By Edwards Kemedijo | September 13, 2021
The University at Albany Great Danes men’s soccer team returned to action at Casey Stadium. This week following two consecutive games on the road. They faced Marist College in the first match and Lafayette in the second, beating both teams in defensive battles and winning both games in dramatic fashion.
On Tuesday, the Great Danes were deadlocked with the Marist Red Wolves in a scoreless match when senior midfielder Haflidi Sigurdarson scored his third game-winner of the season on a 99th minute shot with a ball that had just come off the goalkeeper’s hand. Sigurdarson’s goal came on his only shot of the game. All three of his goals this season have been game-winners.
“Marist is an excellent team and possesses the ball well,” said Head Coach Trevor Gorman. “I thought our guys did really well limiting their chances and we created numerous opportunities of our own in the 90 minutes. Once a game gets to OT it always opens.”
The game was a defensive battle, with Marist narrowly out-shooting UAlbany 12-10. UAlbany goalkeeper Carlos Tofern finished the game with two saves and recorded his third shutout of the season. Marist goalkeeper Dylan McDermott had four saves including a masterful effort in the closing seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime.
Tuesday’s game marked the first overtime victory for the Great Danes since October 19, 2019 against UMBC.
“[It] was a good, competitive soccer game,” said Gorman. “I’m pleased we found the moment to win it.”
Friday’s game against the Lafayette College Leopards, the second game of the two-game homestand, somehow finished in a more dramatic fashion than the first. Both teams were without a goal in the closing seconds when a counterattack mounted by UAlbany led sophomore midfielder Giuliano Lucca to receive the ball in the middle of the box and put it past the goalkeeper at the 89:59 mark, a literal last-second shot.
The teams combined for only 15 shots during the game, with the last one being the most impactful. Lucca’s goal was his first one with the Great Danes, and it gave the team its third straight victory.
"It was certainly an exciting way to win a game tonight. We left it very late, but the guys battled right to the end and found that moment to win the game,” said Gorman. “Hopefully it keeps us moving in a good direction into next week."
UAlbany improved to 4-1 on the season. They take the road again on Tuesday when they head to Hofstra University to face the formidable Pride in an attempt to extend their win streak to four.