Vermont, Hartford Post Upset Wins in #AEMLAX Semis to Reach Title Game
ALBANY, N.Y. – For the first time in America East men’s lacrosse history, the No. 3 and 4 seeds will meet for the America East men’s lacrosse title as third-seeded Vermont and fourth-seeded Hartford both won their semifinal contests at the America East Championship Thursday at Albany's Casey Stadium. The Catamounts outscored second-seeded Stony Brook, 7-4, in the second half to advance to their first-ever championship game with a 10-9 victory while the Hawks dominated faceoff circle and beat top-seeded Albany, 11-10 in overtime.
Vermont and Hartford will decide the 2016 league title on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. at Albany’s Casey Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
America East Men's Lacrosse Championship Semifinals
#3 Vermont 10, #2 Stony Brook 9
- Vermont (9-7) outscored 13th-ranked Stony Brook, 7-4, in the second half and 3-1 in the fourth quarter to win their first-ever America East Championship contest.
- The Catamounts were 0-4 previously in tournament play.
- The win was Vermont’s first-ever against Stony Brook after losing each of the first 16 meetings between the two teams.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Jon Kaplan made 17 saves and stopped five of the six shots he saw in the fourth quarter.
- Stony Brook (12-4), which reached the league’s championship game last year, jumped out to a 4-1 lead, scoring four-straight goals to close out the first quarter.
- Challen Rogers, a first-team All-Conference choice, scored his second goal of the game to beat the clock with two seconds left to end the period.
- The Catamounts, whose nine wins are their most since 2006, outscored the Seawolves, 2-1, in the second period but Stony Brook led 5-3 at the break.
- After Ryan Bitzer gave Stony Brook a 6-3 lead early in the third quarter, Vermont tallied the next four goals to take a 7-6 lead before the Seawolves scored twice before the end of the period and led 8-7.
- The two teams traded goals early in the fourth quarter before Vermont scored the final two of the game.
- Cam Milligan one-handed a shot into the goal with his back to net with 3:26 remaining to put Vermont up 10-9 on what proved to be the game winner
- Seven different Catamounts scored goals, including two each by Milligan, Jack Knight and Ian MacKay.
- Rogers and Bitzer both scored twice to lead Stony Brook.
#4 Hartford 11, #1 Albany 10 (OT)
- Justin Huggins’ goal 1:28 into overtime gave Hartford (10-6) an 11-10 win over fourth-ranked Albany to send the Hawks to their first America East title game since 2011.
- Hartford’s win snaps Albany’s 28-game win streak against conference foes.
- The Hawks are the first No. 4 seed to ever win an America East Championship game.
- Huggins scored a game-high five goals and added two assists.
- Dylan Protesto, a first-team All-Conference selection, won 20-of-24 faceoffs for the Hawks.
- The game was even through the first two quarters as it was tied 3-3 after one and 5-5 heading into the break.
- Huggins scored his fourth of the day to open up the second half scoring, giving Hartford their first lead.
- But Albany (12-3), which now awaits a potential NCAA at-large berth, scored four of the game’s next six goals and led 10-8 with four minutes left in the game.
- Hartford, whose 10 wins are its most since 2011, scored twice, including its equalizer, Alec Brown’s man-up goal, with 28 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
- In the extra session, Huggins buried a turnaround shot inside the left post for the sudden victory goal.
- Griffin Feiner added four goals for Hartford.
- Albany was led by Connor Fields’ three scores.