Bill Ziskin

#20 UAlbany Takes Down the Defending National Champion

UAlbany Sports Information   09-22-2017

NEWARK, DE—#20 UAlbany Field Hockey beat the defending 2016 National Champions the Delaware Blue Hens. The Great Danes put an end to Delaware’s 17-game win streak at home stretching from October 8th 2015.

Field Hockey Score: #20 UAlbany 3 -  #5 Delaware 2
Location: Newark, DE
Season Records: UAlbany 4-3   Delaware  6-2
Short Story: The Great Danes strategically swept Delaware 3-2 in overtime. Melissa Nealon recorded 13 saves in the goal, orchestrating a tight defense that held off a strong Blue Hen offense. In overtime, Kelsey Briddell scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute with an assist from Anna Bottino.

KEY STATS

  • Melissa Nealon recorded a career high of 13 saves in the goal.
  • UAlbany recorded a high goal percentage of .375 compared to Delaware’s .105.
  • Kelsey Briddell recorded two goals, while Anna Bottino recorded two assists.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Great Danes started off the game heavily relying on defense. Melissa Nealon saved eight shots before any goals were put on the board. In the 30th minute, Delaware took an opportunity at the goal to place the Blue Hens ahead 1-0. However, the Great Danes flipped a switch. Less than a minute later, Kelsey Briddell shot her first goal of the season from 15 yards away, straight on.
In the 47th minute of the second half, Delaware scored again on a loose ball off of the goalie pads. Once again, the Great Danes looked to tie the score. In the 56th minute Katie MacCallum scored off of a crossing pass from Anna Bottino. Both UAlbany and Delaware were unable to score for the rest of regulation.
In overtime both the Blue Hens and the Great Danes recorded two shots. However, UAlbany came out on top with Kelsey Briddell’s second goal of the game. The goal came on the right side, five yards away after a fake to make the final score 3-2.  

COACHING STAFF COMMENTS
“Our defense played extremely well along with out goalie Melissa Nealon holding down the fort. Our offense took a little while to get going and made the most of the opportunities. Kelsey Briddell scored two great goals including the dramatic game winner in over time. It was a great night for our team as we had huge support from our alumni, family, and Great Dane friends,” said head coach Phil Sykes.

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