Pizzuti finished with eight saves in his third victory of the season. Te Anau got two goals, while Manz concluded with a goal and an assist.