Albany, N.Y. - Jack Burridge made his way through traffic and scored his second goal of the season in the 96th minute to lead Fairfield to a 2-1 overtime victory over the UAlbany men's soccer team on Sunday, Sept. 13 at Varsity Field. The Great Danes rallied from behind to force overtime with a goal midway through the second half before the Stags dealt them their second home defeat in extra time this fall.
UAlbany (0-4-1), which was playing its third overtime match of the young season, controlled play early and attempted three of the first four shots in the match. After Claudio Dantas' header attempt to put the Great Danes on the scoreboard went wide left, the Stags came back the other way and netted the match's first goal in the 11th minute. Michael Eager chipped the ball down the left sideline to Christian Uy, who evaded several defenders and finished with a shot to the far post.
Both teams had trouble gaining opportunities to score through the rest of the stanza. Both defenses forced the opposing offenses to be whistled for being offsides nine times, which included a Great Dane goal which was called back because the player was ahead of all the Stag defenders.
The Great Danes, which held a 14-7 shot advantage in the opening half, came out strong in the second frame and were able to net the equalizer in the 70th minute. Anthony DeSalvo sent the ball downfield to Bo Jelovac, who slipped around a defender and beat freshman goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe with a blast to the right corner of the net. Despite gaining two corner kick opportunities and not allowing the Stags to take a shot on goal, UAlbany was unable to net the go-ahead score. Kwadwo Asante had a good look from the top of the box to potentially give Fairfield the win in the 89th minute, but his shot flew wide of the net.
Fairfield (1-2), which earned the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament after upsetting nationally-ranked Loyola in the league's title bout, almost ended the match in the second minute of overtime when Matthew Uy fired a low shot which hit the right post. Matt Ernst was in the perfect spot to score on the rebound, but his shot was stuffed by UAlbany goalkeeper Adrian Foncette from point-blank range.
UAlbany had a golden opportunity to net the game winner when it was awarded a corner kick in the 95th minute. However, the ball was cleared by the defense and the Stags started coming back the other way. The ball made its way up to Matthew Uy, who cleared the ball down to Burridge from the midfield line. The sophomore then made his way through traffic on the right side of the box, and ripped a low shot to the right corner of the net to give the Stags the sudden victory.
UAlbany's Foncette, who set a Division I program record for saving 16 shots in Friday's loss to Colgate, turned away five of the 19 shots he faced this afternoon. Fairfield's O'Keefe was credited with seven saves on 23 chances en route to earn his first career victory in net.
UAlbany begins a four-game road trip next weekend when it competes at the Penn Soccer Classic, which will be co-hosted by Pennsylvania and Temple. The Great Danes will open up tournament play versus the Quakers on Friday, Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. It will be the squad's third straight match against a reigning conference champion.
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information