Women's Soccer Hosts Hartford to Open America East Play
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s soccer team will host its 2019 America East opener against Hartford on Sunday in a rematch of the 2018 America East semifinal round.
Sunday, September 22 vs. Hartford (1:00 p.m.)
Leading the Pack
- Twins Jada and Jasmine Colbert share the team lead with eight points each
- Jasmine Colbert leads with four goals, and shares the conference lead
- Christina Cernuto leads with four assists, and shares the conference lead
- Sophia Chen leads the America East in goals against average (.711)
- UAlbany is undefeated in its last four games (3-0-1)
The Hawks have started the season 3-4-1 with victories over Manhattan, Merrimack, and Delaware State. Hartford was picked second behind UAlbany in the America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Great Danes are 4-15-3 against the Hawks in the Division I era, with three of the four wins taking place in the last four seasons. Last year, Hartford went 13-3-2 overall and 6-1-1 in the America East, leading the conference in scoring offense and scoring defense.
In the second of two meetings at Hartford last season, the Great Danes met the Hawks in the America East semifinal round. UAlbany had fallen to Hartford away 2-1 in the regular season, but returned the favor with a 1-0 upset of the two-seed Hawks to clinch a spot in the championship game. Mariah Williams scored the game’s only goal, her 17th of the season and the last goal she scored in her career at UAlbany.
The Great Danes have won each of their first three home games of the 2019 season. UAlbany went 8-1-1 at Casey Stadium in 2018, including quarterfinal and championship victories in the America East Tournament. The Great Danes let up just eight goals in 10 games at home last year, and just two in the last five. Dating back to the 2015 season, the year of the program’s first America East title, the Great Danes are 28-9-2 at home.
For two-straight games, marking the third time in history, twin sisters Jada and Jasmine Colbert each recorded a goal in a game, with both scoring against St. Francis Brooklyn and Buffalo. The sisters previously scored in the same game last season during the America East championship game against UMass Lowell, and in the previous game at Buffalo. Further, St. Francis Brooklyn marked the first game in which one of the sisters assisted on the other’s goal.
UAlbany was picked first in the America East preseason coaches’ poll, collecting four first-place votes and 57 overall points. The top five teams, UAlbany, Hartford, Stony Brook, UMass Lowell, and New Hampshire, were separated by only 17 points.
UAlbany returns four players who earned All-Conference recognition in 2018. Meghan Cavanaugh was named First Team; Jada Colbert was named Rookie of the Year, Second Team, and All-Rookie; Gina Bracamonte was named Second Team; Jasmine Colbert was named All-Rookie. Additionally, Cavanaugh and both Colbert sisters were named to the America East All-Tournament team.
Joining the incoming freshman class of nine student-athletes is junior Kendra Harbinger. Harbinger is a member of the UAlbany women’s lacrosse team, and will pull double-duty with women’s soccer starting this season. Harbinger previously played soccer at Shenendehowa High School.
The 2019 season sees the America East schedule stretched out over an additional week, and the America East Tournament timeline condensed to include fewer days between the semifinals and finals. The move was made to give teams more control over their midweek games and allow for more rest in between games.
2018 marked the departure of program record-setters Mariah Williams and Caroline Kopp to graduation. Williams set single-season and career program records in both points and goals, while Kopp set single-season and career records in assists.
UAlbany will wrap its four-game home stand on Wednesday, September 25 against crosstown rival Siena. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.