Albany Repeats As Women's Lacrosse Champions
BOSTON -- The fourth-seeded University at Albany Great Danes knocked off the top two seeds, including second-seeded Stony Brook University Saturday afternoon in the conference final at Boston U.'s Nickerson Field, to capture the program's second straight America East Women's Lacrosse Championship. Albany scored the upset with a 9-7 victory over the Seawolves, never trailing in the contest.
The Great Danes (12-5) earned the America East's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, whose field of 16 teams and bracket will be revealed during the selection show on NCAA.com Sunday night at 9 p.m.
Tournament Most Outstanding Player Mel Rorie, who missed last year's championship and undefeated regular season due to a season-ending injury, led the Great Danes with a hat trick in the tournament title game. Rorie finished the tournament with a team-leading seven goals after notching four in the semifinal win against number one-seeded Boston U. on Thursday.
The Great Danes bolted out to a 5-1 lead in the first half, dominating possession with their patient and methodical attack. Rorie scored twice during that run, including the fifth goal of the half with just 11 seconds left, off a feed from Jess Antelmi, who finished the day with three points on a pair of goals and a helper.
America East Player of the Year Claire Petersen from Stony Brook quickly responded with a goal just two seconds until halftime to bring the Seawolves within three, 5-2, at the break.
The late tally gave Stony Brook some momentum as it struck first in the second half as well on Janine Hillier's 47th goal of the season about four minutes into the final frame.
After Antelmi scored for the Great Danes less than three minutes later, junior midfielder Demmianne Cook, the Division I leader in goals, notched her 68th goal of the season off a beautiful feed from Mercier. That goal started a 4-1 run for the Seawolves to knot the score at 7-7 with 4:59 remaining in regulation.
On an important draw opportunity, Albany freshman Nichole Eamer earned possession for the Great Danes, who capitalized on the opportunity. Freshman Maureen Keggins scored the game-winning tally just over a minute after the Seawolves tied the game from an Amanda Pollock feed.
After Albany's Rachael Burek won her 64th draw of the year on the ensuing play, Stony Brook received two separate yellow cards to play the rest of the game short-handed. Pollock finished up the scoring with 11 seconds left on an empty-net goal to make it 9-7.
Albany sophomore goaltender Anna Berman got the win in net with five saves and seven goals allowed. She made three stops in the second-half including a big one halfway through the frame on a Petersen point-blank shot which led to Rorie's third goal of the game less than a minute later on the other end of the field to make it 7-4 at the time.
Despite the bulk of the possession being in Albany's favor, shots were even at 18 apiece with Stony Brook outshooting Albany 12-7 in the second stanza. The Seawolves had the slight edge in ground balls 11-10, and each team won nine draws.
Petersen and Cook each had two goals and an assist for the Seawolves who finish the season with a 14-5 overall record, a 10-win improvement on last season's campaign. Junior goalkeeper Hannah Perruccio finished with five saves, including four in the first half, and eight goals against in 57:57 of action.
2012 All-Championship Team
Mel Rorie, Albany * Most Outstanding Player
Rachael Burek, Albany
Ariana Parker, Albany
Jenn Primeau, Albany
Michelle Rubino, Stony Brook
Claire Petersen, Stony Brook
Emily Mercier, Stony Brook
Monica Baumgartner, Boston U.
Danielle Etrasco, Boston U.
Anna Barnett, UMBC
Devan Hibbs, UMBC