Stony Brook, Albany Advance to WLAX Title Game
STONY BROOK, N.Y. – For the third-straight year, the top-seeded Stony Brook Seawolves and second-seeded Albany Great Danes will meet for the America East women's lacrosse title after both teams advanced with wins in the semifinals on Friday night at LaValle Stadium. Stony Brook defeated No. 4 New Hampshire, 13-5, and Albany beat No. 3 Vermont, 12-8.
The championship game will be played Sunday at noon and will be available nationally on ESPN3. The winner will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. Recap Friday's games:
Freshman Courtney Murphy scored six goals to carry the Stony Brook offense and the top-seeded Seawolves advanced to the America East title game for the third-straight year with a, 13-5, win over No. 4 New Hampshire.
While Murphy starred for the offense, the Stony Brook (15-3) defense held their 17th opponent of the year to single-digit goals and 12th to five or fewer goals. The Seawolves forced 15 turnovers while goalkeeper Frankie Caridi anchored the defensive effort with six saves.
Freshman Dorrien Van Dyke (2 g) and junior Michelle Rubino (2 g) helped Murphy on the offensive end. Laura Puccia paced UNH (7-10) with a pair of goals and goalkeeper Taylor Hurwitz made eight stops in net.
New Hampshire was able to strike first as Laura McHoul took a feed from Brooke McGillis, putting the Wildcats up 1-0 at the 21:28 mark of the first half. The UNH defense held Stony Brook without a shot and forced four turnovers through the first 10 minutes.
Freshman Kristin Yevoli put Stony Brook on the board with 13 minutes left, darting in front of the net from the right side. The junior’s goal started a run of three-straight for Stony Brook, giving the Seawolves a 3-1 lead with 10:11 remaining in the half following an Emily Mercier tally.
New Hampshire closed the gap to one on a Laura Puccia goal, taking a difficult feed from Kayleigh Hinkle from behind the cage and finishing to the upper-right corner. The Wildcats used their offense to control the pace of play and kept the deficit to 3-2 for the majority of the first half.
The Seawolves carried momentum into halftime with two goals over the final 1:33. Rookie of the Year Dorrien Van Dyke scored the first and Murphy had the second as Stony Brook took a 5-2 lead into the locker room.
Puccia scored an important goal for the Wildcats in the second, cutting the Stony Brook lead to 5-3 with 24:18 left, but the Wildcats would not get any closer.
Murphy answered with a quick-stick shot on a feed from Cardillo to make it 6-3. Rubino tallied five minutes later to extend Stony Brook’s lead to four at 7-3 with 18:42 remaining.
Stony Brook scored five of the final six goals of the game, including three from Murphy, to advance to the team’s third title game in program history and improve to 3-0 in semifinal contests under head coach Joe Spallina.
No. 2 Albany 12, No. 3 Vermont 8
Seven different Great Danes scored as Albany advanced to its fourth-straight America East title game with a, 12-8, win over Vermont in the second semifinal on Friday night at LaValle Stadium.
Katherine Sweeney paced the Albany (14-2) attack with a hat trick while Maureen Keggins and Ariana Parker added two goals apiece. Anna Berman made three stops in net Erin Monna had three caused turnovers on the defensive end.
First Team All-Conference selection, Jessica Roach, and Marcie Marino led the Vermont (12-6) offense with three goals each. Meg Hopkins played well in net, making eight saves for the Catamounts.
Nichole Eamer opened the scoring early, tallying just over a minute into the game to give Albany a 1-0 advantage.
After Marino scored to tie the game for Vermont, Albany scored the next five goals with five different players getting on the scoresheet. Four of the goals were unassisted, with Sweeney finishing the last of the run off a Rachel Bowles assist with 7:22 remaining in the first half. The two sides traded tallies before heading into the locker room with Albany up, 7-2.
The Great Danes built the lead to as much as 10-3 following Parker's second goal of the game with just over 17 minutes left.
A fiesty Vermont team fought back with the team's two top-scorers getting the offense on track. Senior Sydney Mas notched her 60th goal of the season to start the run, adding to her single-season program record. Jessica Roach scored the next two, pulling Vermont within four (10-6) with still 9:38 remaining.
Albany freshman and All-Rookie team selection helped ice the game, scoring back-to-back goals to extend the advantage to 12-6 at the 2:37 mark.
It is the fifth trip to the America East final in Albany program history (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2007) as the team goes for its third tournament crown.