By Shawn Ness | October 3, 2022
Photo credit: Brent Warzocha
It was alumni night at the Bob Ford Field at the Tom and Mary Casey Stadium, the 19 former Great Danes got to witness a 3-0 shut-out victory over the Bryant Bulldogs. The University at Albany Great Danes came out of the locker room at halftime with a vengeance; and gave the Bulldogs a harsh welcome for their first matchup in the America East Conference.
Within 10 minutes of the start of the second half, the Great Danes’ fired two shots past Bryant goalkeeper Luca Marinelli. The first of which came from the junior UAlbany substitute Andrew Weiner after an opposing defender headed the ball from a corner kick. The ball fell at Weiner's feet before he fired a shot past Marinelli to make the first goal of the game, his second on the season.
“It feels really good, everything was great,” said Weiner after the 3-0 Great Danes’ victory. “We came out, really brought the energy. I’m really glad we got a win.”
UAlbany improves to 3-5-2 and 2-0-0 in conference play. The Bryant Bulldogs are 3-6-0 and 0-2-0 in conference play.
Only two minutes after, UAlbany sophomore Tiago Dias headed the ball into the far side of the net, the assist came from a corner kick from forward Miltiadis Hadijpanayiotou. Dias was unable to comment after the game.
UAlbany played a very tactical first half; both offensively and defensively. The Great Danes’ defense held the Bulldogs to one shot in the first half, which was saved by UAlbany goalkeeper Shafique Wilson. That compared to UAlbany’s six shots in the first half; all while maintaining possession for 60% of the first half.
“We had control of the game, but we weren’t threatening them enough, the talk [in the locker room] was ‘it's not good enough just to have the ball, it's not good enough just to have territory, we need to get at their defense,’” said UAlbany head coach Trevor Gorman. “‘We need to get into the box, we need to generate balls into their box, players running into the box. We need to make the goalkeeper do work.’ And credit to the guys they took advantage of that in the second half.”
Bryant interim head coach Nate Kronewetter was not available to give comments.
The possession differences would continue after the halftime break, UAlbany shot a total of nine times in the second half, compared to four from the Bulldogs. In the 70th minute, UAlbany would score their final goal with a quick succession of passes from Giuliano Lucca and Lovro Horvat before finding Saad Faiz, who would score the final goal of the game, securing the Great Danes’ clean sheet.
“We always want to try to keep a clean sheet,” said Gorman. “So pleased to be able to do that on our home field, and get an important win and move on to six points in conference play.”
UAlbany was simply more in control of the game, the Bulldogs committed seven first half fouls compared to three from the Great Danes. Both teams had a more aggressive defensive second half, with Bryant receiving four yellow cards compared to UAlbany’s one. The Great Danes held control of the ball for 53% of the game, outshooting the Bulldogs 15-5.
The win for the Great Danes marked the highest goal output of the season, it is also the team's largest win margin since March 2019 when UAlbany beat Saint Rose 4-0.
The Great Danes head to Binghamton next week where they look to extend its win streak against the program to three games.