ALBANY, N.Y. — In a rematch of last year’s Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Championship title game, No. 2 seed SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry nabbed their first league title with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on Sunday afternoon at ACPHS Soccer Field.
Both squads cruised through their semifinal matches posting clean sheets on a cold and very wet Saturday to set up a rematch of last year’s title game. One that finished in a penalty kick shootout with the Panthers winning their third straight league title, edging out the Mighty Oaks 5-4 from the spot.
In this year's title game that was played under sunny skies in the low 50’s, but under a steady downfield wind for most of the game, SUNY ESF applied the pressure on the ACPHS defense over the opening 45 with the wind in their favor and seized the early lead on Tournament MVP Heather Carl’s (Westerlo, N.Y.) goal in the 31st minute. The Mighty Oaks finished with a 16-2 shot discrepancy in the half and carried a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
After several scoring opportunities for both squads early in the new period, the Panthers found the equalizer in the 65th minute on a highlight reel goal from Erin Tersengo (Webster, N.Y.) who scored her league-best 27th goal of the season and was named HVIAC Player of the Year in awards ceremonies post-game.
But the Mighty Oaks continued to apply the pressure for most of the second stanza and still outshot ACPHS 12-7 against the wind and went back on top just two minutes later when Shannon Gordinier (Nunda, N.Y.) was set up in the box by Anna Bishop (Alexandria, Va.) and Giselle Schriber (Miami, Fla.) for the title-clinching goal. The Mighty Oaks held the Panthers to just three more shots after taking the lead in the 67th minute and escaped a dangerous opportunity with less than five minutes to play when ACPHS was awarded an indirect free kick inside the 18, but their ensuing shot attempt never made it past the wall.
Both squads ranked in the top three in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), the Mighty Oaks and Panthers will look to continue their postseason at the USCAA National Championships on November 10-14 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
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2016 HVIAC Women's Soccer Championships
Semifinals - Saturday, October 22
Championship - Sunday, October 23
#2 SUNY ESF def. #1 Albany Pharmacy, 2-1 | Box
Heather Carl | SUNY ESF | Sr. | Midfielder | Westerlo, N.Y.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Tournament Runner-Up and Regular Season Champion
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences