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UAlbany Women’s Soccer Set for 2016 NCAA Tournament First Round, Battles UConn on Saturday

UAlbany Sports Information   11-10-2016

STORRS, Conn. – The back-to-back America East champion UAlbany women’s soccer team heads east to take on American Athletic Conference champion Connecticut in Storrs on Saturday, November 12th at 6 p.m. for the NCAA Tournament First Round at Joseph J. Marrone Stadium.

The game will air for free online on HuskyVision/College Sports Live.  For those looking to attend the game in Storrs, tickets are #8 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.

UAlbany earned its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, winning the America East title with a 2-1 home victory over Hartford in the championship game.  UAlbany, on a six-game winning streak and unbeaten in its last nine, comes in at 11-7-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the America East.  UConn is playing in its third consecutive NCAA Tournament after a 1-0 home win over SMU for the AAC championship, standing 18-1-2 overall and 8-0-1 in league play.  UConn, ranked #13 in the NSCAA poll, is unbeaten in its last 14 games and has won its last eight.

This is the first-ever meeting between UAlbany and UConn.  UAlbany has not played an AAC opponent since the league’s formation in 2013.  UConn hosted America East member Stony Brook on September 11th, defeating the Seawolves 4-1.

The victor of this game will play the winner of Auburn-South Alabama in the NCAA Second Round on Friday, November 18th.

BACK-TO-BACK AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONS: With a 2-1 comeback victory over 2-seed Hartford, 1-seed UAlbany earned its second consecutive America East Tournament title and the league’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, November 6th.

UAlbany, earning a share of the America East regular season title, hosted the conference title game for the first time ever at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.  It was the team’s third-ever appearance in the America East title game, with the other coming in 2011. 

UAlbany became the first women’s soccer team to earn back-to-back America East titles since Boston University in 2010 and 2011.

Down 1-0 in the first 25 minutes, UAlbany came back from a one-goal deficit with scores in the 44th minute by Kiana Rugar and the 76th minute by Vivian Vega, each assisted by Gina Bracamonte, for the victory over Hartford.

Caitlyn Paltsios was the Tournament Most Outstanding Player with Vega, Rugar and Mariah Williams all being All-Tournament Team.

2016 - WINNINGEST SEASON IN UALBANY HISTORY: With 11 victories this year, UAlbany has tied its program record for most wins in a season.  At 11-7-1, the Great Danes are assured their best winning percentage in a season in its Division I history, currently at .605.  UAlbany also earned 11 victories last season as well as in 1981 during its Division III era.

UALBANY EARNS FIRST EVER LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON TITLE: UAlbany picked up a share of the America East regular season title with 19 points, going undefeated in its last seven league games to secure the 1-seed in the conference tournament.

It is the first time in program history that UAlbany has earned a league regular season title.  UAlbany shared the regular season title with Hartford.

CAVANAUGH NAMED LEAGUE CO-ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Meghan Cavanaugh was voted as the America East Co-Rookie of the Year with four goals and four assists this season, including three goals in conference play.

Cavanaugh is the second UAlbany player to earn conference rookie of the year honors in three years.  Vivian Vega was the 2014 America East Rookie of the Year.

VEGA - SECOND ALL-TIME IN GOALS AT UALBANY: Vivian Vega, with the game-winning goal against Hartford for the America East title, stands with 20 goals in their career, second all-time at UAlbany.  She is three goals away from tying for first in goals with Shayla Bergeron at 23.

RUGAR - UALBANY ALL-TIME ASSISTS LEADER: With an assist vs. Vermont on October 16th, Kiana Rugar became UAlbany’s all-time assists leader with 15 in her career.  She has a pair of top-six single season assist records at UAlbany, including tied for #1 with seven in 2014.

Alexa Schneider is tied for second at 14 in her career while Caitlyn Paltsios is at fourth with 13.

SIX GREAT DANES EARN ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM HONORS: A program record six Great Danes earned places on the 2016 America East All-Conference teams this season.  Caitlyn Paltsios and Caroline Kopp were selected to the First Team while Meghan Cavanaugh, Kiana Rugar, Alexa Schneider and Vivian Vega all were placed on the Second Team.

BALANCED SCORING ATTACK: UAlbany is second in the America East with 29 goals on the season, including six different multi-goal scorers going into the NCAA Tournament.  Kiana Rugar is tied for third in the league with six goals while Vivian Vega is tied for fifth with five goals.  Caroline Kopp has an America East-best six assists.

SCHNEIDER NAMED SENIOR CLASS NOMINEE: Alexa Schneider was one of 30 Division I women’s soccer players to be nominated for the Senior CLASS Award.  Those nominated are honored for their commitment to the four C’s: classroom, character, community and competition.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: The leading scorer in all of Division I with 52 points off 20 goals and 12 assists, AAC Offensive Player of the Year redshirt senior forward Stephanie Ribeiro has 11 game-winning goals for UConn.  Senior AAC Co-Midfielder of the Year Rachel Hill is the second option with 15 goals and five assists.  Ribeiro and Hill combine for 35 of the team’s 41 goals.  Senior Emily Armstrong is the AAC Goalkeeper of the Year with a 0.66 goals allowed average and an 86.5% save rate.

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