Albany, Hartford Win to Advance to Men's Soccer Semifinals
Second-half goals propelled both University at Albany and University of Hartford to the semifinal round of the America East Men's Soccer Championship as both team posted quarterfinal victories Saturday. The Great Danes won in dramatic fashion, scoring twice the final three minutes to beat the University of Vermont, 3-2, while the Hawks scored midway through the second half to earn a 1-0 win over UMBC.
Vermont (9-7-3), the third seed, struck first against sixth-seeded Albany (6-9-3). Zach Paul sent home a shot from just inside the box in the 15th minute to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Albany, which advanced to the semifinals for the third time since 2005, countered in the 75th minute. Pomare Te Anau sliced through three defenders and fed Brandon Wilson, who headed the ball home and tied the game 1-1. The Catamounts, who were riding a four-game unbeaten streak, took the lead back in the 86th minute as D.J. Edler headed home second-team all-conference honoree Juan Peralta's free kick.
The Catamounts looked to be heading to the America East semifinals but put two balls in their own net in final three minutes to give Albany a 3-2 victory. The first, an inadvertent header by Yannick Lewis, a first-team all-league midfielder, came in the 88th minute, and the second, a ricochet off goalkeeper David Ramada's clear attempt, came in the 89th minute.
Fifth-seeded Hartford (7-8-4) and fourth-seeded UMBC (7-8-3) were scoreless at halftime. The Hawks, who have won four in a row, broke through in the 69th minute when Antobra Amapadu sent a cross to Anthony Santaga, who buried a shot from just in front of the net to give Hartford a 1-0 lead.
The Retrievers outshot the Hawks 16-15, including 7-6 in shot on net, but Hartford keeper Luke Citriniti made seven stops to preserve his fifth shutout of the season. Dan Louisignau, the America East Goalkeeper of the Year, had five stops for UMBC, the 2010 America East champion.
The Great Danes will play at second-seeded Stony Brook University while the Hawks will go to top-seeded Boston University. Both semifinal games are Wednesday at 7 p.m.
2011 America East Men's Soccer Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 5
No. 6 Albany 3, at No. 3 Vermont 2
No. 5 Hartford 1, at No. 4 UMBC 0
Semifinals - Wednesday, November 9
Albany Winner at No. 2 Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
Hartford Winner at No. 1 Boston U., 7 p.m.
Final - Saturday, November 12/Sunday, November 13
Semifinal Winners at Highest Remaining Seed, TBA