The UAlbany Men’s soccer team’s season came to an end Saturday as the Great Danes fell to NJIT 2-1 in the American East Quarterfinal.
The Highlander’s got on the board first in the 43rd minute with a goal ripped from deep past UAlbany goalkeeper Carlos Tofern, by NJIT’s Alejandro Rabell. UAlbany bounced back in the 44th minute with Bjarki Leosson connecting on a penalty to tie the game up for the Great Danes. Leosson’s goal was his first of the season. The Highlander’s answered in the 58th minute going up 2-1, scoring off a header by Goncalo Franco, which put NJIT up for good.
UAlbany overall controlled 55% of the possessions and even started to ramp up defensively late in the second half. They were outshot by NJIT 14-7 and 5-1 in the second half, but drew six corners to NJIT’s four.
UAlbany goalkeeper Carlos Tofern recorded one of his four saves in the game in the 71st minute, punching away a shot from outside of the box that was close converting for the Highlanders, to keep the Great Danes hopes alive still down 2-1. The late effort wasn’t enough eventually as the Highlanders handed the Great Danes their first loss at Casey Stadium this year.
UAlbany head coach Trevor Gorman commended his team’s effort to cap off their season’s end. “It's always gut-wrenching to lose in the playoffs. Our guys gave absolutely everything tonight. We created some great chances and played with passion, heart, and desire,” said Gorman. “I'm proud of all of them. A special thanks to the seniors who led this group to a 10-win season and third-place America East finish. They were great representatives all the way to the end."
The Great Danes season is over. They finished 10-7-1 overall, and delivered some memorable moments at Casey Stadium, where they dominated this year. They look to 2022 to bounce back from this loss.