Burlington, Vt. - Freshman Chelsea DeVerna scored her fourth goal of the season as the UAlbany women's soccer team played Vermont to a 1-1 double-overtime tie in the America East Conference opener for both schools on Sunday, Sept. 27 at Centennial Field. The Great Danes, who held a one-goal lead at halftime, entered the match with more victories than any other America East team before settling for their first draw of the season.
UAlbany (5-5-1, AE 0-0-1), which has already matched its highest single-season win total as a Division I program, had a golden opportunity to score in the 15th minute when Chelsea DeVerna broke through the defense and only had goalkeeper Eliza Bradley to beat. However, the senior netminder charged to the top of the box and blocked the shot. Moments later, Maggie DeVerna's attempt to put the Great Danes on the board following an indirect kick by Nicole Berard from just outside the box went wide right of the goal.
Chelsea DeVerna, who was named UAlbany's player of the game, broke through for the first goal of the match in the 29th minute when she took a pass from Ashley Tirabassi, dribbled around a defender and fired a shot to the top left corner of the post. Vermont came alive after the goal and had multiple close calls to net the equalizer before the break, including a corner kick which was punched out of the box by goalkeeper Breanna Maggio. However, the defense led by Kendra Harrell-Vigil, Katie Grant, Jaclyn Rosada and Marks held its ground, and UAlbany took its one-goal lead into the recess.
The Great Danes, which had not allowed a goal in six straight halves, controlled play in the beginning of the second stanza. Chelsea DeVerna almost doubled the lead in the 66th minute, but Bradley made a diving stop.
Vermont (0-7-2, AE 0-0-1) knotted up the score in the 76th minute when it was awarded its second corner kick of the match. Maggio reached up to make the initial save on a high shot taken by Heidi Hassler, but Carson Laderoute potted in the rebound for the first goal scored against the freshman goalkeeper and UAlbany in over 320 minutes of action. The Catamounts almost took their first lead a minute later. However, Harrell-Vigil slid in and cleared the ball out towards the sideline before the opposing forward could take a shot.
UAlbany had a chance of its own to regain the lead when it earned one of its seven corner kicks after Bradley made another key save on a shot taken by Tirabassi. Rebecca Lee's cross inside the six-yard box was greeted by a mob of players from both teams. The ball took a Great Dane bounce to the net, but a Catamount defender cleared it just before it crossed the goal line. Nothing was decided through the end of regulation, and the teams headed to overtime.
Chelsea DeVerna had the best chance for either team to net the golden goal in the waning minutes of the second extra session. Her open look after beating a defender that missed forced a corner kick. The Catamounts then came back the other way after successfully clearing Lee's cross with one last chance to post the come-from-behind win. Jessica Becker took a pass from midfield and had an open field to work with, but she tripped on her own when trying to get off a shot. The final whistle sounded moments later.
UAlbany outshot Vermont, 13-9, which included a commanding 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. Maggio made two saves on nine opportunities in net for the Great Danes. Vermont's Bradley stopped nine of the 13 shots she faced.
The Great Danes return to Varsity Field for their America East home opener against Binghamton on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m.
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information