Courtesy of Albany Athletic Communications
Gainesville, Fla.- UAlbany's Jess Antelmi tallied two goals and one assist in the loss against Florida, 6-4, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, May 12 at Donald R. Dizney Lacrosse Stadium. The Great Danes finish out the 2012 season 12-6 overall.
UAlbany's gameplan of keeping the ball from Florida was successful, holding the Gators to a season-low 11 shots all game (previously 18 vs. Northwestern).
"One, keep the ball on offense for a while, and not let them touch it", said UAlbany head coach John Battaglino on today's gameplan. "That was part of it. Although, we knew it would limit our scoring chances, we had to be very selective. That was half of it. Also, we don't have the bodies right now to run up and down the field with Florida, especially in the heat. Defensively, I thought we were very well prepared. We watched them, planned our match-ups very well and continued to hammer it home all week what we were trying to do, trying to accomplish and trying to limit space. Jess (Davos, assistant coach) did an outstanding job. I thought we got better at it as the game went along. Sometime I kid around saying they don't believe me the first couple times, but then they gauge the other team and we started playing up to speed. I thought that's what we did. We felt them out a little bit, gave them a few early, then we did pretty well."
A slow first half for UAlbany, as Florida attacked early and often when it took possession on the offensive end.
Florida (18-2) rattled off four quick goals to grab the 4-0 lead with 14:08 remaining in the first. The Gators took off the first 36 seconds after the first draw to draw first blood from the stick of Nora Barry.
After Florida goalie Mikey Meagher defended UAlbany's Ariana Parker free-position opportunity, Ashley Bruns ran the entire field and dished to teammate Brittany Dashiell to give the Gators a 2-0 lead. Florida would add on two more from the stick's off Shannon Gilroy and Nicole Graziano to extend the lead to four, 4-0, with 14:08 remaining in the first.
Then at the 11:28 mark, UAlbany (12-6) responded as Jess Antelmi wrapped around the back of the net to give the Danes their first goal of the game to cut the deficit to three, 4-1.
Florida out shot UAlbany, 7-5, while UAlbany held an 8-6 ground ball advantage in the first half.
UAlbany opened up the second half with the first three shots and the first goal to cut the deficit to two, 4-2, with 16:30 remaining in the game. Jess Antelmi setup teammate Amanda Pollock for the Danes second goal of the game.
Florida then ran off with the next two goals to extend its largest lead of four, 6-2, with 13:26 left in the game. Gilroy would tally her second goal of the game, while Kitty Cullen tallied her first.
The Great Danes' Ariana Parker scored her first goal of the game off of a free-position opportunity and Antelmi tallied her second goal of the game to put UAlbany within two, 6-4, with 4:23 left int he game.
UAlbany goalkeeper Anna Berman made a big save at the 3:38 mark to keep the Danes within two, 6-4. But Florida would hold on to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals and face the winner of Penn. State/Towson.
"Credit UAlbany for just a fantastic job today", said Florida head coach Amanda O'Leary on the Great Danes. "They came in here with a ton of heart. They were scrappy. (UAlbany head coach) John (Battaglino) came in with a team that was incredibly prepared to play. So credit UAlbany for a great game. I'm really proud of our kids as well. I think they came out and they competed. I don't think everything went as we had scripted, but still competed hard, played hard and came out with a win."
Anna Berman (11-6) tallied three saves on nine chances in the Great Dane loss. Florida goalkeeper Mikey Meagher held the UAlbany offense to just four goals on nine chances.