UAlbany Women's Lacrosse Wins vs. UMBC to Return to AE Title Game
ALBANY, N.Y. – The 2-seed UAlbany women's lacrosse team held off 3-seed UMBC 14-13 in the America East semifinal round to advance to the league title game.
Up one with just over 20 minutes left, UAlbany (12-4) netted five of the next six goals to build a four-goal advantage. UMBC (11-6) got to within one with possession in the final minute, but UAlbany held on for the victory.
UAlbany advances to its seventh consecutive America East Tournament title game and eighth overall. The Great Danes are looking for their third conference tournament title and first since 2012.
“As we have all year, we battled and finished on key possessions to secure the win against a very talented UMBC team,” said UAlbany head coach John Battaglino. “Our shot selection was not what it should have been in the early going, and we finally adjusted when we needed to. It wasn't our prettiest effort, but the win beats the alternative; you move on and prepare for the next contest.”
#RV/17 UAlbany will take on #4/4 Stony Brook for the 2017 America East title game on Long Island on Sunday, May 7th at noon.
As a team, UAlbany put 28 shots on goal to UMBC's 16 and forced five failed clears.
Two UAlbany players set milestones in this game. Dakotah Savitcheff, already UAlbany's all-time goals leader, netted her 200th career goal with her third in the game, finishing the contest with five goals. Sarah Martin, with nine points in the game off three goals and six assists, now has the single season scoring record in UAlbany history with 100 points in 2017. Martin added seven draw controls in the game.
For UMBC, Carolyn Jamison scored four goals and had the team's lone assist while Sara Moeller had a hat trick. Ashley Peacock had the loss in goal with 14 saves.
UAlbany struck first after going a player up on a UMBC yellow card: Emma Powlin emerged from around the cage and flung the ball over the keeper's shoulder for a goal. UAlbany stopped a UMBC clear and drew another player-up situation, leading to Rickert passing off to Neal for the race to the cage and score. UAlbany had a 2-0 lead 3:30 in.
After UMBC netted a goal with 23:30 left in the quarter, UAlbany got the goal back a little over a minute later as Rickert bounced a free position shot inside the right post. Again the sides exchanged as UMBC scored a free position goal, then Martin hit the runner under the crossbar, making it 4-2 UAlbany. Minutes later, Martin drew a defender and passed off to a wide open Neal next to the crease for the goal point blank. That assist gave Martin her 93rd point of the season and the team a 5-2 lead with 12:15 left in the 1st.
UAlbany's defense forced turnovers on a couple of clears to help contain UMBC's offense, but the Retrievers scored the final two goals of the half. UAlbany led 5-4 at the half.
Savitcheff came alive in the second half, first taking a pass from Martin and scoring on the doorstep, giving Martin her 94th point for the single season record. After UMBC got the goal back less than a minute later, Savitcheff got the next two goals in a span of 62 seconds, one from Neal and the other from a high heave by Martin. Savitcheff's third goal of the game was her 200th career goal, making it 8-5 UAlbany just over five minutes into the second half.
Using a couple of won draw controls, UMBC scored two quick goals to get back to within one at 8-7 with 21:54 remaining in the game.
UAlbany turned the tables with a couple of draw controls by Mara Bureau, with Martin scored on a 10-meter shot towards the end of the shot clock, a backhand shot under pressure by Neal and a catch and shoot by Rickert. UAlbany's 3-0 run put the Great Danes 11-7 with 17:53 left in the half.
Again UMBC got a pair of quick goals, pulling back within two at 11-9. Martin rallied the offense, netting a free position shot inside the right post and setting up Savitcheff for a goal, pushing UAlbany's advantage back to four at 13-9 with 10:43 left.
The Retrievers picked up the next two goals, getting back to within two again with eight minutes left. UAlbany held on defense against a UMBC shot, then in transition, Savitcheff scored again from Martin, making it 14-11 UAlbany with 5:31 to play.
UMBC had one final comeback attempt, getting two more goals to get within a goal with a minute to play. UMBC got the ball and took a shot, missing wide right. Leghart picked up the ball as UAlbany kept possession the rest of the way to take the 14-13 victory.