Friday, November 21, 2014

University of Albany Field Hockey’s Historic Run Ends in NCAA Semifinal 1-0 Loss to Defending Champion No. 3 UConn - UAlbany Sports 2014



Courtesy: UA Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md.- The University at Albany field hockey team (20-3) capped a record season on Friday night, falling 1-0 to UConn in the NCAA Semifinal. The Huskies scored less than five minutes into the first half, advancing to the NCAA Final to face Syracuse.

“For teams I think the cold was a challenge, but as the game settled down it was a good game,” said head coach Phil Sykes. “We were unlucky not to tie it up. We started off the year thinking we had a pretty good team, and as we’ve gone on it’s just escalated to a dream-like season.”

The Huskies took the ball baseline early on to score. Chrissy Davidson may or may not have hit the ball out of bounds, but her pass found Chloe Hunnable for the lead. UAlbany’s defense asked for a video review, but the review was inconclusive. The Huskies were awarded their goal, but UAlbany also did not lose its video challenge for the half.

The offense showed resiliency soon after, earning a corner nine minutes into the game. A Paula Heuser shot resulted in a UConn defensive save on the play. Pahila Arnold followed up with a look of her own, but Nina Klein came out to make the save.

The Huskies continued to fade five minutes later, as UConn was assessed a yellow card. UAlbany couldn’t convert on the extra-player opportunity mid-way through the half.

On another penalty corner late in the opening period, Heuser again had her shot saved on the line by a UConn defender. The Great Danes held a 9-4 advantage on shots and 2-0 edge in penalty corners at the break.

The cards continued to fly to open the second half. UConn was assessed a green card, good for two minutes with a player up for UAlbany. Moments after that penalty was released, the Huskies took a sideline seat for another five-minute yellow.

Anna Bottino had the only look on net for UAlbany in the second half, less than 10 minutes in. In the only other shot of the game, UConn hit the crossbar with seven minutes remaining in regulation.

Goalkeeper Maxi Primus exited the game to make way for an extra offensive player with 5:35 left on the clock, but came up empty-handed.

The Great Danes concluded their season at 20-3, earning the University’s first all-time appearance in an NCAA Semifinal. Phil Sykes’s squad won a single-season field hockey program-record 20 wins en route to its fourth America East title. The Purple & Gold won the program’s first NCAA Tournament game in a 2-1 win against Wake Forest in the First Round. UAlbany also ousted No. 2 Maryland in the Second Round.

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