The University of Maine Black Bears (13-3) dropped a game for the first time in October, falling to beat the University at Albany Great Danes (12-3) on Friday afternoon at the Alumni Turf Field in Albany, New York.
The Black Bears entered the field on Friday following a 3-0 week, with a pair of 4-0 wins over Dartmouth and New Hampshire along with a 4-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Because of the Black Bears’ success in the last week, multiple members of the team have taken home America East weekly awards.
Casey Crowley, a fourth-year, and Nina Keur, a first-year, were awarded America East weekly awards for providing eight of Maine’s 12 goals in the past week.
Crowley earned the America East Offensive Player of the Week honor, as the fourth-year now leads the team with 25 points on the season. Crowley has scored 10 goals, made five assists and has a career total of 86 points with the Black Bears. The award is Crowley’s first American East weekly award of the 2018 season and the third of her career.
Crowley has also been selected for the honor of participating on the Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division I Senior Game on Nov. 16 at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. The annual NFHCA game features the top fourth-year players in the nation, giving them an opportunity to represent their institution while competing against their peers.
Keur was awarded her second Rookie of the Week award of this season. She is currently ranked third on the team, with nine goals and 20 points on the season.
In addition to receiving these awards, the Black Bears have been awarded seven weekly awards in the 2018 season. Maine had moved up one spot to No. 16 in the NFHCA Coaches Poll, but after Friday’s loss, the team will have to fight to stay in the rankings.
The Black Bears maintained a strong composition throughout the first half of Friday’s game, continuing their tradition of starting out strong on the field. The Black Bears outshot the Great Danes 4-3, but Albany edged back over Maine by 8-2 in the second half.
The Black Bears didn’t have an easy game cut out for them; Maine’s offense was up against Albany’s goaltender Melissa Nealon, who was named AEFH Defensive Player of the Week.
The only goal of the game came when Albany’s fourth-year defender Frederike Helmke scored off a penalty corner just under an hour into the game, lifting the Great Danes to 1-0 over the Black Bears. Although the Black Bears had quick footwork, the ball met the back of the net through an assist from the Great Danes third-year midfielder Dana Bozek, who sent the ball to Helmke who landed the point for Albany.
Although the Black Bears didn’t manage to score a goal, fourth year midfielder Lydia Gavner, who made her first appearance in goal for the Black Bears this season, managed to fend off all but one of Albany’s six shots on goal.
The Black Bears will return to UMaine to take on Vermont next Friday, Oct. 26 on Senior Day during Homecoming Weekend, taking to the field at 1 p.m.