By Amoni Haynes | November 8, 2021
On Thursday, the University at Albany Women’s Soccer team fell to the top-seeded Vermont 3-1 in the American East semifinal round. After going 5-2 to finish the season, the Great Danes failed to advance to the American East Championship as their season ended in Burlington.
UAlbany took Vermont by surprise as they were the first to score in the game. In the 21st minute, Olivia Piraino was tackled into the Vermont box, which led to a UAlbany penalty kick. Jasmine Colbert was selected to take the penalty, in which she scored her ninth goal of the season to put the Great Danes up 1-0.
Vermont would respond quickly, however, as a goal by the Catamounts’ Karen Wallace in the 34th minute tied the game up going into halftime. In the second half, two set pieces put Vermont up for good in the semi-final. A free kick in the 52nd minute ended up at the feet of Alex West to take the lead, and Wallace scored her second on a corner kick in the 65th minute.
The game was very close in shot totals with the Catamounts outshooting the Great Danes 16-15, and both teams respectively shooting eight shots on goal. UAlbany goalkeeper Cassandra Coster had a great game in goal with five saves, but it was the performance of American East goalkeeper of the year Lydia Kessel that won the game for Vermont. Kessel had seven saves during the match, each critical for Vermont in the win.
UAlbany’s head coach Leigh Howard spoke on her team’s performance after the game. "Tonight we have to give a ton of credit to Vermont, their staff, and their players. We came out after a couple of great results, trying to build on our momentum, and they did a great job of shutting that down. Some nights the cards just don't fall in your favor,” said Howard. “Our players kept fighting until the end and that's very reflective of this season. We kept fighting against the odds, no matter who was called upon. I am proud of this group, and we will miss the seniors and fifth-years who have invested so much time and emotion into the program over their careers."
The Great Danes season is over, after roaring back into the American East playoff picture in the month of October. They finish the season 6-8-4.