ORONO, Maine — University of Albany senior field hockey goalie Maxi Primus had been looking forward to Friday’s game against the University of Maine for over a year.
It was last October when she got lit up for six goals in a 6-2 loss to the Black Bears.
But she redeemed herself by making four saves and racing off her line to thwart a potential breakaway as the Great Danes beat UMaine 2-0.
Albany improved to 11-5 overall and took sole possession of first place in the East Division of America East with a 5-1 record. UMaine fell to 11-6 and 4-2.
Albany had beaten UMaine 3-1 on Oct 2. in Albany.
Scoring chances were at a premium as the two teams turned in exceptional defensive performances.
Redshirt junior forward Molly Mariano gave the Great Danes the lead against the run of play with 3:15 left in the first half on Albany’s first shot of the game, and freshman midfielder Dana Bozek expanded the lead just 3:43 into the second half on their first penalty corner.
“It was a little redemption, and it was important since we lost our last game against UNH,” said Primus, who is from Berlin, Germany. “I was ready mentally. I sat by myself in the locker room.
“It wasn’t going to happen again today,” she added. “I was really happy with my team and myself today.”
“She is definitely a good goalie,” UMaine senior forward Danielle Aviani said.
Primus held her near post to stop Aviani’s reverse hit in the first half and stopped Aviani again later in the half as UMaine had a slight edge in play over the first 35 minutes.
But it was the Great Danes who scored the only goal when Bozek sent a long hard pass across the goalmouth from the right side and Mariano deflected it past Emily Corbett for her 10th goal of the season.
“Dana sent a long ball through a couple of defenders and my teammates, and I was in the right spot at the right time,” said Mariano. “I got a touch on it, and it tipped right in.”
Bozek went from provider to scorer in the second half when Viola Von der Muhlen inserted the ball to three-time All-American and 2014 National Player of the Year Paula Heuser, who stopped the ball and pushed it into the path of Bozek.
“I was just trying to put a hard shot on goal, and it deflected in off one of their defenders,” said Bozek, whose goal was her fourth of the season and came at the expense of Emma Cochran.
UMaine freshman Brianna Ricker had a glorious chance when she sprinted past the last defender.
However, she pushed the ball a little too far, which enabled the aggressive Primus to race off her line and kick the ball away before Ricker could gather it in and shoot.
Later in the half, sophomore back Frederike Helmke came to Primus’ aid by putting her stick across the goal line to rob UMaine’s leading goal scorer Maddy Cummings with 8:50 remaining. Primus hadn’t been able to scramble over, so the cage was open.
Cummings, who has 11 goals, has been bothered by a foot injury and didn’t enter the game until there was 17:44 remaining.
“We played real well today, but we just didn’t execute in the circle,’ said Cummings. “We had a couple of chances, but we didn’t capitalize.”