Monday, May 31, 2010

University of Albany Women's Lacrosse's Nikki Branchini on IWLCA All-America Team; First UAlbany Player to Earn Division I Honor

Baltimore, Md. - University at Albany's Nikki Branchini has been selected to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-America third team, as announced on Monday, May 31. Branchini is the first UAlbany player to receive All-America recognition in the program's Division I history. The IWLCA will honor the National All-Americans at the IWLCA All-American banquet on June 12, 2010 at the Crowne Plaza Valley Forge in King of Prussia, Pa.

In addition, Branchini was chosen the Division I Defender of the Year and named to website's All-America first team.

Branchini, a junior from Guilderland, N.Y., was voted the 2010 America East Conference Player of the Year after leading the Great Danes to the conference's regular-season title and a school-record 13-win campaign. Am IWLCA first-team All-North region selection, she is among the NCAA Division I leaders in draw controls (second, 4.93 pg), ground balls (sixth, 3.27 pg) and caused turnovers (ninth, 2.07 pg).

The defensive midfielder added 10 goals and three assists and had a .476 shot percentage. She established the school's single-season record with 74 draw controls and totaled 31 caused turnovers, the seventh-best mark in program annals. Branchini earned first-team all-conference honors for the third consecutive year.

UAlbany established a school record for most wins in a season with a 13-3 record, breaking a mark that had stood since 1998. The Great Danes achieved their first national ranking in the IWLCA coaches' poll (No. 19) and deBeer/Inside Lacrosse media poll (No. 17).

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jenn Pierson Leads UAlbany Track & Field on Final Day of NCAA East Preliminary Round

Greensboro, N.C. - University at Albany's Jenn Pierson placed fifth in her heat and ran the 12th-fastest time overall in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase to lead her team at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Saturday, May 29 at North Carolina A&T University's Irwin Belk Track. Laura Cummings and Catie Coxon also represented the Great Danes on the final afternoon of the three-day regional meet.

Running in one of the faster heats of the steeplechase, Pierson navigated the track in 10:32.89 and fell just .91 seconds shy of punching her ticket to the NCAA Championships. The top-three finishers in each heat plus the next three-fastest times in the event automatically qualified for the national meet. As a result, Yale's Anne Lovelace, who placed third in the final heat in 10:32.92, made the NCAA Championship field despite running a slower time than Pierson, while Ohio's Jenielle Hunt took the 12th and final qualifying spot by placing fourth in the second heat and just ahead of the UAlbany junior with a mark of 10:31.98.

"I never thought I would make it this far," explained Pierson, who was competing in the steeplechase for the first time at any level this spring and was the America East champion in the event earlier this month. "The steeplechase is a lot harder than it looks, but with constant training through cross country and hurdle work I was able to perform well. It was nerve-wracking with the storm last night which pushed the race back to this morning, but I kept telling myself that I could do it because I have trained hard. I still felt that (all the training and hard work) I did paid off today."

Cummings, who was competing at a qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships for the third straight season in the steeplechase, placed 27th by registering a time of 10:48.45. A transfer from North Carolina, she finished her career as the school's record holder in the event. The senior initially broke the school record with a winning time of 10:33.60 at the 2008 America East meet before finishing 10th at the 2010 ECAC Championship in 10:29.27 to establish the current program standard. She garnered all-conference honors all three years she competed in the event for the Great Danes.

Coxon wrapped up the weekend by placing 11th in the opening flight of the women's discus throw. The sophomore, who increased her personal-best mark by over 18 feet this spring, registered a toss that sailed 139-feet, 6-inches on her final attempt. Coxon earned all-conference accolades for the second consecutive year by winning the event at the America East championship meet this spring and also placed ninth at the ECAC Championship. Her winning throw of 157-3 at the Capital District Classic ranks second on the program's top-10 list.

"This meet was a great conclusion to our season," said associate head coach Craig McVey, who oversees the steeplechasers, distance runners and pole vaulters. "We obviously wanted to see some of our student-athletes advance to the NCAA meet, but we still finished high here and had several strong performances. For Jenn Pierson to come as close as she did by finishing 12th when 12 go (to NCAAs) and not make it because of the way the qualifying works is something that almost never happens. She had never run in the steeple before this spring, so to see her finish where she did was just phenomenal."

Paw Prints: Both the men's and women's steeplechase events were scheduled to start on Friday night, but a severe thunderstorm delayed the races until this morning ... Jenn Pierson came up just short of becoming the first member of the Great Dane women's program to advance to the NCAA Championships since Teresa Covert qualified in the 100-meter high hurdles in 2004 ... She entered the meet ranked 27th in the East Region with a personal-best time of 10:30.30 before running the 12th-fastest time today ... UAlbany had nine student-athletes, which was an America East Conference best, travel to the prestigious meet ... All of them helped UAlbany become the first school to win all four America East track and field championships in the same academic year.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Friday, May 28, 2010

UAlbany Track & Field's Fogarty, Wills and Adaramola Compete at NCAA East Preliminary Round

Greensboro, N.C. - Junior Tyler Fogarty finished seventh in his heat and 21st overall in the quarterfinal round of the men's 800-meter run to lead the UAlbany track and field teams at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Friday, May 28 at North Carolina A&T University's Irwin Belk Track. Senior captains Freddie Wills and Fey Adaramola also represented the Great Danes on the second day of the regional competition.

Fogarty, who advanced to tonight's quarterfinal of the men's 800 by running a season-best time of 1:49.02 in the first round last night, registered a mark of 1:50.37 in his final race of the spring this evening. An America East champion in the 1,500 earlier this month, Fogarty was making his second straight appearance at an NCAA regional and improved on his 35th-place performance in the event at last year's meet which was also held at Irwin Belk Track.

Adaramola, a transfer from Central Florida, completed her stellar two-year career at UAlbany by placing eighth in her heat of the women's 200-meter dash in 24.50. In addition to helping the women's program win consecutive America East outdoor crowns, the senior captain was a two-time champion in the 100 and claimed the 200 title at the conference meet in 2009. She also anchored three relays which broke school records this spring, including the victorious 4x100-meter relay at the America East meet.

Wills competed in the men's high jump to start the day. The senior failed to clear the opening height of 6-feet, 7-inches. Despite coming up short, Wills finished his prolific career as a four-time America East outdoor champion. He won the long jump in 2006, the triple jump in 2008, the decathlon in 2009 and the high jump in 2010.

Catie Coxon, the America East women's discus throw champion, will represent UAlbany in her premier event tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. In addition, Laura Cummings and Jenn Pierson's 3,000-meter steeplechase race has been delayed due to weather and was not scheduled until later this evening.
Paw Prints: The top-12 finishers in each individual and relay event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be hosted by the University of Oregon, on June 9-12 ... No at-large bids are being awarded under the NCAA's newly-adopted format this year ... Laura Cummings, Jenn Pierson and Catie Coxon all have an opportunity to become the program's first women in six years to advance to NCAAs ... Teresa Covert, the school's record holder in the 100-meter high hurdles, competed in her premier event at the national meet in 2003 and 2004.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany's Nikki Branchini & Ashley Ross on IWLCA All-North Region Women's Lacrosse Team

Baltimore, Md. - University at Albany's Nikki Branchini and Ashley Ross have been named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-North Region Team, as announced by the association on Friday, May 28. Branchini is the first UAlbany player to earn first-team all-region honors in the program's Division I history. Ross is a second-team all-region selection.

Branchini, a junior defensive midfielder, was voted the 2010 America East Conference Player of the Year after leading the Great Danes to the conference's regular-season title and a school-record 13-win campaign. She is among the NCAA Division I leaders in draw controls (second, 4.93 pg), ground balls (sixth, 3.27 pg) and caused turnovers (ninth, 2.07 pg). The Guilderland, N.Y. native, added 10 goals and three assists and had a .476 shot percentage. Branchini, who earned first-team all-conference honors for the third consecutive year, was named to the IWLCA all-region second team last year.

Ross, who hails from Lancaster, Pa., makes her first appearance on the IWLCA all-region squad. She received first-team All-America East Conference recognition in her first year as the program's starting goalkeeper. Ross previously was an all-conference goalie on the school's field hockey team. The senior is fourth nationally in save percentage (.519) and seventh in goals against average (8.11). Ross made double-figure saves against seven opponents, including a career-high 13 in the America East tournament semifinals against UMBC. She was named conference defensive player of the week three times this season.

UAlbany established a school record for most wins in a season with a 13-3 record, breaking a mark that had stood since 1998. The Great Danes achieved their first national ranking in the IWLCA coaches' poll (No. 19) and deBeer/Inside Lacrosse media poll (No. 17).

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kubiak Leads University of Albany Baseball to a 9-6 Win Over Top-Seed Binghamton in America East Championship Tournament - UAlbany Sports 2010

Vestal, N.Y. - UAlbany starter and all-conference first-team honoree Dave Kubiak went eight innings with a career-high 10 strikeouts to lead the Great Danes to a 9-6 win over top-seeded Binghamton in the first round of the America East Conference Baseball Tournament at Varsity Field on Wednesday afternoon. The win marked the first time since 2004 that the four seed defeated the top team in the first game of the tournament.

UAlbany scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to secure the win. Shortstop Kyle Crean led off with a double and came home on an RBI single by Pete DiResta. After a single by Nolan Gaige and a walk issued to Adam Cutspec, all-rookie team member Brian Bullard drove a two-RBI double into right field to give the Great Danes the three-run lead. Reliever Greg Lutton shut down the Binghamton offense to help advance UAlbany in the winners bracket.

Binghamton got on the board first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Jeff Skelhorn-Gross drove an RBI single into centerfield, scoring Corey Taylor. Jeff Abrams followed with a base hit that sent Mike Thompson across home, giving the Bearcats a 2-0 advantage. UAlbany responded with one run in the top of the third, as centerfielder Brendan Rowland drove a triple down the right field line, which scored leadoff hitter Gaige, who reached on a Binghamton throwing error.

The Great Danes added a second run in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. Gaige knocked a single through the right side to score Greg Muller, who started off the inning with a base hit up the middle. However, Binghamton took a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth, as Joe Charron drove a double into left field to send two runners home. A UAlbany throwing error allowed Charron to advance to third, and sent the final Bearcat run across home plate.

The Great Danes scored a single run in the sixth before tying it up at 5-5 in the top of the seventh. Third baseman Ralph Rizzo led off the sixth with a double, and was driven in on a two-bagger by Gaige. In the seventh, Rowland smashed his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to left center. With two outs, Crean tied the game up, hitting a solo homer over the right field fence.

Binghamton (30-19) scored a single run in the bottom of the seventh, while UAlbany knotted the game for the third time in the top of the eighth. Cutspec, who doubled earlier in the inning, came home on a wild pitch to tie the contest at 6-6.

Kubiak scattered seven hits in the win, and was relieved by sophomore lefty Lutton in the ninth. Lutton, an all-conference second-team selection, earned his team-leading third save of the season.

UAlbany (12-38) advances to face third-seeded Stony Brook at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

UAlbany (10-38) 001 101 213 - 9 18 5

Binghamton (30-18) 020 030 100 - 6 8 4

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany Baseball Travels to Binghamton for America East Conference Championship

Cambridge, Mass. - The University at Albany baseball team has qualified for the America East Conference Championship for the third time in four years, and will travel to Binghamton as the fourth seed in the 2010 conference postseason tournament. The America East champion receives an automatic NCAA berth.

Binghamton (30-18, AE 21-3) recently wrapped up its fourth straight America East regular-season baseball crown and will host this week's championship as the top seed. The tournament employs a four-team, double elimination format. Maine (34-20, AE 17-7) secured the second seed in its first tournament appearance since 2007, while third-seed Stony Brook (26-25, AE 15-9) rounds out the championship field.

The first game on Wednesday at 11 a.m. will feature the Black Bears and the Seawolves. UAlbany (11-38, AE 10-14) will take on Binghamton, the defending tournament champion, at 3 p.m. in the second game of the day. The Bearcats and Great Danes met to decide the title in last year's final, the second time it had happened over the past three seasons. Binghamton enters the tournament with the nation's longest active win streak of 14 games, and has won the last 18 against conference opponents.

The losers will meet at 11 a.m. the next day in an elimination game, while the winners of the first day's games will meet at 3 p.m. Another elimination game will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday morning for a bid to that afternoon's championship game, with Game 7 being played on Saturday, May 29 at 12 noon, if necessary.

Tickets to each day of the tournament are $7 for adults, $3 for youth 14 and under, and $2 for America East students with the proper ID. Tickets may be purchased day of game at the Frank Pollard Memorial Tennis Gazebo.


2010 America East Baseball Championship (Varsity Field, Binghamton University, Vestal, N.Y.)

Double Elimination

Wednesday, May 26

Game 1: #2 Maine vs. #3 Stony Brook, 11 a.m.
Game 2: #1 Binghamton vs. #4 UAlbany, 3 p.m.

Thursday, May 27

Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 3 p.m.

Friday, May 28

Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5

Saturday, May 29

Game 7 (if necessary): Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame to Induct UAlbany's Sauers, Graber & Jordan on June 27

Albany, N.Y. - The Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame will induct a class that includes former University at Albany head coach Richard "Doc" Sauers and a pair of standout UAlbany players, Jason Graber and Lucious Jordan, on Sunday, June 27. Contact Rene M. LeRoux, at 518-877-5170 or, for tickets or more information.

Sauers, one of the winningest coaches in the history of college basketball, led the UAlbany program to 11 NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 1994, and four NAIA tournaments. His 41-season career at the school ended with his retirement as basketball coach on March 10, 1997. UAlbany also won two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships in 1978 and 1989. Sauers, who was chosen the 1985 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year, finished his career with a 702-330 record. He was enshrined into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 and became a member of the UAlbany Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Graber, who played for the Great Danes from 1990-94, earned All-America, All-East and All-ECAC recognition. He is among the school's all-time scorers with 1,608 points, while shooting 56.1 percent from the field and 82.5 percent from the line. He led the 1993-94 squad to a school-record 25-3 campaign and a NCAA Division III Elite Eight appearance. Graber averaged 20.3 points and 8.6 rebounds as a senior. A native of Pattersonville, N.Y., Graber earned first-team all-area recognition at Schalmont High School. He was inducted into the UAlbany Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Jordan led the Great Danes to the 2006 America East Conference regular-season and tournament championships. He was named to the all-championship squad after averaging 15.6 points in the postseason. UAlbany went on to make its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance and played a memorable first-round game against Connecticut. As a junior, Jordan averaged 14.8 points when he was named to the all-conference second team. A native of Albany, N.Y., Jordan played at Colonie Central High School where he received second-team all-state and first-team all-area honors.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Dave Kubiak Leads UAlbany Honorees on America East All-Conference Baseball Teams

Cambridge, Mass. - University at Albany's Dave Kubiak earned his third straight all-conference honor in leading four Great Danes named to the All-America East Conference Baseball Team, as announced today by the league office. Kubiak, a junior right-handed pitcher, was selected to the first team. Senior Brendan Rowland, sophomore Greg Lutton and freshman Brian Bullard earned spots on the all-conference second team, while Bullard and classmate Nolan Gaige were named to the all-rookie squad.

Kubiak led the Great Danes as the number one starter in the pitching rotation for the second consecutive season. He went 2-5 on the mound in 10 appearances, including three complete games. Kubiak, who posted a staff-best 4.42 ERA on the season, leads the team with 56 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. He recorded the Great Danes' first shutout win since the 2007 season with an 8-0 victory over Hartford. Kubiak was named to the all-conference second team last season, following an all-rookie team appearance in 2008.

Rowland earned his second all-conference honor with an appearance on the second team. A first-team member as a sophomore, Rowland is batting .324 in his final season with the Great Danes, recording a team-leading 57 hits, including 11 doubles and six home runs, and a team-high 36 RBI. He is one of just two players who has started all 49 games this season, and will finish his career ranked on several of UAlbany's career charts. He is currently tied for second all-time in stolen bases after leading the Great Danes with 22 this season, and needs two to take over the top spot.

Lutton makes his first all-conference appearance after transferring to UAlbany from Vermont at the conclusion of last season. Lutton went 2-4 in a team-high 18 appearances, making three starts early in the season before coming out of the bullpen. He earned two saves on the mound, compiling 19 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. Bullard earned all-league second team and rookie team honors after making 43 starts at second base as a freshman. He leads the team at the plate, batting .350 on the season with 56 hits, including eight doubles and four home runs, while scoring 36 runs and driving in 30 more.

Gaige joins Bullard on the all-rookie team. He has missed just one start this season, and is third on the team batting .308. Gaige, who saw most of his action in left field, also made four appearances on the mound, including three starts. He has recorded 53 hits on the season, including six doubles and two home runs, and has scored 35 runs with 15 RBI.

UAlbany (11-38, AE 10-14), seeded fourth in the America East Conference Baseball Championship, will take on top-seed and defending champion Binghamton in the first round of play on Wednesday at 3 p.m.


2010 America East Baseball All-Conference Teams

First Team: Dave Kubiak, SP, Jr., UAlbany; James Giulietti, SP, Jr., Binghamton; Nick Tropeano, SP, So., Stony Brook; Tyler Johnson, SP, So. Stony Brook; Justin Latta, RP, Sr., Maine; Joe Mercurio, C, Sr., Maine; Dave Ciocchi, 1B, So., Binghamton; Jim Calderone, 2B, Sr., Binghamton; Tony Patane, SS, Sr., Maine; Stephen Marino, 3B, Jr., Stony Brook; Corey Taylor, OF, Jr., Binghamton; Henry Dunn, OF, Jr., Binghamton; Taylor Lewis, OF, So., Maine; William Carmona, DH, Fr., Stony Brook.

Second Team: Mike Augliera, SP, So., Binghamton; Jeff Gibbs, SP, Fr., Maine; AJ Bazdanes, SP, So, Maine; Keith Bilodeau, SP, So., Maine; Greg Lutton, RP, So., UAlbany; Justin Echevarria, C, Sr., Stony Brook; Rob Dyer, 1B, Sr., Stony Brook; Brian Bullard, 2B, Fr., UAlbany; Chad Marshall, SS, Jr., Stony Brook; Mike Thompson, 3B, Fr., Binghamton; Brendan Rowland, OF, Sr., UAlbany; Michael Stephan, OF, Sr. Stony Brook; Pat Cantwell, OF, So., Stony Brook; Joe Charron, Sr., DH, Binghamton.

All-Rookie: Brian Bullard, UAlbany; Nolan Gaige, UAlbany; Jay Lynch, Binghamton; Mike Thompson, Binghamton; Jeff Gibbs, Maine; Tyler Patzalek, Maine; Mike Fransoso, Maine; William Carmona, Stony Brook; Maxx Tissenbaum, Stony Brook; Tanner Nivins, Stony Brook.

Rookie of the Year: William Carmona, Stony Brook

Co-Pitchers of the Year: James Giulietti, Binghamton & Nick Tropeano, Stony Brook

Player of the Year: Corey Taylor, Binghamton

Coach of the Year: Tim Sinicki, Binghamton

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Monday, May 24, 2010

UAlbany Women's Soccer Announces 2010 Schedule; UNLV/Las Vegas Invitational Starts Season

Albany, N.Y. - University at Albany head women's soccer coach Mary-Frances Monroe announced on Tuesday, May 25 the school's women's soccer schedule for the 2010 season. The Great Danes will play an 18-match schedule, which includes 10 home dates and an August tournament at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

UAlbany's 10-game non-conference slate begins with UNLV's Las Vegas Invitational. The Great Danes kick things off against the host Rebels on Friday, Aug. 27 and conclude the tournament against Portland State on Sunday, Aug. 29. The Vikings won the Big Sky Conference regular-season title last season before falling to eventual champion Northern Arizona in a shootout in the semifinal round of the league tournament.

The Great Danes will return to the Capital Region to open a four-game homestand, their longest of the season, at Varsity Field. UAlbany hosts Iona in its home opener for the second straight year on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. The squad continues against two Atlantic 10 Conference opponents it took to overtime last season. UAlbany will look to avenge a loss to Temple when the Owls visit on Friday, Sept. 4, before trying to continue its recent success against Massachusetts on Sunday, Sept. 6. Chelsea DeVerna's first career goal in double overtime propelled her team to a 1-0 victory over the Minutewomen at Rudd Field last year. Syracuse will be the first Big East Conference program to come to campus when the string of home matches concludes on Friday, Sept. 10.

The Great Danes will look to earn their third straight victory over Colgate, which won the Patriot League regular-season and tournament championships last season, when they visit the Raiders on Wednesday, Sept. 15. UAlbany plays its next two matches at home against Manhattan on Friday, Sept. 17 and Central Connecticut State, the 2009 runner-up team in the Northeast Conference, on Sunday, Sept. 19.

After wrapping up non-league play at Bryant on Wednesday, Sept. 22, UAlbany opens America East Conference action by hosting Stony Brook on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. The Great Danes will look to avenge a loss to the Seawolves in the first round of last season's conference tournament. UAlbany also welcomes New Hampshire, UMBC and Vermont to Varsity Field. The first conference road match will take place on Sunday, Oct. 3 against Hartford at 2 p.m. The Great Danes visit Binghamton, Maine and Boston University, the three-time defending conference tournament champion.

The 2009 UAlbany women's soccer team was recognized by Somis Sports as the ninth-most improved Division I program in the nation after posting its highest single-season win total in 21 years with an overall record of 8-10-1. Monroe, who enters her fifth season at the helm of the program, and her assistants were honored as the league's co-coaching staff of the year. Monroe's program returns nine starters and a league-best four players that garnered all-conference laurels in forward Chelsea DeVerna, who was also the America East rookie of the year, midfielders Maggie DeVerna and Rebecca Lee (Bethlehem Central) as well as defender Casey Marks.


2010 University at Albany Women's Soccer Schedule

August - 27 (Fri.), at UNLV#, 10:00; 29 (Sun.), vs. Portland State#, 1:30.

September - 1 (Wed.), Iona, 3:00; 3 (Fri.), Temple, 4:00; 6 (Mon.), Massachusetts, 4:00; 10 (Fri.), Syracuse, 4:00; 15 (Wed.), at Colgate, 7:00; 17 (Fri.), Manhattan, 4:00; 19 (Sun.), Central Connecticut State, 1:00; 22 (Wed.), at Bryant, 4:00; 30 (Thu.), Stony Brook*, 3:00.

October - 3 (Sun.), at Hartford*, 2:00; 7 (Thu.), New Hampshire*, 3:00; 10 (Sun.), at Binghamton*, 2:00; 14 (Thu.), at Maine*, TBA; 17 (Sun.), UMBC*, 1:00; 21 (Thu.), at Boston U.*, 7:00; 24 (Sun.), Vermont*, 2:00.

#Las Vegas Invitational
*America East Conference Opponent
All Times Eastern

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nine UAlbany Track & Field Athletes Earn Berths to NCAA East Preliminary Round

Albany, N.Y. - University at Albany's Laura Cummings, one of the leading competitors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, leads a group of nine track and field athletes who will compete at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 27-29. The three-day regional meet will be held at North Carolina A&T State University's Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro, N.C. Five men and four women who helped UAlbany become the first school to capture all four America East Conference men's and women's track and field championships in the same academic year will travel to the regional.

The top-12 finishers in each event will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship, hosted by the University of Oregon on June 9-12. A total of 48 student-athletes will compete in each individual event, while 24 schools were accepted to run in each relay.

Joining Cummings as qualifiers are Fey Adaramola, Catie Coxon, Wilfredo de Jesus Elias, Tyler Fogarty, Valete Graham, Kadeem Howell, Jenn Pierson and Freddie Wills. Under the newly-adopted regional format by the NCAA, the nine Great Danes qualified for the meet by ranking among the East Region's top-48 declared athletes in their respective events. The region encompasses over 200 schools from universities located east of the Mississippi River and will feature approximately 2,500 student-athletes. In previous years, the NCAA conducted four regional meets that led to the national championship.

Cummings and Pierson have been the America East Conference's premier runners in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase throughout the spring and rank 22nd and 27th, respectively, in the East Region. Cummings, a senior from Bay Shore, N.Y., broke her own school record by placing 10th in 10:29.27 at the ECAC Championship last weekend. She also finished second at this year's America East championships and won the event at the Duke Invitational. Pierson, a native of Brentwood, N.Y. who is competing in the event for the first time at any level this spring, most recently placed 11th behind Cummings in 10:30.30 at ECACs. She also won the individual title at the America East championships in 10:40.46. Cummings and Pierson, along with Coxon, are attempting to become the first UAlbany women to qualify for NCAAs since 2004.

Graham, a three-time America East champion in the long jump, should be primed to advance after coming just one centimeter shy of automatically qualifying for NCAAs in the event last year. The senior's winning leap of 24-7.75 at this year's America East championship has him tied for 29th in the East Region. The native of Bronx, N.Y. also won the event at "The Dogfight," a dual meet against the University of Connecticut, and finished eighth at IC4As. Redshirt freshman Kadeem Howell, a Great Neck, N.Y. native, who placed second behind Graham in the long jump at the America East meet with a mark of 24-1.75, will also compete in the event.

de Jesus Elias and Coxon will represent the Great Danes in throwing events. A native of Arroyo, Puerto Rico, de Jesus Elias recently broke his own school record in the men's hammer throw by placing third with a mark of 201-feet, 11-inches at the IC4A Championship. The toss is 23rd in the region's performance list. The junior also earned all-conference honors for the third straight season by placing third at the America East Championship and won the event at the UMass Nine-Way Meet and the Friendship Meet with the University of Technology of Kingston, Jamaica. Coxon's winning mark of 157-3 in the women's discus throw at the Capital District Classic ranks 46th in the East Region. The Delanson, N.Y. native, was also the America East discus throw champion by registering a toss of 147-11, garnering all-league laurels for the second consecutive year.

Fogarty, a junior who will compete in the men's 800-meter run, owns the 31st best time in the East Region. His top mark of 1:49.40 was registered at the Friendship Meet. The native of Clifton Park, N.Y., also won the event at the UMass Nine-Way Meet in leading the Great Danes to the team title and was the America East 1,500-meter champion.

Senior captains Fey Adaramola and Freddie Wills round out the list of UAlbany competitors and will compete in the women's 200-meter dash and men's high jump, respectively. Adaramola, a native of Bronx, N.Y., placed second in the 200m at the America East Championship in 24.19 seconds and ran a season-best time of 23.94 to advance to the finals at ECACs. She was also the America East 100-meter dash champion for the second straight season. Wills, who hails from Londonderry, N.H., won the conference high jump by clearing 6-9.75, which was a personal best at the America East competition.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany's Brian Bullard And His Four RBIs Helps Baseball Defeats Hartford, 18-13, in Regular-Season Finale

Albany, N.Y. - Second baseman Brian Bullard recorded three hits and four RBI to lead UAlbany to an 18-13 win over Hartford in the regular-season America East Conference baseball finale on Saturday afternoon at Varsity Field. Bullard led five UAlbany players with multiple hits in the game. Prior to the start of the game, the Great Danes honored their two graduating seniors, centerfielder Brendan Rowland and first baseman Pete Eichner.

The top of the lineup led the Great Danes, as the first three hitters all finished the day with three hits. Left fielder Nolan Gaige went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, while right fielder Adam Cutspec also scored three runs while driving in two more. Bullard went 3-for-6 with three runs scored in the three-hole. Designated hitter Pete DiResta and shortstop Jeff Welsh also knocked out multiple hits for UAlbany.

Hartford (11-37, AE 5-19) left fielder Matt Walker led the Hawks with two hits and four RBI to go along with four runs scored. Four other Hartford players recorded two hits, including centerfielder Rodger Wilmot, who scored a run and drove in two more. UAlbany outhit Hartford, 17-13, while taking advantage of four Hawk errors.

UAlbany drew 10 walks off four Hartford pitchers, while striking out just five times. Closer Bob Rodgers took the loss for the Hawks after allowing four earned runs in one inning of action on the mound. UAlbany's Travis Wilson earned the win for the Great Danes, scattering just three hits in three and two thirds innings of work.

After a back-and-fourth game, UAlbany took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring six runs off six hits. The Great Danes started off the inning with four consecutive singles before Rogers walked two and hit a batter with the bases loaded to score three of UAlbany's six runs. Catcher Brian Gauthier drove in the final two runs of the inning with a base hit to left, scoring Ralph Rizzo and Diresta.

UAlbany (11-38, AE 10-12) is seeded fourth for the 2010 America East Conference Tournament, which will be hosted by Binghamton starting on Wednesday, May 26. Game times are to be announced.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany Women Lacrosse's Olivia Jarem & Nikki Branchini on Women's At-Large District I All-Academic Squad

Providence, R.I. - University at Albany's Olivia Jarem has been selected to the ESPN The Magazine Women's At-Large All-District I Academic Team, as chosen by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). Jarem, a senior midfielder on the women's lacrosse team, will move on to the national ballot and that all-academic squad will be announced on Thursday, June 10. UAlbany's Nikki Branchini earned second-team District I all-academic recognition.

Jarem has a 4.00 cumulative grade point average in psychology with a minor in education. She recently received a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, one of 13 females honored nationwide, and plans to study sports psychology in graduate school. Jarem was the recipient of UAlbany's Presidential Scholar-Athlete Award as the school's top senior female student-athlete and the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.

Jarem totaled 31 goals and four assists for the nation's second-ranked scoring offense. The Clifton Park, N.Y. native, is 10th among the conference leaders in goals. She led the Great Danes to their first-ever top-20 national ranking, a school-record 13-3 campaign and the program's first America East Conference regular-season title. Jarem netted two or more goals in 11 contests and posted a .534 shot percentage.

Branchini, a junior defensive midfielder from Guilderland, N.Y., has a 3.81 cumulative GPA in history with a dual minor in education and criminal justice. She joined Jarem on the America East Conference All-Academic Lacrosse Team and received the Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award, one of five UAlbany student-athletes chosen.

Branchini, who was named the 2010 America East Conference Player of the Year, made her third consecutive appearance on the all-conference first team. She is among the NCAA Division I leaders in draw controls (2nd, 4.93 pg), ground balls (6th, 3.27 pg) and caused turnovers (9th, 2.07 pg). She added 10 goals and three assists.

District I encompasses the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, plus parts of Canada.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nine Home Matches and San Diego Trip Highlight 2010 UAlbany Men's Soccer Schedule

Albany, N.Y. - University at Albany head men's soccer coach Johan Aarnio announced on Thursday, May 20 the program's schedule for the 2010 season. The Great Danes, who compete in the America East Conference, will play a 16-match schedule, which includes nine home dates at Varsity Field and a September West Coast trip.

UAlbany's nine-game non-conference slate, which includes seven opponents who posted a winning percentage of .500 or better last year, begins on the road at Fairfield on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. The Stags recorded a winning ledger of 9-7-2 in 2009 and advanced to the semifinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.

The first of two four-game homestands begins on Saturday, Sept. 4 when the Great Danes host St. Francis, N.Y. at 1 p.m. The Terriers finished second in the Northeast Conference regular-season standings last season before they were upset in the semifinal round of the league tournament. The home stretch continues against NJIT on Wednesday, Sept. 8 and concludes with matches against Colgate on Sunday, Sept. 12 and crosstown-rival Siena on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

The Great Danes will embark on a three-game road trip, its longest of the season, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 18 against Hartwick. The Hawks posted a 10-4-4 ledger last season, falling in the championship game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament to top-ranked Akron by a 2-1 decision. The Great Danes then trek to California to play San Diego on Friday, Sept. 24 and San Diego State on Sunday, Sept. 26. The nationally-ranked Toreros of San Diego made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

After wrapping up non-league play with a home match against Holy Cross on Wednesday, Oct. 4, UAlbany opens up America East Conference action at Hartford on Saturday, Oct. 2. The Great Danes will also match up against New Hampshire, last year's regular-season winner, and Boston University on the road. The squad will play host to four league opponents in a row, beginning with Stony Brook, the reigning tournament champion, on Friday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. Conference foes UMBC, Binghamton and Vermont will also visit Varsity Field.

Aarnio enters his 11th season at the helm of the Great Dane program. He will oversee a club which returns seven starters, headlined by Bo Jelovac, the squad's leading scorer last season, and goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, the team's most valuable player.


2010 University at Albany Men's Soccer Schedule

September - 1 (Wed.), at Fairfield, 7:00; 4 (Sat.), St. Francis, N.Y., 1:00; 8 (Wed.), NJIT, 4:00; 12 (Sun.), Colgate, 1:00; 15 (Wed.), Siena, 4:00; 18 (Sat.), at Hartwick, 7:00; 24 (Fri.), at San Diego, 10:00; 26 (Sun.) at San Diego State, 3:00; 29 (Wed.) Holy Cross, 4:00.

October - 2 (Sat.), at Hartford*, 7:00; 8 (Fri.), Stony Brook*, 3:00; 13 (Wed.), UMBC*, 3:00; 16 (Sat.) Binghamton*, 2:00; 23 (Sat.) Vermont*, 2:00; 27 (Wed.) at New Hampshire*, 2:30; 30 (Sat.) at Boston U.*, TBA.

*America East Conference Opponent
All Times Eastern

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 UAlbany Golf Scholarship Classic - June 7th at the Albany Country Club

The University at Albany Department of Athletics and Recreation is proud to present an outstanding golf event to raise funds for our scholarship foundation... The 17th Annual Great Danes Scholarship Golf Classic presented by CL King will be held on Monday, June 7th at the Albany Country Club in Voorheesville, N.Y... SEFCU is the dinner sponsor for the 2010 Golf Classic... This year's Golf Classic was expanded to two flights... The first flight of golfers will tee off at 7:30 a.m. with a second flight at 1 p.m.

2010 Golf Tournament Live Auction Items

1. Two tickets to the inaugural game at the *new* Giants Stadium on September 12, 2010 versus the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. As a part of this package, you will also recieve an authentic #10 Giants game jersey, autographed by Eli Manning. (Value: $500)

Opening Bid: $250

2. Two weekly grounds passes to the 2011 U.S. Open, held June 13-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. (Value: $1,200)

Opening Bid: $500

3. The Executive Chef of Bellini's Restaurant will prepare a meal for six people in your home. Food and wine included. (Value: $1,000)

Opening Bid: $500

4. Two tickets to the New York Yankees versus Kansas City Royals game on July 24th, 2010 at 1 p.m. Seats are in Club Access Section 100 at field level. Included is a one-night stay in New York City at the Ritz Carlton on Central Park. (Value: $2,000)

Opening Bid: $1,000

5. Enjoy golf for four at Saratoga National, including carts. Finish off the day with dinner for four at Prime Restaurant. (Value: $1,000)

Opening Bid: $500

6. Superbowl XLII Giants versus Patriots lineup card, autographed by quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Tom Coughlin. (Value: $400)

Opening Bid: $200

7. Golf foursome at Albany Country Club, including carts. (Value: $500)

Opening Bid: $250

8. Admission for two to the New York Buzz versus New York Sportimes World Team Tennis match, featuring John McEnroe, on July 13, 2010 at SEFCU Arena. Includes an invitation for two to the pre-match reception and a photo op with John McEnroe. (Value: $300)

Opening Bid: $100

9. Two season tickets for all home UAlbany football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball and men's and women's lacrosse games. Includes a personalized parking spot in the SEFCU Arena lot. (Value: $400)

Opening Bid: $200

We are also looking to raise $7,500 in support of new construction for the Academic Support Center.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany Coach Phil Sykes Announces Women's Field Hockey Schedule for 2010 Season

Albany, N.Y. - Three NCAA Tournament participants and a home tournament highlight the 2010 University at Albany field hockey schedule, as head coach Phil Sykes announced today. UAlbany, who won last year's America East Conference regular-season crown, will have 10 home games, including matchups against Connecticut and Syracuse, a pair of programs who made the 2009 NCAA field.

The Great Danes will kick off the season hosting the Capital Land College Classic, welcoming Virginia Commonwealth, Hofstra and Boston U. for the four-team tournament on August 28-29. UAlbany will continue non-conference play with home games against 2009 Big East Champions Connecticut (Sept. 12), Bryant (Sept. 24) and crosstown-rival Siena (Sept. 28) at Alumni Turf Field. NCAA Tournament participants Syracuse (Oct. 10), which finished 2009 ranked eighth in the nation after falling in the second round of the tournament, and American (Oct. 17) will also make appearances in Albany later in the season.

The Great Danes will face non-conference opponents Bucknell (Sept. 4) and Michigan (Sept. 18) on the road, while also facing Northeast Conference Tournament participant Quinnipiac (Sept. 17) in Ann Arbor. UAlbany also visits Massachusetts on Sept. 26. The Minutewomen wrapped up the 2009 season ranked 19th in the country after an Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament appearance.

UAlbany will kick off America East Conference play on the road at Fairfield (Oct. 2) and also play league foes Vermont (Oct. 16) and New Hampshire (Oct. 30) away from home. Maine visits Alumni Turf Field on Oct. 9, while 2009 America East Tournament champions Boston University will make an appearance on the UAlbany campus on Oct. 24.

UAlbany finished the 2009 season ranked 18th in the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I Coaches' Poll after winning its second straight America East regular-season title. The Great Danes return last season's conference defensive player of the year Suzy Clephane, and five all-rookie team members, led by Taylor Luke. Clephane and Luke anchored a UAlbany defense that led all Division I teams with a 0.56 goals against average.

Sykes repeated as the conference's coach of the year after guiding UAlbany to a 12-4 overall record and a national ranking as high as 16th during the regular season. The Great Danes were ranked for seven consecutive weeks, and were the lone undefeated team in the conference until the final game of the season. UAlbany earned the right to host the America East Conference Field Hockey Championship for the second straight year.


2010 University at Albany Field Hockey Schedule

August: 28 (Sat.) Virginia Commonwealth+, 12 p.m.; 29 (Sun.) Hofstra+, 12 p.m.

September: 4 (Sat.) at Bucknell, 1 p.m.; 12 (Sun.) Connecticut, 2 p.m.; 17 (Fri.) Quinnipiac++, 1 p.m.; 18 (Sat.) at Michigan, 10 a.m.; 20 (Mon.) at St. Louis, 4:30 p.m.; 24 (Fri.) Bryant, 3 p.m.; 26 (Sun.) at Massachusetts, 1 p.m.; 28 (Tue.) Siena, 4 p.m.

October: 2 (Sat.) at Fairfield*, 2 p.m.; 3 (Sun.) at Providence, 2 p.m.; 9 (Sat.) Maine*, 4 p.m.; 10 (Sun.) Syracuse, 2 p.m.; 16 (Sat.) at Vermont*, 2 p.m.; 17 (Sun.) American, 3 p.m.; 24 (Sun.) Boston U.*, 3 p.m.; 30 (Sat.) at New Hampshire*, 1 p.m.

* America East Conference Opponent

+ Capital Land College Classic (Albany, N.Y.)

++ Ann Arbor, Mich.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Four Great Danes Earn America East Outdoor Track & Field All-Academic Laurels

Cambridge, Mass. - University at Albany's Laura Cummings and Valete Graham headline a list of four Great Danes who were named to the America East Conference Outdoor Track and Field All-Academic Team, as announced by the league office on Tuesday, May 18. Cummings and Graham, who are each being honored for the third straight season, were joined by Fey Adaramola and Peter Rowell. The honorees helped UAlbany become the first school to capture all four America East Conference men's and women's track and field championships in the same academic year, including both outdoor team titles for the fourth time in five seasons.

Cummings, a senior middle-distance runner from Bay Shore, N.Y., has a 3.50 cumulative grade point average as an English major with a minor in education. She has been a member of the 2008 and 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Women's All-Academic Track & Field Team, the 2008 and 2009 ESPN The Magazine District I Academic All-America Women's Track and Field Team, the America East Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. The transfer from North Carolina most recently broke her own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase by registering a 10th-place time of 10:29.27 at the ECAC Championship, breaking her winning mark of 10:33.60 at the 2008 America East meet. She also placed second in the event at the America East championships (10:47.93) to garner all-conference laurels for the third straight year. Cummings, who ranks 22nd in the East Region in the steeplechase, accumulated an additional point by placing eighth in the 1,500-meter run in 4:38.89. Cummings has now made seven America East all-academic squads in the sports of track and field and cross country.

Graham, a senior horizontal jumper from Bronx, N.Y., carries a 3.71 GPA as a psychology major. Graham made the 2008 and 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Men's All-Academic Track and Field Team, the 2009 ESPN The Magazine District I Academic All-America Men's Track and Field Team and was named the 2009 America East Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year outdoors and the 2010 America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year indoors. In addition, he was a 2010 ECAC Merit Medal winner and a recipient of the Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award. Graham won the long jump for the third straight season at the America East championship by leaping 24-feet, 7.75-inches, becoming just the second student-athlete to accomplish the feat in league history. He also became the first UAlbany student-athlete to claim three straight crowns in an individual event at the championship. The senior achieved an additional four points by placing fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 47-8. Last weekend, he placed eighth in the long jump (23-9.50) at the IC4A Championship. Graham has now made five America East all-academic teams, both indoors and outdoors, in his career.

Adaramola, a short sprinter from Bronx, N.Y., has a 3.34 GPA as a human biology major. She landed on the 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Women's All-Academic Track & Field Team and was named the 2010 America East Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year indoors as well as a 2010 ECAC Merit Medal winner. A transfer from Central Florida who serves on the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Adaramola racked up 18 points individually with ECAC-qualifying times at the America East championship by winning the 100-meter dash in 11.86 seconds and placing second in the 200 in 24.19. The senior captain anchored three relay teams which broke school records this spring, including the winning 4x100 (46.27) and second-place 4x400 (3:45.52) at the America East meet. The 4x200-meter squad she ran on at Penn Relays hit the tape in 1:39.32.

Rowell, a sophomore long sprinter from Scotia, N.Y., has a 3.74 GPA as an accounting major with a minor in business administration. He earned a spot on the 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Men's All-Academic Track and Field Team and the America East all-academic team indoors this past winter. At the America East championship, Rowell placed third in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles by navigating the track in a personal-best time of 53.62 seconds. He also anchored the second-place 4x400-meter relay that hit the tape in 3:13.10. Both marks met IC4A standards.

To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team's games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Softball Falls to Top-Seeded Boston University, 2-0, in America East Tournament Opener

Orono, Maine - Senior pitcher Cassidi Hardy hurled a one-hitter and registered 12 strikeouts to lead Boston University past UAlbany, 2-0, in the opening round of the America East Conference Softball Championship on Thursday, May 13 at the University of Maine's Kessock Field.

Boston U. (32-19), which is looking to win its second straight tournament title, made the first threat to get on the scoreboard by loading the bases with no outs in the second. However, pitcher Marissa Powell got out of the major jam by inducing a flyout and fanning the next two hitters.

The Terriers tallied the game's only two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Taylor Cowan smacked an RBI single past a diving Michelle Connors, who was shielded by a runner trying to advance to second. Following a fielder's choice play for the inning's second out, Rachel Hebert singled through the left side to plate Caitlin Rentler.

UAlbany (20-22), which has qualified for the tournament every year since joining the conference in 2002, made its best effort to get on the board in the top of the fifth. Jessica Bergin, who was named a first-team all-conference selection yesterday, reached on a one-out infield single and stole second. However, the next two batters struck out to end the inning.

The Great Danes made one last attempt to rally in the top of the seventh. Gina Mason reached on an error by the Terrier shortstop with one out, but she was unable to advance. Hardy, who was named the league's pitcher of the year, forced the next batter to fly to right before fanning the final Great Dane hitter to end the game.

BU's Hardy, who has thrown 28 scoreless innings over the last five games, picked up the victory to improve to 18-7 this season. She fanned 12 batters while yielding just one hit and issuing one walk. UAlbany's Powell suffered the loss and fell to 7-12. She allowed nine hits and two runs while fanning five hitters and issuing two walks.

UAlbany will look to regroup and continue its run for a fourth America East title tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. against the loser of the afternoon's second game between No. 2 Maine and No. 3 Stony Brook.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Gina Mason & Jessica Bergin Among Four UAlbany Players on All-America East Softball Team

Cambridge, Mass. - University at Albany's Gina Mason and Jessica Bergin headline a group of four student-athletes who were named to the 2010 America East All-Conference Softball Team, as announced on Wednesday, May 12 by the conference office. Mason, a junior first baseman from Sacramento, Calif., and Bergin, a junior outfielder from New Windsor, N.Y., were placed on the all-conference first team.

Michelle Connors, a senior infielder from Clifton Park, N.Y., and Kat Smith, a senior catcher from Pasadena, Texas, were each named to the all-conference second team. Kylie Apostolina and Allie Weiser garnered spots on the all-rookie team, marking the eighth consecutive season at least one Great Dane has been on the squad.

Mason, who made the all-conference second team last season and was an all-rookie pick in 2008, has had a breakthrough season as the team's top slugger who regularly bats in the cleanup spot. She was one of two players to start all 41 regular-season games and leads the team in several offensive categories, including batting average (.357), home runs (8), RBIs (30), hits (40), runs scored (24), slugging percentage (.634) and on-base percentage (.456). In addition, the junior ranks fifth in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Defensively, Mason has a .976 fielding percentage. She already ranks fourth on the program's all-time list with 21 career home runs and is tied for fifth with 100 RBIs.

Bergin, who entered the season with a .249 career batting average, also improved her numbers this spring and is earning postseason recognition for the first time in her career. The junior, who leads the team with 17 stolen bases and ranks third in the league in the category, is second on the UAlbany squad behind Mason with a .301 batting average and a .524 slugging percentage. Almost half of her 31 hits have been for extra bases, including 10 doubles. Bergin, a 37-game starter, is batting a team-best .392 against league opposition. She blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead UAlbany to a 6-5 win over Binghamton in the America East opener and also had the game-winning hit in the series finale of a three-game set against Boston University.

Connors, a senior utility player who saw time at three different infield positions, is being honored by the conference for the third time in four seasons. She was a first-team all-conference selection and an all-rookie honoree as a freshman in 2007 and a member of the all-league second team in 2008. Connors, who started every game for the second consecutive season, enters this week's conference tournament as the team's hottest hitter. She is batting .529 over the last five games and has a .283 average this season. The four-year starter also has 35 career doubles and needs four more to break the school record. Her 23 career home runs rank third all-time, while her 100 RBIs are tied for fifth.

Smith, who has started 40 of 41 games, landed on the America East second team for the second straight year. She is batting .274 and ranks second on the team behind Mason with four home runs and 22 RBIs. Defensively, the catcher has not committed an error and has gunned down a league-best 10 base runners attempting to steal. A four-year starter, Smith had a walk-off home run, a three-run blast, in the team's 5-4 win over Binghamton and belted a three-run homer while recording four RBIs in a 9-1 road victory at Stony Brook. She has caught seven no-hitters, including four perfect games, as a collegian.

Apostolina has made 32 appearances and 28 starts, the most of any freshman on the squad, at third base and as the team's designated player. She has totaled 16 hits, including two home runs, and drove in 11 runs while scoring 10 times. Her best performances came when UAlbany swept a twinbill on the road against Siena on April 29. The freshman homered in each game and went a combined 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

Weiser made 18 appearances and 10 starts as a pitcher. The freshman made an immediate impact, posting a 1.50 earned run average in the season-opening tournament at Stetson. For her efforts, she was named the America East pitcher and rookie of the week. Weiser has a 5-5 record and a 3.15 ERA on the season. She won two of her three decisions in conference play and also picked up two victories against Siena. Weiser has fanned 47 batters against only 14 walks in 86.2 inning of work.

UAlbany has produced 58 all-conference players, including 30 first-team selections, since joining the conference in 2002.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Former University of Albany FCS Football QB Vinny Esposito Continues Career In Italy's Italian Football League

Photo Credit: Giulio Busi

When you think of pro football, a few places come to mind. Green Bay and Lambeau Field, Chicago and Soldier Field to name a couple. Those are the storied bastions of the game that so many Americans have come to love.

But for Vinny Esposito, his field is located halfway around the world. He plays pro football. In Bologna, Italy.

After graduating from the University at Albany, Esposito was thinking that his football career was over. But he soon got the itch to play the game again and put his name on a European scouting website to gather interest. He then got in contact with an agent that specialized in placing Americans on European teams. The agent directed him to the Bologna Warriors of the Italian Football League, a ten-team league with the highest reputation in Italy.

In his first year with the team, which is made up of players ranging in age from 20 to 40 years old who mostly consider playing football an after-work activity, Esposito has become the starting quarterback for the Warriors.

“It is definitely experience to say the least. First of all, most of the guys on the team play for little or no money and do it purely for their love of the game,” Esposito said in an e-mail. “Many have families and jobs and come to practice after a full day of work. So, there are some serious differences. The one thing that is pretty incredible is that they do all the hard work just cause they love it.”

Esposito said that the play on the field can often times be an experience in itself. With the team only really able to practice three times a week due to many players’ work commitments, it can often be hard to diagram complicated plays. This can often be a challenge to Esposito, who sometimes has been forced to revert back to schoolyard tactics of creating plays in the huddle. Most of the time those plays involve just telling his receivers to run a route and try to get open.

“It was hard at first, because with the incredible coaching staff at UAlbany, I learned certain rules to be successful playing at a high level. Now, I had to forget those things and play like I did in high school, or even younger. If (UAlbany quarterbacks) Coach McCarthy saw some of the things I was doing, he would not be happy,” Esposito said.

His former coach, UAlbany’s Bob Ford said he was happy to see another one of his players playing professionally.

“Thank god he’s playing in Italy. They called and said he was holding on to the ball too long and I said ‘Gee, that doesn’t sound like Vinny’,” Ford joked. “I just think that you have so many kids that enjoy the game so much that they want to continue playing if you can.”

Each of the teams in the IFL is allowed to carry three Americans on their roster, with those players often times being the players to touch the ball the most.

“Since they only have three Americans, and often the Americans are the only ones paid, they are counted on to make huge impacts on and off the field. We help coach the youth team and also are unofficial coaches for our team. We helped form the playbook and I often call many of the plays,” Esposito said.

Playing in Bologna has afforded Esposito the opportunity that he never had in being able to go abroad like any other college student. When he was playing for the Great Danes, he was unable to leave the program during the season. Now, he is able to experience that, only without the studying and getting paid to do so.

Esposito said he gets paid enough in Euros to live comfortably in an apartment he shares with the two other Americans on the team. In addition, he is covered medically and has transportation paid for.

The fan support for teams in Italy varies according to Esposito. In Bologna, a few thousand fans show up to every game with noisemakers and chants creating a raucous atmosphere. However, in other cities the support is lighter, including Bolzano, last year’s Italian Super Bowl champion, where only a few hundred fans show up to each game despite having one of the nicer fields in the league.

The support is often boisterous but interesting due to some of the fans not knowing all the intricacies of the game, leading to some interesting moments on the field.

“It will be a key down on offense and I’ll be trying to call out the play, which is enough of a struggle since all of the guys do not know English and we’re trying to translate the call, and then the fans will be screaming and music will be playing,” Esposito said. “Then, we’ll be on defense, trying to make a huge stop and the crowd will be silent. But either way, they support the team and many people in the city are involved with the team.”

Interest in American football has been picking up steam again in Italy thanks to an increase in talent and better coaching, according to Esposito. However, it is mostly a supportive but small group of people who are the team’s main supporters as it still lags far behind soccer and basketball in the country.

Esposito said that the level of play in the league also varies. The Americans in the league typically come from Division I programs and the commitment to the game usually shows itself in their dominance on the field. However, he said that the Italian players are usually able to compete well.

Adjusting to living in Italy has been another experience for Esposito, who has had to get over the language barrier and get accustomed to the diet of Italians. However, he said that he has gotten more used to it thanks to the young population of the city.

“The oldest university in Europe is here and there is a student population of over 150,000 so the nightlife has been very fun. The guys on the team take us out as often as they can to see the sights and go to the most fun bars and clubs so that has certainly made the adjustment easier,” Esposito said.

Esposito said he would consider staying in Italy, taking into consideration its’ relaxed atmosphere. He had a word of advice for any player considering following his path.

“I am experiencing the culture, having a great time, meeting amazing people, and it is all being paid for. In fact, I am making money doing it. I would recommend it to anyone,” Esposito said.

by Jon Campbell, managing editor
By Aaron Scholder, Sports Editor

UAlbany's Valerie Sourbeer & Fey Adaramola Among America East Woman of the Year Nominees

Cambridge, Mass. -- University at Albany's Fey Adaramola and Valerie Sourbeer are among thirteen student-athletes who are institutional nominees for 2010 America East Woman of the Year award as announced on Tuesday, May 11 by the conference office.

Binghamton University's Amanda Casares (soccer) and Dawn Lammert (volleyball), Boston University's Emily Pallotta (soccer), University of Hartford's Erica Beverly (basketball) and Sadie Heald (golf), University of Maine's Alexis Souhlaris (softball) and Vicki Tolton (track & field), UMBC's Alice Chen (tennis), University of New Hampshire's Kirsten Bates (volleyball), Stony Brook University's Alyssa Struzenberg (softball) and University of Vermont's May Kotsopoulos (basketball) have been chosen as the senior female student-athletes on their respective campuses that best exemplified a commitment to service, leadership, athletics and academics during their collegiate careers.

Sourbeer, a senior outside hitter on the women's volleyball team, recently received the Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award, plus earned an ECAC Merit Medal as the school's top senior female student-athlete in the current academic year. She was chosen the 2009 America East Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the sport of volleyball. Sourbeer, a first-team all-conference selection, led her team to a 22-9 record and the conference's regular-season crown. She has a 3.65 cumulative GPA in business administration.

Adaramola, a senior on the women's track and field team, also received an ECAC Merit Medal for the 2009-10 academic year. She has a 3.34 GPA in human biology. Adaramola led UAlbany to its second straight America East outdoor championship by defending her 100-meter dash title. She also anchored the winning 4x100-meter relay to a school-record time. During the indoor season, Adaramola was named the America East's Most Outstanding Track Performer after finishing first in the 55- and 200-meter events and leading her team to its first-ever indoor championship. She was chosen the America East Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

To be nominated, student-athletes must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2010 spring season or received her undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2010 term and have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.500 (4.000 scale).

In conjunction with the changes in the nomination process for the NCAA Woman of the Year award, the America East Woman of the Year award was established for the 2005-06 athletic season. Beginning in 2006, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics (CWA) started receiving conference-designated nominees in lieu of the previous institution- and state-based nomination format.
The nominees will be narrowed down to three finalists on Tuesday, June 1 via a release on the conference web site with the America East Woman of the Year being announced at the conference's Annual Meeting in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Monday, June 7.

The America East Woman of the Year will then be forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee. The selection committee will select the top 10 winners in each NCAA division (I, II and III). From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the CWA will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany Women's Volleyball Head Coach MJ Engstrom Welcomes Three New Assistants to Staff

Albany, N.Y. - Adam Martel and Caley Carter-Knudsen have been hired as assistant volleyball coaches, as announced today by University at Albany head coach MJ Engstrom. BT Knudsen will also join the UAlbany staff as a volunteer assistant coach.

Martel comes to UAlbany after a two-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Boston College. While with the Eagles, Martel was involved in all aspects of the program, including training, scouting, game planning, community outreach and alumni relations. He was involved in bringing in a top-30 recruiting class to the Boston College program in 2009, including one of the top 50 setters and middle blockers in the country. He coached two players who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Team honors. Martel was also responsible for implementing the Eagles' first "Dig Pink" event, which raised more than $4,000 for breast cancer awareness and research and was the co-director of the Boston College summer camps.

Martel, a 2005 graduate of Merrimack College, has also been an assistant coach for the USA Olympic High Performance team, and was the head coach for the Boston University club volleyball team. Martel's BU squad was ranked 29th nationally and finished with an overall record of 29-9 in 2008. He was responsible for all aspects of running the club program, including recruiting, budget and travel.

Carter-Knudsen is currently a professional volleyball player in Europe, where she has been competing for the last five years. She led the Odense Women's Professional team to seven championship gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze at the Danish Cup and Danish Nationals Championships. A team captain on back-to-back championship teams, Carter-Knudsen was a two-time Danish Team of the Year Outside Hitter and was runner-up for Danish Player of the Year twice.

Carter-Knudsen, who played for Engstrom at Nicholls State from 2002-04, helped lead the Colonels to a conference championship and was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year. A team captain, she was an all-conference first-team selection and was the Southland Conference Tournament MVP.

Knudsen will work with the UAlbany program on a volunteer basis. He is a three-time Danish Professional Volleyball Libero of the Year and was a five-time runner up for the award. Knudsen has led the Danish Men's Professional team to five Danish Championship gold medals and two Nordic Championship gold medals. He also has extensive coaching experience, leading two professional club and women's professional teams to Danish Championship titles. He also co-founded a youth volleyball league at Emory University and coaches summer volleyball camps at Emory and Auburn University.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Monday, May 10, 2010

University of AlbanySoftball Seeded Fourth for A-East Tournament; Connors Named Co-Player of the Week

Cambridge, Mass. - University at Albany's Michelle Connors was named America East Conference Co-Player of the Week in softball, as announced by the league office on Monday, May 10.

Connors played a key role in helping UAlbany clinch an America East Conference postseason berth in a three-game weekend series at UMBC by going 5-for-10 with seven RBIs and registering three extra-base hits. After recording a single in the opener of a twinbill on May 8, Connors went 2-for-4 with four RBIs to propel UAlbany to a 7-3 victory in the nightcap. A native of Clifton Park, N.Y., she clubbed a two-run homer in the first inning and blasted a two-run double to deep center in the second. Her two-bagger would later stand as the game-winning hit and punched the Great Danes' ticket to the tournament. In addition, the senior helped push across two insurance runs in the sixth inning by beating out a throw to first after fanning on a wild pitch for what would have been the third and final out in the frame.

Connors went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs to help UAlbany, which has won six of its last seven games, grind out a 5-4 victory in the rubber match one day later. The senior singled up the middle to tie the game in the third before belting a double down the line in left in the fifth to put the Great Danes ahead for good. Connors enters the conference tournament with 35 career doubles. She needs four more to break the school record. In addition, her 23 career home runs rank third on the program's all-time list.


Orono, Maine - UAlbany was tabbed as the fourth seed for this week's America East Conference Softball Championship, a double-elimination tournament which will be hosted by second-seed Maine from May 13-15. The Great Danes, who have won three tournament titles and advanced to the championship round a league-best five straight seasons, are making their ninth consecutive conference postseason tournament appearance.

UAlbany (20-21, AE 9-8) will take on top-seed Boston University (31-19, AE 14-3), which declined the right to host due to conflicts with its school's graduation, in the first game on Thursday, May 13 at 1 p.m. Maine (22-26, AE 11-7) will face No. 3 Stony Brook (29-19-1, AE 10-7) in the second game, scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. The winners of the first two games will face off on Friday, May 14, starting at 11 a.m., while the losers of Thursday's games will play at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game. A second team will go home later on Friday when the winner of previous game and the loser of the day's first game meet at 4 p.m. The 2010 America East champion will be named on Saturday, May 15. The final two teams standing will play at 12 noon with a second game slated for 2:30 p.m., if necessary. The winner will earn an automatic berth in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

The lower seeds have found recent success in the America East postseason competition. The regular-season champion has not claimed the title since 2005 and the host school has not captured the crown since 2004. UAlbany, which is seeded fourth for the first time since winning it all in 2007, has been led by junior first baseman Gina Mason and senior pitcher Leah McIntosh. Mason, who made the all-conference second team last season, ranks first on the squad in batting average (.357), home runs (8), RBIs (30), hits (40), runs scored (24), slugging percentage (.634) and on-base percentage (.456). McIntosh, who holds the school's program record for career strikeouts (720) and is the league's reigning pitcher of the year, boasts a team-best 2.50 earned run average and has fanned 99 batters in 78.1 innings of work. Senior utility player Michelle Connors closed out the regular season with a hot bat and is hitting .529 in the last five contests, while outfielder Jessica Bergin and shortstop Andrianna Walraven are having breakout junior campaigns. Bergin has a .301 average and a team-leading 17 stolen bases, while Walraven is batting .286 with 16 thefts.

2010 America East Conference Softball Championship

(played at Maine's Kessock Field)

Thursday, May 13

Game 1: #1 Boston U. (31-19, AE 14-3) vs. #4 UAlbany (20-21, AE 9-8), 1 p.m.
Game 2: #2 Maine (22-26, AE 11-7) vs. #3 Stony Brook (29-19-1, AE 10-7), 3:30 p.m.
Friday, May 14
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 1:30 p.m. (elimination game)
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 4 p.m. (elimination game)

Saturday, May 15
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 12 p.m. (championship game)
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 2:30 p.m. (if necessary)

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Men's Lacrosse Comes Up Short In Conference Lacrosse Championship

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Senior goalkeeper Charlie Paar equaled a career-high with 18 saves in leading Stony Brook to an 11-7 victory over UAlbany to capture the America East Conference men's lacrosse championship on Saturday afternoon at LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves, who are No. 6 in the current USILA poll and No. 7 by Nike/Inside Lacrosse, earned an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

Stony Brook (12-3) threatened to copy its regular-season performance against UAlbany (5-11) after taking a 5-0 lead after the opening quarter. Kevin Crowley spun to his right shoulder from left of the crease against two defenders to break a scoreless tie with 8:37 to play in the period. Tyler McCabe and Tom Compitello found the net 32 seconds apart for a three-goal lead. Compitello, who had two goals and one assist, scored on a tough-angle shot from the right on a wraparound.

Robbie Campbell and Jared LeVerne tallied a pair in a 53-second span later in the stanza. Campbell drove around midfielder Rocky Bonitatibus to send a shot from the right inside the far post. Paar made his seventh save of the quarter that led to LeVerne transition's goal from Vonzell LeGall. The Seawolves' Crowley connected on a bounce shot by working around a long pole for a 6-0 lead with 13:40 left in the second period.

The Great Danes, who upset UMBC in the semifinal round as the tournament's third seed, regrouped with three unanswered. Dwayne Stewart finished off a drive from the left with a hard-liner from six yards, before Dave Brock picked off Paar's clearing pass near midfield and hit any empty net. Luke Cometti later found Kyle Brunk with a pass from the top of the box. The senior attackman went low to the far side from right of the crease. After Jordan McBride connected on a pick-and-roll play, UAlbany closed the gap to 7-4 by halftime. Dave Brock hit the post with a fastbreak shot, but Matt Johnson corralled the rebound and found the cage.

The Seawolves, who went undefeated during the conference's regular season, were still ahead by three in the third quarter. But UAlbany midfielder Jack Reynolds dodged around a defender and scored on a 10-yard blast with 4:52 to play. The Great Danes shaved the lead to 8-7 early in the final period when Bonitatibus crossed the ball to Cometti and the sophomore middie dumped it off to Brock for a goal from the left side.

Compitello, a senior attackman, answered one minute and 49 seconds later when he worked his way from the left against a defender and beat goalkeeper John Carroll as he slid to his right in the crease. Crowley, one of four Seawolves on the all-tournament team, regained his team's three-goal advantage with 6:22 remaining, as he came wide open on the top of the crease after Campbell dodged from the left.

"We took it to them and had a lot of opportunities on net," said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, who fell to this same Stony Brook squad, 15-0, just two weeks ago. "(Charlie) Paar was the difference and he made some tough saves. It's tough to climb out of a 6-0 hole. The first seven minutes (of the game) we a chance to set the tone, but the ball just couldn't fine the net."

Crowley, the America East player of the year, finished with three goals, while Jordan McBride, the nation's second-leading goal scorer, scored twice for the Seawolves, who are making their first NCAA appearance since 2002. Dave Brock, one of three Great Danes on the all-championship squad, had a pair of goals for an offense that fired a season-high 53 shots on the cage. UAlbany goalkeeper John Carroll made eight saves.

"In the second quarter, we pressured, got to ground balls, shot better, and that helped get some momentum," explained senior defenseman Mark Kelly, who totaled one assist, three ground balls and two caused turnovers. "We showed great character and never gave up, but they were able to get a couple of goals to put it away."

Paw Prints: UAlbany and Stony Brook met in the America East Conference championship game for the third time since 2002 ... Stony Brook goalie Charlie Paar was named the championship's most outstanding player ... Kevin Crowley, Robbie Campbell and Steven Waldeck joined him on the all-championship team ... UAlbany's Dave Brock, John Carroll and Kyle Crotty were also on the all-championship squad ... Brock led the Great Danes in scoring with 34 goals and six assists ... the senior scored two-plus goals against 12 opponents this season ... Luke Cometti tied a career-high with two assists ... the Great Danes are 13-9 in the postseason as a NCAA Division I program ... UAlbany advanced to the America East championship final for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

UAlbany & Stony Brook Play for America East Men's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday

Stony Brook, N.Y. - UAlbany and Stony Brook will meet for the America East Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday, May 8 at LaValle Stadium. Face-off is 1:00 p.m. Fans can watch the game free of charge on a live stream at, www.AmericaEast.TV (presented in partnership with Pack Network). The America East Conference champion receives an automatic NCAA berth.

The Seawolves captured the America East Conference regular-season crown. Stony Brook (11-3) posted its seventh consecutive win in a 10-6 tournament semifinal victory over Vermont on May 4. The Seawolves are No. 6 in the USILA national poll and No. 7 in the Inside Lacrosse national rankings. Rick Sowell, the America East coach of the year, is in his fourth season at the helm. Jordan McBride, a first-team all-conference attackman, is second in the nation in goals (3.29 pg) and first in shot percentage (.541). Kevin Crowley, the 2010 America East Player of the Year, is first nationally in scoring at 4.86 points per game. The 6-foot-4 junior accounts for 43 goals and 25 assists and was a first-team All-America East pick for the second straight season.

UAlbany (5-10) has reached the America East Conference championship for the eighth time in the last nine years. The Great Danes upended second-seed UMBC, 11-7, in the semifinal round on May 5. UAlbany finished in a tie for second in the America East standings and earned the postseason tournament's No. 3 seed. Dave Brock is the team's leading scorer with 32 goals and six assists. Mark Kelly and Brendan Gleason, a pair of all-conference selections, direct the defense, while goalkeeper John Carroll has a .519 save percentage and leads the league in saves (11.80 pg). Head coach Scott Marr is in his 10th season. He has led the UAlbany program to four NCAA appearances.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Friday, May 7, 2010

University of Albany Softball's Nicole Kothe Voted to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team - UAlbany Sports 2010

Ithaca, N.Y. - University at Albany's Nicole Kothe has been named to the ESPN The Magazine District I Academic All-America Softball Team, as announced this week by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). The senior was chosen to the all-district second team for the second straight season.

Kothe, a psychology major with a 3.68 cumulative grade point average, is a three-time NFCA Academic Scholar-Athlete who has been a starter in the outfield for the past four seasons. A three-time member of the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll, Kothe carries minors in sociology and education. She has a career batting average of .243 with 111 hits, 50 RBIs, six homers and 70 runs scored.

A native of Middletown, N.Y., she most notably blasted home runs in consecutive games against Maine and Dartmouth. Kothe, who serves on the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a solo home run in the team's 6-3 win over the Black Bears in her final game at Albany Field on April 19. She then drilled her first career grand slam in a 9-2 victory at Dartmouth two days later. Defensively, Kothe has a .959 fielding percentage with just two errors.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Women's Lacrosse Drops 11-9 Decision to UMBC in America East Conference Semifinal Round

Albany, N.Y. - Sophomore attack Emily Coady had three of her four goals in the second half, as UMBC knocked off top seed UAlbany, 11-9, in the semifinals of the America East Conference Tournament on Thursday, May 6 at John Fallon Field. UMBC will meet five-time defending champion Boston University, a 10-6 winner in its semifinal, in Saturday's championship.

UMBC (11-6) trailed by three at the break, but regrouped with three unanswered to draw even at five apiece. Alicia Krause intercepted Christine Grueniger's pass at the top of the scoring zone and drove the length of the field to find the net. Amanda Pappas tied the contest by converting a bounce shot in a free-position situation.

UAlbany (13-3) went back in front when Melanie Sosnowski drove between two defenders and hit the upper left corner. The Retrievers answered with four consecutive goals over the next 10 minutes. Pappas tied the contest with a bounce shot, before Coady put her team ahead by working on a defender and spinning to her right shoulder. Coady slid across the top of the crease, moving right to left, for a two-goal margin. Bria Phillips ended the run by driving in the middle and placing a shot just under the crossbar.

The Great Danes, who won the conference regular-season title for the first time since joining the league in 2002, fought back with back-to-back goals by Olivia Jarem and Grueniger. Jarem fired a free-position shot to right of the goalkeeper, before Grueniger sent another free-position chance inside the left post with 3:58 remaining.

The Retrievers, who avenged an 11-10 loss to UAlbany on their home field during the regular schedule, thwarted any comeback attempt with a pair of goals 32 seconds apart. Lindsay Cox drove into the middle of the zone and sent a high shot into the cage. Coady scored on a wraparound, moving from behind to the left of the cage, for an 11-8 lead with 2:20 to play.

"Draw controls are obviously a big part of the game," UAlbany goalkeeper Ashley Ross explained. "When we are not getting in our attack, it is kind of hard to play defense for the whole second half. It is very frustrating to live through, but UMBC is a good team. If they get on a run, they seem to get going. We didn't do enough to step up and stop those runs."

The Great Danes built a 4-0 lead midway through the first half. Grueniger took a pass from Taylor Fink, one of her three assists on the day, and scored from left of the crease with one minute and 23 seconds elapsed. Jarem then split two defenders on a drive from the left side. Rachael Burek and Grueniger found the net 19 seconds apart to complete the outburst. Nikki Branchini keyed the fourth goal when she won the draw that led to the scoring play.

Ashley Stodter, who scored twice, converted a free-position attempt that bounced under the crossbar to get the Retrievers on the scoreboard. UMBC cut the deficit to 5-2 by halftime when Meagan Linkous caused a turnover that led to Coady's fastbreak goal with 19.3 seconds remaining in the period.

"It was an interesting game," offered UAlbany's Lindsey Hart, the America East coach of the year. "I think the tough thing was that early on we probably should have been up more (than we were). We played a lot of defense in the first half, and I think it just wore us down a little bit. I think we really never got into our groove. Even when we were up by a couple, we were concerned and we weren't clicking. They were fighting as hard as they could, but it just wouldn't come through for us today."

UAlbany's Grueniger and Jarem each had three goals, while Ross stopped a career-best 13 shots. UMBC goalkeeper Kate Quick made eight saves.

"It was an awesome four years playing with these girls and for Lindsey (Hart)," said UAlbany senior Kayla Best, who finished her career second on the all-time scoring list. "I will look back four years down the road and I'm sure that (the program) will win the America East (championship). I will then be able to say, ‘hey, I was a part of that.' It was a great experience."

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

University of Albany Men's Lacrosse Upends UMBC In America East Semifinals; Meets Stony Brook for Championship - UAlbany Sports 2010

Baltimore, Md. - Dave Brock scored two second-half goals and goalkeeper John Carroll made 11 saves, as UAlbany upended UMBC, 11-7, in the semifinal round of the America East Conference Championship on Wednesday, May 5 at UMBC Stadium. The Great Danes, the tournament's third seed, will travel to top seed Stony Brook for the conference title game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

UAlbany (5-10) doubled its halftime lead by blanking the second-seeded Retrievers in the third quarter. Matt Johnson connected on a hard bounce shot midway through the period. Brock canned an extra-man goal just over one minute later when he rolled around midfielder Michael Bryan from the left for an 8-4 advantage.

Rob Grimm, who had three goals and one assist, put UMBC (4-9) on the scoreboard first in the final period when he cut to the top of the crease to finish off Maxx Davis' right-to-left crossing pass. But the Great Danes came back with pair of goals to post their biggest lead. After a Retriever turnover and a delay-of-game penalty, Rocky Bonitatibus drilled a shot into the net with a man-advantage. Brock picked up a loose ball in the middle of the zone and sent a sidearm delivery past goalie Adam Cohen for a 10-5 margin with 5:24 to play. Matt Kehoe hit an empty net against a defensive double-team two minutes to seal the outcome.

"We switched between zone and man (defenses) and that kept them off balance," said defenseman Mark Kelly, who collected five ground balls and caused two turnovers. "(John) Carroll made some big saves. Our intensity was high and we played with pride."

The Great Danes, who had lost five straight on this field to UMBC, including a 12-7 decision during the regular season, erased an early 1-0 deficit by scoring four times in a span of one minute and 41 seconds. Freshman Mike Woods tallied his first as a collegian from the right to put his team ahead after defenseman Brendan Gleason picked up a turnover and started the transition play. Jack Reynolds added the second of two first-quarter goals by dodging from the top and shooting with his left hand. Anthony Ostrander finished the run when he scored with the long pole from the left after Matt Mackenzie won the face-off.

UMBC's Chris Jones scored back-to-back goals to cut the lead to one by the end of the quarter. He fired a shot into the net from left against the visitors' zone defense and then wheeled to his right shoulder to score from the inside off Rob Grimm's feed. Dwayne Stewart, a redshirt freshman, kept the Great Danes in front with a pair of second-quarter goals. He blasted a 15-yard shot to right of goalkeeper Adam Cohen high into the cage, as his team took a 6-4 lead to the intermission.

"We were physical and checked hard," said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose team ended a four-game skid in the series that dated back to the 2007 conference championship game. "It was a team effort and we got contributions from everyone. Our short-stick midfielders played great one-on-one defense and were certainly a key to our success."

Paw Prints: UAlbany has advanced to the America East championship final for the eighth time in the last last nine years ... John Carroll has made 10 or more saves in 12 of 15 starting assignments ... Dave Brock is among the America East leaders with 32 goals ... the senior has netted two-plus goals against 11 opponents this season ... Dwayne Stewart scored a career-high two goals ... Anthony Ostrander's first-quarter goal was his first at the collegiate level ... UMBC's Matt Latham and Kyle Wimer, who combined for 10 points in their team's regular-season win over the Great Danes, were held scoreless in tonight's semifinal ... UAlbany and Stony Brook will play in the America East championship game for the third time, having previously met for the title in 2002 and 2005.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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