Sunday, August 31, 2014

University of Albany Men’s Soccer Wraps Up JMU Invitational With 3-1 Victory Over James Madison - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports HARRISONBURG, Va. – University at Albany men’s soccer (1-0-1) started strong and maintained the lead throughout the game in a 3-1 win at James Madison (0-2-0). “Today was a good performance from our entire squad,” said head coach Trevor Gorman. “Everyone played an important role and it was nice to see us score some quality goals against a tough opponent on the road.” UAlbany wasted no time getting on the board just 10 minutes into the game. Leo Melgar recorded the first goal of 2014 in dramatic fashion, coming up on the right end of a service and knocking it in while still on the ground. The sophomore from Brazil tallied his second career goal on the service by Keith Traut. Traut earned his first career point. “We bounced back from Friday’s draw with a full team effort to give us the win we were hungry for,” said Traut. “It took every player we had to put in the performance for a very good win to start off our season.” Ten minutes later Jonathan Interiano nearly made the score 2-0, as he found himself in a one-on-one situation with the James Madison keeper. The Dukes goalie managed to come off his line and make the save. Jake Barros notched his first career goal as a Great Dane, as he was left all alone on the left side. Phil Denara found the freshman with plenty of space and just the goalie to beat. Barros gave the Purple & Gold a 2-0 lead going into halftime. Melgar and classmate Bernardo Mattos both had shots go over the bar to open the second half. Anthony Rozzano gave the Great Danes a comfortable 3-0 lead after converting on a penalty kick with 20 minutes remaining. Denara continued to excel on the service late in the game, nearly connecting with Mattos for a header to score. The James Madison goalie stepped in to make the save on the far side. UAlbany emerges from opening weekend undefeated for the first time since 2010. The Purple & Gold finished second at the James Madison Invitational after going 1-0-1. Tim Allen and Jake Barros were named to the JMU Invitational All-Tournament Team. Trevor Gorman’s squad returns to Bob Ford Field for a three-game homestand beginning Friday. The Great Danes will play the second half of a doubleheader featuring both UAlbany soccer teams against Colgate at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

University of Albany CAA Football Captures First Win In Gattuso Era With, 14-13, Thriller Over Holy Cross - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports ALBANY, N.Y. -- With 44 seconds remaining in the 2014 season-opener Saturday, sophomore Neil Morrison returned a 79-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and junior kicker Patrick Toole's point-after gave the University at Albany football program a 14-13 victory over the visiting Holy Cross Crusaders. The win marked the first in the Greg Gattuso era, as well as the program's first at Bob Ford Field. “We’ve been preaching fourth quarter and it’s never over ‘til it’s over,” Gattuso said. “I don’t think anyone expected a 79-yard fumble recovery. Next thing you know Neil’s running down the field with the football in his hand and all I can think is just ‘Run, baby, run.” Redshirt senior Will Fiacchi totaled 182 passing yards on the night, completing19-of-31 passes, including a 12-yard touchdown toss to senior tight end Brian Parker. Parker finished with six receptions and 87 yards. Making his Great Danes debut, true freshman Josh Gontarek led the squad with nine catches for 67 yards. Senior running back Omar Osbourne was the go-to in the ground game, carrying the ball 20 times for a total of 85 rushing yards. He also connected with Fiacchi for three receptions and 22 yards in the air. Defensively, senior linebacker Kyle Jordan served as a spark and game-changer, forcing two fumbles, including the game-winner, and finished with nine tackles, including five solo. Safety Rayshan Clark led UAlbany with 10 tackles (three solo), while redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Michael Nicastro brought down nine. Morrison totaled eight tackles on the night, including four unassisted. Battling back from a 13-0 deficit in thrilling fashion in front of a crowd of 6,748, the Great Danes did not get on the board until 11:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Holy Cross made the first mark with Connor Fitzgerald's 26-yard field goal with 2:06 on the clock in the opening stanza. Using nine plays to travel 76 yards, Fitzgerald connected again with a 23-yard kick through the uprights, giving the Crusaders a 6-0 advantage with 9:53 left in the second quarter. Forcing UAlbany to punt, Holy Cross took over with 2:23 to go in the first half. With time dwindling, the Crusaders took a 13-0 lead into the break, as quarterback Peter Pujals – the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year -- connected a 1-yard pass to Jake Wieczorek with eight seconds remaining. However, those would be Holy Cross' final points of the game, as the Great Dane defense stifled the Crusaders the rest of the way. While neither team could get anything going offensively in the third quarter, including a missed field goal on both sides, UAlbany broke its silence early in the fourth. Using eight plays to cover 62 yards, including three consecutive rushes by Osbourne, UAlbany moved into the red-zone at the 12-yard line. Rolling to his right on third-and-two, Parker swallowed Fiacchi's pass in the front of the end zone, making the score, 13-7, after the extra point. With the opportunity to take a two-score lead with 6:12 remaining, Fitzgerald's 27-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left for Holy Cross, opening a window for the Great Danes. While the Danes had to punt with 4:34 to go, the UAlbany defense kept its composure in the waning minutes. "The only thing that was going through my head after the (first) touchdown was we've got one more to go, we've got one more to go," Parker said. "The defense has got to make a stop." They did. Looking to run out the clock, Holy Cross forced the Great Danes to burn three timeouts, as the Crusaders slowly made their way down the gridiron. However, the tide shifted violently with third-and-seven on UAlbany's 21-yardline, when Jordan sent running back Gabe Guild's helmet flying and Morrison scampered 79-yards with the fumble recovery. “My teammates came out of nowhere, made a big play when we needed it and the ball presented itself,” said Morrison. “I just took it and ran with it. We needed a big play, it just happened.” The UAlbany defense held on to the victory, breaking up Holy Cross' desperation laterals in the final seconds of the contest. For the Crusaders, Pujals threw for 323 yards, completing 23-of-42 passes. Wieczorek served as his top target, recording seven receptions for 149 yards, while Guild totaled 75 rushing yards on 23 carries. On paper, Holy Cross stood out, converting 12-of-24 third-down conversions, and racking up 440 yards of total offense compared to UAlbany’s 263. However, it came down to big plays, and that’s where UAlbany stood out. Up next, the Great Danes (1-0) travel to Central Connecticut State Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. non-conference contest.

Friday, August 29, 2014

UAlbany Field Hockey Takes Commanding 7-0 Victory Over Hofstra in Season Opener - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany field hockey (1-0) opened 2014 in swift fashion on Friday afternoon with a 7-0 win over Hofstra (0-1). The 2013 America East Midfielder and Rookie of the Year Paula Heuser led the Great Danes with seven points (3g, 1a). “I was very happy with our team balance today,” said head coach Phil Sykes. “We had a lot of energy, and with new players in their first game I thought we had good energy and we trusted each other. The way we moved the ball today is a good sign for the rest of the season.” Senior Echo Bretz got 2014 rolling with the first Purple & Gold tally in the sixth minute. Freshman Anna Bottino found the senior forward in front of the net after making her way down the left side. Bottino’s assist was her first career point. Two minutes later Fiori Van Rijswijk inserted a penalty corner stopped by Laura Page. Paula Heuser blasted the penalty corner attempt down the middle to give UAlbany a 2-0 lead. Heuser took the ball herself mid-way through the first half on her own rebound for her second goal of the game. Freshman Kelsey Briddell notched her first career goal as a Great Dane from Heuser in the 20th minute. Heuser made her way through a crowd of Pride defenders to find Briddell at the goal line. Fellow classmate Bottino scored her first career goal to close scoring in the first half. The freshman midfielder fired a shot from the left side of the circle to give UAlbany a 5-0 lead at the break. Hofstra came out strong after UAlbany got comfortable to start the second half. The Pride nearly tallied a goal with 10 minutes gone in the second half, but Jordyn Homyak stepped in to make the defensive save and maintain momentum. The rookies combined for the sixth goal, with Briddell recording the tally and Bottino earning the assist. Briddell earned her first assist less than one minute later on a service to Heuser. The freshman forward found herself deep on the Hofstra end line before splitting two defenders for the Heuser goal. Maxi Primus took her first shutout win in the cage with two saves. The sophomore didn’t see her first shot on goal until there were five minutes remaining in the first half. The Great Danes continue a three-game homestand with Bryant on Sunday at 1:00 p.m

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