Thursday, October 24th
BURLINGTON, VT -- Vermont senior Midori Eckenstein converted her penalty kick attempt in a shootout as the Catamounts defeated No. 5 Albany, 3-2 in PKs, in the first round of the America East Tournament at Virtue Field on Thursday. The game ended in a 1-1 tie through 110 minutes of action before heading into the shootout round.
Vermont, the No. 4 seed, advances in the America East Tournament for the first time in program history. The Catamounts will travel to top-seeded Hartford for a 2 p.m. semifinal match on Sunday (Oct. 28).
Albany jumped out to a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game. Aubrey VanGorder received a pass from teammate Shayla Bergeron and hit a curling shot from just inside the penalty box past UVM goalkeeper Ally Ramos.
The Great Danes took the 1-0 advantage and a 6-4 edge in shots into halftime.
Vermont (4-12-2) was able to even the score in the 48th minute. Haley Marks, an America East All-Conference First Team selection, hit a free kick that struck the crossbar. Bre Pletnick was able to crash the net and headed in the rebound for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Despite an extra 20 minutes of action in the two overtime periods, neither team could find the go-ahead goal and the match moved to the shootout.
Albany's Krista Fitzpatrick was the first player to step up and made her penalty kick to give the Great Danes a 1-0 lead.
Pletnick and Marks made their attempts and Ramos made three consecutive saves on Great Dane kickers to give Vermont a 2-1 lead after eight penalty kicks. In Albany's last attempt, Casey Marks scored to tie up the shootout at 2-2.
Eckenstein scored the game-winning penalty kick with a strike past Albany goalkeeper Alanna Brennan into the left side netting to propel the Catamounts into the semifinals.
Ramos, an America East All-Rookie selection, finished the game with a career-high 10 saves. Brennan was credited with eight stops for Albany, which ends its season with a 6-10-3 mark.
--- UVM Sports Information
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