Albany WLAX Falls to Northwestern in NCAA 1st Round
STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Three Great Danes had at least three points, but the #17/RV UAlbany women's lacrosse team fell to Northwestern 15-7 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Stony Brook on Friday night.
UAlbany (12-6) tried to chip away at an early six-goal deficit, but was not able to catch up to Northwestern (11-9).
“We did not have our best stuff early on, and against a great team like Northwestern, you have to find it quickly,” said UAlbany head coach John Battaglino. “It just was not our night.”
UAlbany's senior class finished their careers tonight. Together, they helped UAlbany go a combined 51-20, including an America East regular season title, four conference title game appearances and the program's first two at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament.
“Their fight, spirit and skill level that they brought, you cannot say enough about that,” said Battaglino of his seniors. “Without that, we would not have been here tonight.”
Dakotah Savitcheff led UAlbany with four of the team's seven goals, finishing with 210 in her career, the all-time mark at UAlbany. Emma Powlin had a goal and four assists while Sarah Martin got two goals and one assist. Martin finished with 109 points the year, the highest single season mark in UAlbany women's lacrosse history. Erin Leghart had the loss with five saves.
For Northwestern, Danita Stroup netted six goals on seven shots while Claire Quinn had four goals. Mallory Weisse picked up the win in goal with five saves.
In the opening five minutes, Northwestern scored on its first two offensive possessions, each on runs to the cage, for an early 2-0 lead. UAlbany held on the next possession but missed on offense after a yellow card on the Great Danes. Northwestern added two more goals for a 4-0 lead nine minutes in.
Getting a turnover on the other end, UAlbany raced to the clear. Powlin passed from near side to Savitcheff between two defenders for the catch and shoot goal, pulling to within three with just over 10 minutes through.
Northwestern got the next three goals, capped by a pair from Quinn. UAlbany got a goal back as Martin pulled down a high pass from Powlin and scored on the doorstep to make it 7-2 Northwestern with under 10 minutes in the 1st.
The teams traded goals before the end of the half, with Savitcheff adding a second on a catch and shoot from Martin, to make it 8-3 Northwestern at the half.
Northwestern scored the first four goals of the second half in the opening 10 minutes, building its lead to nine. Savitcheff stopped Northwestern's run with a goal just under the crossbar off a pass from Powlin, making it 12-4 with 18:55 remaining.
After two quick Northwestern goals, the UAlbany defense held on the next few possessions, adding a Martin backhand goal to get the deficit to nine. Northwestern got it back to 10, then UAlbany struck with late goals by Powlin and Savitcheff, but the Great Danes could not get closer, falling 15-7.
This was UAlbany's second NCAA Tournament in the past three years.