UAlbany headed back to NCAAs with shootout victory over Stanford
After getting 17 rank in the NCAA Tournament for the first time after 2018, UAlbany field hockey team made a victory against Stanford in the America East championship game on Sunday.
The team elegantly performed well and scored a 2-1 shootout victory on the sunday. Starting with 1-0 in the fourth quarter, sophomore Blanca Orsola collected a rebound, dodged the goalie, and lifted the ball into the net within the two and half minutes. The performance of the teams, especially for Balance was fabulous, gardening major victor points for the team.
Earlier, Stanford performed well in the tournament and gained Stanford earlier grabbing a 1-0 lead at 21:44 as Caroline Guden redirected a shot by Cara Sambeth from the top of the circle.
Then, the team faced overtime and during the hour, they failed to gain any scores for the team. UAlbany Coach Phil Sykes, has now led the Great Danes back to the NCAA Tournament. He said,
“It was a fantastic game all around,”
He further added, “I thought in the end, of course, you want to win but it’s a shame somebody had to because it was so evenly fought.”
Coach Phil Sykes, who has now leads the Great Danes back to the NCAA Tournament f
UAlbany senior goalie Hannah Mangan stands strong for the team. Her dedication and stiffness save 2 against the Cardinal team.
On the other hand, Floor de Ruiter, Alison Smisdom, and Charlotte Triggs performed great and secure shots for the team.
Sykes, who has coached UAlbany since 2004, previously won America East titles in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018. The 2014 team performed greatly and secured their position in the NCAA Final Four before losing to No. 3 UConn, 1-0.
But the focus on Sunday for Sykes was how well the Great Danes played as a unit.
“Both teams played great. We had a long spell where we were down 1-0 and sometimes you can try to force a goal and sort of panic but I was so proud of our girls for staying the course and following the game plan,” said Sykes. “Ultimately, we ended up getting the equalizer late and kept our heads to get into overtime. We were fairly confident because this team has had some success in overtime this season and even that was a tremendous battle for both teams. Both teams had great looks; both goalies played amazingly. The shootout was a nice redemption from last year – in a way, we defeated our demons.”
The fans of the teams are already excited to meet the further games of the team. There seems a lot of excitement among the audience.