Sunday, October 25, 2009

Women's Soccer Stages Late Rally in 3-2 Loss to Maine in America East Regular-Season Finale

Albany, N.Y. - Laura Martel scored her league-leading 12th goal of the season in the 75th minute to lead Maine past the UAlbany women's soccer team, 3-2, in the America East Conference regular-season finale for both schools on Sunday, Oct. 25 at Varsity Field. The Great Danes, who honored senior co-captains Jaclyn Rosada and Ashley Tirabassi prior to the match, will make their first-ever America East postseason appearance.

Maine (8-5-2, AE 5-2-1) scored on its first shot when Maddie Hill took a pass from Veronique Fleury on the right side and sailed the ball over goalkeeper Cate Crenson to the far post in the fifth minute. The match then shifted to the Black Bears' end, but UAlbany could not capitalize on its numerous chances. The visitors doubled their lead just before the break when Sady Tobin found Carolyne Nellis on the left side of the box. The sophomore fired a low shot to the far right post, giving Maine a two-goal advantage through 45 minutes of action.

UAlbany (8-9-1, AE 3-4-1), which had never finished higher than eighth in the league standings before this season, scored two straight goals before the midway point of the second half to knot the match at 2-2. Chelsea DeVerna, who leads all freshmen in scoring took a cross from Katie Norwood and one-timed a shot past goalkeeper Meagan Price-Leibenzeder in the 55th minute to cut the lead to one. It was the first goal the freshman goalkeeper surrendered in 384:13.

The Great Danes netted the equalizer following a free kick taken by Casey Marks from 40 yards away in the 65th minute. The freshman lobbed the ball into the box, and Tirabassi attempted a shot from inside the six which was saved by Price-Leibenzeder. The ball came back to Tirabassi, and the senior finished on her second chance at the open net.

DeVerna almost put the Great Danes ahead when she received a through ball from Chrissy Klepper on the right side of the box, but Price-Leibenzeder made a key save to keep the match tied. Maine then came right back the other way to score the deciding tally just 26 seconds later. Hannah Breton came charging down the left sideline, feeding the ball to Fleury on a breakaway. With only one Great Dane defender in the box, the senior made the extra pass to a wide open Martel. The league's leading scorer finished with a blast that made it past an unprotected Cate Crenson before landing in the back of the goal.

After Martel missed consecutive shots, the Great Danes made one more push in the final five minutes to net the equalizer and force overtime. With Maine keeping all 11 players in the back third of the field, UAlbany took aim at Price-Leibenzeder three more times. However, the freshman was able to record another save, allowing the Black Bears to survive and win their fourth straight conference match.

UAlbany's Crenson turned away four of the 17 shots she faced in the losing effort. Price-Leibenzeder made six stops on 24 chances for Maine to earn the victory.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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