ORONO, Maine — After trailing for most of the match in the America East conference tournament championship game, the UAlbany field hockey team tied things up in the final three minutes of regulation, then fought through two overtime periods before beating Stanford in a shootout to earn a 2-1 victory and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
“It was a fantastic game all around. 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,’” UAlbany head coach Phil Sykes said. “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].”
Stanford took a 1-0 lead on a Caroline Guden goal midway though the second period, but UAlbany kept it a one-goal game behind six saves from senior goalie Hannah Mangan before Blanca Orsola tied it up with 2:36 left in regulation following a sequence of three straight corners.
After two scoreless overtimes, UAlbany was victorious 4-1 in the shootout as the Great Danes improved to 16-4 on the season. The Great Danes lost the 2021 America East final to Maine in a shootout on the same field where they were victorious on Sunday.
“The shootout was a nice redemption from last year,” Sykes said. “In a way, we defeated our demons.”
Sunday night, the Great Danes learned they will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to face No. 4 seed Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament.