Saturday, November 15, 2003

University of Albany Football Clinches Share Of NEC Championship

Albany, N.Y. – Senior tailback Gary Jones rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns, as Albany clinched a share of the Northeast Conference championship with a 27-7 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday, Nov. 8 at University Field.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Albany (7-3, NEC 6-1) struck first by taking advantage of a short punt. Jones rumbled for 12 yards on two consecutive carries to the Robert Morris 2, before he powered over right guard to give his team the lead with 8:07 left in the period.

The Great Danes, who have won six of their last seven games, grabbed a 13-0 lead on their next possession. Mike Schlaepfer’s punt went just 24 yards into a 20-mile-per-hour northwest wind. Reserve tailback Rohann Vidal then darted over the left side and broke out to the sideline, as he raced 40 yards for a touchdown.

Albany posted a commanding 20-0 margin with 10:02 left in the third quarter. Robert Morris (6-3, NEC 4-3), bottled up most of the day by the Great Dane defense, was forced to punt from its 10-yard line, but again Schlaepfer’s kick was knocked down by the wind. The Great Danes followed by using Jones to go 31 yards in three plays. Jones, who had run for 200 or more yards in his last two starts, sprinted 22 yards to end zone on counter play over left guard.

The Colonials, who had won five of their last six entering the contest, got on the scoreboard late in third stanza, when Sam Dorsett scored on a fourth-and-goal run from one yard out with 2:07 remaining. Backup quarterback Shaun Abkarian keyed the sequence that enabled his team to close within 20-7 with a 34-yard pass to Ricky Daldo.

After the ensuing kickoff was misplayed, Robert Morris found new life when the Great Danes had to punt from their three-yard line. But Albany punter Stan Zylinski, who had planned to take a safety, saw a wide-open sideline from his end zone, and ran around right end 13 yards for a first down. The special teams play ignited a 16-play, 99-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock. Jones, who had 47 yards on six attempts in the series, capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run over left tackle.

"It’s tough to win on any level, so sharing the title is pretty satisfying," said Albany coach Bob Ford, whose team most hope for Monmouth to lose its final conference game next weekend in order to win the championship outright and earn an ECAC Classic berth. "It’s hard to win when you’ve been picked unanimously to defend the title. You have to be motivated, focused and not beat yourself."

Albany’s defense held Robert Morris to 94 total yards, including 39 net rushing yards, plus came up with two turnovers and four sacks. Dorsett, a senior halfback, finished with 51 yards on 17 carries. The Great Danes, who have the fourth-leading rushing attack in Division I-AA, toppled the 300-yard mark for the seventh time this season by accounting for 345 on the ground. Fullback Jon George and Vidal added 57 and 47 rushing yards, respectively.

"Any time a senior leaves the field with a championship, that’s a great feeling," commented Jones, who has rushed for 1,384 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. "It’s a pleasure to play with this team. The offensive line was just dominant, and we knew from the first play we could control the game."

"We're at least sharing the title and that means the world to me," said senior linebacker Victor Camacho, who had 11 tackles and added an interception as his defense limited Robert Morris to 1-of-13 on third-down conversions. "We are greedy and selfish because we want the championship to ourselves, but we can't control what happens right now."

Sunday, May 4, 2003


Orono, Maine – Jesse Bennett won the 100-meter dash and was a member of the winning 4x100 relay in leading Albany to its first-ever America East Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship on Sunday, May 4 at Clarence Beckett Family Track and Field Complex. The Great Danes, who won the conference’s indoor title in February, scored a league-record 230 points.

Bennett, the championship’s Most Outstanding Track Performer, was clocked in 10.97 seconds to win the 100-dash, and was third in the 200-dash in 22.15. Bennett also teamed with Shamere Boland, Rickardo Smith and Alix Rodriques to post a winning time of 41.70 in the 4x100 relay.

Kristof Molnar repeated as the America East 800-meter champion, and reached the finish line in 1:51.28. Paul Roche and Joel Vazquez were winners in the 110-hurdles and 400-hurdles, respectively. Roche, who was second in the long jump on the first day of competition, took the hurdles final in 14.61. Vazquez sprinted 53.35 seconds to beat Maine’s Joel Evans.

Albany’s Aggrey Morris won his team’s sixth individual title of meet by running 47.82 in the 400-meter dash. Kamar Elliott and Fred Frese, a pair of cornerbacks on the school’s football team, recorded second-place finishes in the triple jump and decathlon, respectively.


America East Conference Men's Track & Field Championships

Team Standings: 1. Albany 230, 2. Northeastern 158, 3. Maine 106, 4. New Hampshire 105, 5. Boston U. 102, 6. Binghamton 87, 7. Stony Brook 42, 8. Hartford 8.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Albany defeated top-seed Hartford, 7-5, To Take AE Championship

Albany defeated top-seed Hartford, 7-5, in last Saturday's America East Conference tournament championship. The Great Danes, who are riding a six-game winning streak, tied the school's single-season record for victories with a 10-5 record. Head coach Scott Marr, a former Maryland assistant and player at Johns Hopkins, is in his third season.

"I know Princeton will be a heavy favorite and we will be a decided underdog," said Marr, who is taking the program to the school's first-ever Division I NCAA tournament appearance in any sport. "We've played Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts and good competition like that has got to help us. Our attitude has been a big reason for our program getting better; it's come full circle since I arrived here."

The Albany-Princeton winner will meet the Syracuse-Dartmouth in the NCAA quarterfinal round on May 17-18. Along with Princeton, the NCAA championship's top seeds are Johns Hopkins (#1), Virginia (#2) and Maryland (#3).


2003 NCAA Division Men's Lacrosse Championship Bracket

FIRST ROUND (times will be determined Monday afternoon):
Saturday, May 10
Army (8-7) at #1 Johns Hopkins (11-1)
Penn State (7-6) at Towson (8-5)
Albany (10-5) at #4 Princeton (10-3)
Mount St. Mary's (10-7) at #2 Virginia (11-2)
Sunday, May 11
Georgetown (10-3) at Rutgers (10-4)
Ohio State (9-4) at #3 Maryland (10-3)
Dartmouth (11-2) at Syracuse (8-5)
Hofstra (11-5) at Massachusetts (12-2)

Saturday, May 17, at Syracuse
Syracuse/Dartmouth winner vs. Albany/Princeton winner
Maryland/Ohio State winner vs. Massachusetts/Hofstra winner
Sunday, May 18, at Towson
Johns Hopkins/Army winner vs. Towson/Penn State winner
Rutgers/Georgetown winner vs. Mount St. Mary's/Virginia winner

Saturday, May 24, at Ravens Stadium (Baltimore)
11:30 a.m.: First game; second game: 45 minutes after conclusion of first

Monday, May 26, at Ravens Stadium (Baltimore), 11 a.m.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

UAlbany Men Capture America East Conference Indoor Track Championship

BOSTON, MA (February 22, 2003) -- University at Albany’s Paul Roche won the 55-meter high hurdles, his third individual event of the meet, to lead his team to the men’s championship at the 15th annual America East Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Boston University Track and Tennis Center.

The Great Danes, who won their first-ever America East title in a team sport since joining the conference in September 2001, scored 148.25 points, and were well ahead of Boston U. (124) and three-time defending champion Northeastern (119.50).

Roche, a senior captain, sprinted a personal-best 7.60 seconds to win the 55-hurdles and tied for fourth in the high jump (6-4). Roche, who won the pentathlon and long jump on Friday, was named the Most Outstanding Male Field Performer.

Kristof Molnar was a winner in the 1,000-meter run, as he posted an IC4A-qualifying time of 2:29.11. Molnar also anchored the 4x800 relay to a second-place finish in a school-record 7:44.53. Naron Stewart repeated as the America East indoor high jump champion, as he cleared the bar at 6-feet, 10.25 inches.

Freshman Ed Hilts surprised the field by winning the 55-meter dash, as he out-leaned New Hampshire’s Ronald Harvey at the tape in 6.58 seconds. Aggrey Morris was second in the 400-meter dash, and was clocked in a school-record 47.74. Galen Gomes also turned in a second-place effort in the triple jump (46-6).

"I thought we had a shot, but I never believed we would have it wrapped up by the time we got to the relays (the last events)," said Albany coach Roberto Vives, whose team finished second to Northeastern in last year’s championship. "It was a total team effort. Confidence and conditioning were the reasons Paul Roche was able to score in four events. He did his homework and worked hard in the preseason."

In the women’s meet, the Great Danes ended up in third with 76 points behind Northeastern (163) and Boston U. (114). Teresa Covert, who was second in the long jump on the first day, won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.07 seconds and took fifth in the 200-dash in 25.54.

Jennifer Aubin placed second in the triple jump with a mark of 38-feet, 6-inches. Alexis Bowens, Dinnah Decatus, and Zerlinda Martinez each recorded a fifth-place showing in the shot put, 800 and 1,000 events. Bowens, a outside hitter on the UAlbany volleyball team, threw 40-feet, 3.25-inches.

America East Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships

(Final Scores)

MEN – 1. Albany 148.25, 2. Boston U. 124, 3. Northeastern 119.50, 4. New Hampshire 94, 5. Maine 55, 6. Binghamton 38.25, 7. Stony Brook 38.

WOMEN – 1. Northeastern 163, 2. Boston U. 114, 3. Albany 76, 4. Stony Brook 64, 5. New Hampshire 63.50, 6. (tie) Maine and Vermont 60, 8. Binghamton 19.50.

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