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Men’s Soccer Makes History

Junior Afonso Pinheiro celebrates after scoring the game-clinching goal versus Boston College in the NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Bill Ziskin)

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 28, 2016) – In a string of firsts, the University at Albany men’s soccer team not only hosted an NCAA Tournament game, but also advanced to the third round.

UAlbany (13-6-2) earned a first round bye in the NCAA Tournament after defeating Hartford, 1-0, to claim the program's first America East Conference title. Following the bye, the team defeated Boston College, 3-0, in a second round home game at Bob and Mary Casey Stadium.

The Great Danes historical run ended in the Sweet 16 on Sunday, with a 3-1 loss at No. 3 Clemson.

“I’m really happy for and proud of all of our players,” said head coach Trevor Gorman. “To win the America East championship was a goal for a long time and to see them rewarded for all their hard work with an NCAA Tournament victory is fantastic.”

The championship game was a thriller, with the Great Danes scoring in the 89th minute to claim victory. The goal came from junior forward Afonso Pinerio, who drew a foul in the box and made the game-winning penalty kick.

Senior defender Bernando Mattos was awarded the America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He led a UAlbany defense that did not allow a single goal through both tournament games. Pinerio joined Mattos on the All-Tournament team, along with sophomore midfielder Carlos Clark and freshman defender Brynjar Steinþórsson.

The Great Danes earned redemption over Boston College in the NCAA Tournament after a 5-3 regular season loss. Following the defeat, UAlbany finished 10-3-1 and outscored opponents 30-10. Included was a win over No. 3 ranked Syracuse and two shutouts over Vermont's top-10 ranked scoring offense.

“Back when we played Boston College the first time we weren’t fully who we are yet,” Gorman said. “We were still coming together, getting our bodies back used to playing with each other, and they took advantage of us that day.  This time we had our group that was settled here for the last month, who’s really getting comfortable playing together. I think it really helped us a lot.”

Pinerio is now the program's all-time leader in career goals and points, and the single-season leader in points. Senior defender Luke Palmateer also ends his UAlbany career playing the most games in program history.

Interested in learning more about the 2016 NCAA Tournament? View the Division I Men’s Soccer Championship bracket here.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.