Women's Lacrosse Searching For Third Consecutive Conference Title On Sunday
The Opening Draw
The University at Albany (12-4) looks to win its third consecutive America East Conference Championship on Sunday, May 5 against Stony Brook (15-2). The Great Danes and Seawolves will face off in the title game for the second consecutive season, with UAlbany winning as the No. 4 seed and upsetting No. 2 seed Stony Brook, 9-7, in Boston, Mass.
Scouting the Seawolves
• The Seawolves come into the contest as the No. 1 seed and on a 10-game winning streak.
• Stony Brook is led by Co-Player of the Year Demianne Cook and All-Conference first team Janine Hillier, Melissa Rotante and Frankie Cardi. Cook paces both her team, the conference and the nation with a jaw-dropping 83 goals this season.
• Goalie Frankie Cardi has started all 16 games this season. She holds opponents to nation’s best 5.60 goals per game
• Stony Brook leads the nation in Scoring Defense (5.56 goals per game) and second in the nation in Scoring Offense (15.94 goals per game).
• However, the Seawolves seek their first conference title in program history.
• Senior attack Rachael Burek split Player of the Year honors with Stony Brook attack Demianne Cook. Redshirt-freshman Rachel Bowles shared Rookie of the Year with New Hampshire’s Lindsey McHoul. Head coach John Battaglino was named Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons at UAlbany.
• Along with Burek, senior midfielder Jess Antelmi and junior defender Kathleen Lennon were named to the 2013 America East All-Conference First Team. Antelmi has been on a tear on offense, scoring 24 goals in the last five games with an eight-goal performance on Senior Day against Vermont. The Clarksville, N.Y. native leads her team in scoring and is fourth in the conference with 42 goals. Lennon has been dominant in the draw control circle, tallying a conference-best 96 draw controls. She is averaging 6.40 draw controls per game, which is third best in the nation. The Sea Cliff, N.Y. native is five draw controls of breaking both the program’s and the conference’s record for draw controls in a season of 100 held by UAlbany’s own Nikki Branchini set in 2011.
• Ariana Parker was the lone Great Dane on the America East All-Conference Second Team. This is the third straight season the junior midfielder has been featured on an America East All-Conference squad. Parker has played a dual role this season, playing a crucial role on both sides of the field. Offensively, she has recorded her third straight seasons of 20-plus goals. On defense, she is second on the team with 19 caused turnovers and third in ground balls at 20. The Port Ewen, N.Y. native became the ninth Great Dane in program history to record at least 100 goals in a career this season.
• With Bowles, freshman midfielder Christine Johnson was added to the America East All-Rookie squad. Johnson has played in 13 games this season, recording seven points on four goals and three assists. The Reading, Mass. Native has also tallied six ground balls, 10 draw controls and one caused turnover.
• All-Conference members Antelmi, Burek and Parker also impressed in the classroom to be selected on the 13-member All-Academic team. Burek’s 3.54 GPA in business administration put her on the squad for third consecutive season. Antelmi’s 3.31 GPA in mathematics garnered her back-to-back selections. Parker accrued a 3.32 GPA in psychology for her first nod on the team.
Two Hit The Century Mark
• Senior attack Rachael Burek and junior midfielder Ariana Parker are became the ninth and tenth Great Danes all-time to reach the 100-goal plateau.
• Parker scored her 100th against UMBC on April 13 and Burek followed trend by scoring her 100th against Binghamton on April 20.
• Parker currently has 105 goals through 51 games and Burek has 100 goals through 63 games.
Bowles Blasting Through
• Redshirt-freshman midfielder Rachel Bowles started the 2013 season with a bang in the season opener against No. 3 Florida on Sunday, Feb. 24. Bowles tallied a team-best four goals, shooting an impressive 80 percent (4-5) on the offensive end.
• The Cicero, N.Y. native earned five of the 11 total America East Conference Rookie of the Week this season.
•Most recently, Bowles tallied her sixth hat trick of the season against Columbia and added one more versus Binghamton last week.
• Bowles leads all freshman in the conference in scoring with 33 goals and is tenth in the conference overall averaging 2.31 goals per game.
Lennon Leads Nation’s Top 5 Defense
• Junior Kathleen Lennon has been the Great Danes anchor for one of the best defenses in the country. She is 20th in the nation in caused turnovers with 1.73 per game.
• Lennon earned the Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday, March 18 after recording 23 draw controls over three games.
• Lennon tied a career-high with 12 draw controls against George Mason. Against Mahattan, the midfielder had eight ground balls, five draw controls and a career-best seven caused turnovers.
• She leads the conference with 96 draw controls and 24 caused turnovers this season. Her 6.40 draw controls per game are third best in the nation.
Danes Dominating On Defense
• The Great Danes have been able to contain its opponent for most, if not the entire season, holding 13 of their 15 opponents under 10 goals.
• The 7.40 goals per game is fourth best in the nation and saw the defense hold No. 7 ranked Stony Brook and No. 9 UMass to just nine goals.
• The Great Danes lead the conference in shot percentage in 2013. UAlbany has had a strong shot selection, scoring 195 goals off 377 shots (.517 percentage). Stony Brook is a distant second with a .489 shooting percentage.
• With her five-point performance on one goal and four assists against Manhattan on Monday, March 11, senior attack Rachael Burek surpassed the 100-point mark for her career at UAlbany. She became the 16th player in program history to accomplish the feat.
• Jess Antelmi joined teammate Burek on the plateau with an eight-goal performance in the regular-season finale against Vermont. The senior attack has 105 points in her career on 74 goals and 31 assists.
• Falling early in the season-opener to a minor injury, Rachael Burek came back strong against Bryant on Saturday, Mar. 2. Burek recorded the second-most points for a single game in program history with nine, six goals and three assists.
• The nine-point performance garnered the America East Conference Player of the Week.
• The senior attack has garnered Player of the Week two more times this season to give her three on the season, which was the most in the conference.
• Burek is second in the nation in assists per game with 3.5 and fourth in the nation in points per game with 5.64
Great Start For Great Dane Head Coach
• Third-year head coach John Battaglino has begun his career at UAlbany in impressive fashion. With the final game of the regular-season in his third season, Battaglino has tallied a record of 41-11 overall and 14-4 in conference play.
• Battaglino has won back-to-back America East Conference Tournament championships and has gone to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons as well.
• Coach Battaglino looks to become just the third head coach in conference history to win three-straight conference tournament championships. University of Delaware’s Denise Wescott (1997-99) and Boston University’s Liz Robertshaw (2008-10) were the previous two to accomplish the feat.
• In just his first season as head coach, he was able to grab a win in the NCAA Tournament against Dartmouth in the first round, 10-7, on May 15, 2011.
• Following an 18-1 record in the 2011 season, he was named as Inside Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Assocation (IWLCA) Northeast Region Division I Coach of the Year.
• Junior midfielder Ariana Parker has been scoring goals since her freshman stint. Parker has tallied 107 goals in 52 career games at UAlbany.
• Her 107 goals have landed her seventh all-time at UAlbany in scoring. If she continues this pace next season, Parker could land in the top-3 all-time at UAlbany.
• Not only is she responsible for scoring this season, but has played a physical defensive game as well. Parker has been directed to cover the opposing team’s best player. In response, the Port Ewen, N.Y. native is fourth on the team in groundballs (18) and second in caused turnovers (17).
• Senior midfielder Jess Antelmi has found great success in last season’s switch from defense to midfield, due to her teammates falling to injury.
• Before the switch, Antelmi recorded just three goals in 19 games. Following the switch, the Bridgeport, N.Y. native tallied career-bests in goals (29), assists (26) and points (55) in 2012.
• Her 26 assists and 55 points were both team-bests last season.
• Antelmi has surpassed her previous career-best in goals (29) with 42 goals through 15 games this season.
• Following a conference tournament championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance, the University at Albany was recognized by both the coaches and media in the preseason polls. The Great Danes were receiving votes in both polls to begin the season.
• UAlbany has been ranked as high as 8th, which was during the 2011 season. Last season the Great Danes were recognized as high as 13th.
“The Berman Wall”
• Junior goalkeeper Anna Berman will look to build upon her previous success in both her career wins and saves. Berman stands fifth in saves (276) and her 41 victories put her first all-time at UAlbany.
• Berman recorded her 200th save in the victory over Niagara on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at John Fallon Field .
Preseason Conference Poll Prediction
• In the 2013 America East Conference Preseason Poll, which was voted on by the conference coaches, the University at Albany was picked to finish in a tie for second with Boston Univeristy. The Great Danes received two first-place votes.
• Stony Brook, the 2012 conference tournament runner-up, was chosen as the favorite to win the league. The Seawolves received 33 total votes and three first-place votes.
• Four of the seven total teams in the conference received first-place votes. Stony Brook (3), UAlbany (2), Boston U. (1) and UMBC (1).