UAlbany Women's Lacrosse Earns 11-10 Upset at #8/8 Cornell
ITHACA, N.Y. – Dakotah Savitcheff netted two goals in the final 18 seconds of the game to lift the UAlbany women’s lacrosse team to an 11-10 upset victory at #8/8 Cornell on Tuesday night.
It is the team’s first-ever victory over a top-10 opponent and the highest ranked opponent felled by UAlbany since 2011, when the Great Danes defeated Dartmouth 10-7 in the NCAA First Round in Hanover, New Hampshire.
“We made plays, hung around, and is was like Ali vs. Foreman, and we threw the last punch,” said UAlbany head coach John Battaglino. “We’ve been close and we finally delivered a knockout against an outstanding Cornell team, and it feels good.”
UAlbany (8-4) held on defense against Cornell (9-2) with a shot clock violation with 1:34 left. After Savitcheff’s free position shot went high with around 30 seconds left, a second chance for Savitcheff from Emma Powlin found the back of the net with 18 seconds remaining. Then, Kenzie Neal won the draw and found a racing Savitcheff all alone. Savitcheff buried the goal with 10 seconds to go, giving UAlbany the lead and the eventual 11-10 victory.
“It was great to get this victory,” said Savitcheff. “Kenzie [Neal] did a great job winning the draw and passing the ball, and I knew I had to score.”
“Plus, the team knows we could have played better. Dakotah did what she has done for four years and finished. We can enjoy it tonight and move on, great effort across the board,” said Battaglino.
UAlbany and Cornell had an even game in the stats with the Great Danes leading in shots 24-23.
Savitcheff finished with six goals on the night, including all four of UAlbany’s goals in the second half. Neal’s assist at the end of the game was added to four first half goals while Sarah Martin had four assists, all to Savitcheff. Erin Leghart got the win, coming in off the bench and having three saves and four goals allowed in the final 44:45.
For Cornell, Ida Farinholt and Taylor Reed finished with hat tricks. Renee Poullott got the loss with five saves in goal.
UAlbany got on the board on its opening possession, with Neal getting a pass next to the crease as the shot clock was winding down and scoring under the crossbar. Cornell scored the other way, then UAlbany won the next draw and scored on a cut from Savitcheff from Martin. The exchanges continued as Ida Farinholt scored on a high to low shot to make it 2-2 just under five minutes in.
After some back and forth play with turnovers, Cornell scored seconds after a won clear to take the lead. UAlbany retook the lead with a Powlin charge to the goal from the side, then another catch and shoot from Martin to Savitcheff to go up 4-3 with 17:06 left in the 1st.
Cornell got back the advantage, scoring three goals in a span of 2:11 to lead by two. After Leghart entered the game, she saved the first shot against her on left post, leading to UAlbany clearing and scoring on a turnaround shot and score from Neal. Late in the half, Neal swam with her stick to get into the arc and scored close range, then added her third in a row on a shot straight away falling down. UAlbany held the rest of the half and led 7-6 over Cornell.
Two goals in the first three minutes of the second half by Cornell gave the home team back the lead. UAlbany’s defense held for the next 18 minutes, equalizing with another catch and shoot from Martin to Savitcheff with 16:41 remaining the in 2nd. With the defense continuing to hold, again the senior pair connected to make it 9-8 UAlbany with under 10 minutes to play.
Cornell equalized out of a timeout, then UAlbany’s defense held on two possessions, forcing turnovers around the arc.
Cornell went back ahead 10-9, and won the draw with three minutes remaining. UAlbany’s defense held, getting a shot clock violation. After a late clear and missed free position shot, Powlin found Savitcheff across the cage for the catch and shoot goal. Then, Neal grabbed the draw and quickly threw to a running Savitcheff, who was past the defenders and scored point blank to push UAlbany up with 10 seconds left. Martin got the next draw as UAlbany ran out the clock and grabbed the 11-10 victory.
UAlbany returns home for senior day on Saturday, April 15th at noon against New Hampshire at John Fallon Field.