Albany vs. Denver
February 21, 2009
The Game Story:
Albany, N.Y. – Charley Dickenson had three goals and two assists as Denver held off UAlbany, 10-9, in the Great Danes’ home opener at John Fallon Field on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Denver (1-1) snapped a 6-6 deadlock with a pair of goals in the last minute of the third quarter. Senior attacker Cliff Smith moved around a long-stick midfielder and bounced a shot into the right side of the net with 38.7 seconds remaining in the period. Dickenson then drove from behind the cage and scored from the left with one tick left on the clock.

After UAlbany (0-1) closed with 8-7 on a behind-the-back shot by Brian Caufield, the Pioneers stretched their advantage to a three-goal cushion. Joey Murray tallied his third goal of the game when he spun to his right shoulder and sent a blast into the upper right corner. Dickenson, a junior midfielder, then faked high and went low on a drive from behind the net with 6:32 to play.

The Great Danes, who are ranked No. 17 in the current USILA coaches’ poll, closed within one goal three minutes later when Dave Brock scored twice. The junior college All-American buried a 15-yard shot from the right point and followed one minute and 44 seconds later off a pass from midfielder Mark Cometti. The play originated in the defensive end when the Great Danes forced a turnover with a double-team.

UAlbany has two excellent chances to force overtime, but Denver goalkeeper Peter Lowell was up to the challenge with two of his 13 saves. Lowell stopped Brock’s behind-the-back attempt with one minute remaining after the Great Danes once again forced a miscue by doubling the ball. The Great Danes’ Corey Small came open in the middle of the field with 17 seconds on the clock, but Lowell thwarted the senior’s blast from six yards in front of the cage to preserve the road win.

“Their goalie was the difference in the game,” said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose team is also ranked No. 13 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll. “You can’t ask for a better opportunity with your best player shooting from six or seven yards away. We started slowly and weren’t moving our feet well. We could have been sharper at certain times in the game.”

The Pioneers, who were coming off a 20-7 loss to nationally-ranked North Carolina in their opener one week ago, leaped to a 4-1 lead in the second quarter. Alex Gaijic’s extra-man goal from left of the crease gave his team that three-goal cushion.

UAlbany rattled off three unanswered in the third period to go ahead 5-4. Small, who had three goals and one assist, scored from the top of the crease with a man-advantage, before Caufield put his team ahead from the middle of the zone after a restart. Murray and Dickenson netted a pair of unassisted goals to help the Pioneers regain the lead. UAlbany’s Joe Pompo drew his squad even by working his way around a defender to score from the left side. Pompo and Caufield each finished with two goals and one assist.

“They came out firing and we were a step behind,” said Brock, who totaled 115 goals in his two seasons at Herkimer County Community College and set up Small for the potential game-tying score. “The game isfaster and there is a lot more talent (at this level). We need to work on the little things and next time we will be in a position to execute.”