Friday, May 1, 2015

#18 University of Albany Women’s Lacrosse Advances to America East Title Game - UAlbany Sports 2015

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – After going down 5-1 in the early going, University at Albany women’s lacrosse (14-3) outlasted a tough Vermont (11-7) squad 14-13 in OT, earning a spot in the America East final on Sunday at noon. Junior Rachel Bowles notched the game-winner with time winding down in the first overtime period. “This was certainly not our best game,” said head coach John Battaglino. “But it showed a lot about our team and our leaders to come back from an early deficit. We have a lot to work on before Sunday.” The Danes started the game playing from behind, going down 2-0 in the early going off of quick transition goals by the Catamounts. The go-to tandem of Offensive Player of the Year Maureen Keggins and Dakotah Savitcheff put the Danes on the board 2-1 with just over five minutes gone. Despite winning six consecutive draws, the Danes committed four early turnovers to go down 5-1 with 17 minutes left in the first half. Nichole Eamer put UAlbany within striking distance, 5-2 with a shot down the middle that snuck past the goalkeeper. Eamer kicked off a five-goal rally that gave John Battaglino& co., its first lead of the game 6-5. The Purple & Gold fired off five goals in eight minutes. Sarah Martin would tally the next two, with assists credited to Bowles and Eamer. The sophomore All-Conference Second Team pick then forced a crucial turnover off the draw to set up the game-tying goal to Bowles. Bowles scored unassisted for her 50th tally of the season. Keggins connected with Savitcheff for the go-ahead goal at the seven-minute mark of the first half. UAlbany held Vermont scoreless for 11 minutes before the Catamounts tied the game at six. Keggins would dish to Bowles for a 7-6 UAlbany lead at the break. At halftime, UAlbany had a 12-1 advantage on the draw. The second half began with the teams trading goals in rapid succession, but less than 10 minutes in the Catamounts had regained the lead, 10-9. UAlbany responded with two straight goals from Katherine Sweeney and Savitcheff for an 11-10 edge. Vermont called timeout, but Savitcheff made it a two-goal cushion, 12-10 with 13 minutes to play. The Danes aimed to slow the pace after continuing to dominate on the draw, and a wide open goal for Keggins appeared to put the game out of reach for Vermont. Jessica Roach and Vanessa VanderZalm sent the contest to overtime with goals less than 30 seconds apart. With the winning team taking a spot in the America East Final, UAlbany continued to take the draw. Eamer forced a turnover at midfield to set up Keggins and Bowles for shots thwarted by Vermont. Eamer came up big for the Danes after the teams switched sides in overtime. The senior stole the draw again, allowing the Purple & Gold to set up a play for Bowles. The junior swept through the fan to fire on target down the middle with 39.7 seconds on the clock. The 14-13 result would stand, sending UAlbany to meet Stony Brook in a battle for the America East crown. Sarah Martin (7) and Alie Jimerson (5) both recorded a career-high in draw controls. Bowles finished with five points on three goals and two assists. Keggins scored one goal to go with five assists, while Dakotah Savitcheff notched four tallies and Martin had three. UAlbany and Stony Brook will meet in the America East Women’s Lacrosse Championship game for the fourth consecutive season on Sunday at noon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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