Albany vs. Hartford
April 1, 2009
The Game Story:
Albany, N.Y. – John Alpizar scored twice in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner with just over two minutes remaining, as UAlbany rallied for a 9-8 victory over Hartford in America East Conference play on Wednesday, April 1 at John Fallon Field. The contest was the second half of a home lacrosse doubleheader, as part of Spring Stomp, the school’s spring homecoming event.

Hartford (0-9, AE 0-2) took the nation’s 18th-ranked team to the limit and erased a 6-3 halftime deficit with five unanswered in the third quarter. Ryan Compitello, who totaled three goals and one assist, drew his team even at six apiece with 8:07 to play. The freshman attack scored from right of the crease off a feed from behind the cage by Carter Bender.

The Hawks, who have not tasted victory since the 2007 season, went ahead in the late stages of period. Vinny Pellizzi tallied his sixth goal of the year when he connected on a jump shot from the right side. Defenseman Conor Flynn recorded an unlikely goal with 7.8 seconds remaining in the quarter. Flynn, using a long pole, fired into the scoring area from just over midfield. The ball skipped in front of the crease and went by goalkeeper John Carroll low into the net for an 8-6 advantage.

UAlbany (6-2, AE 2-0) scored twice in a 44-second span midway through the final period. Alpizar, a senior midfielder, worked around the backside of the cage and hit the top corner, his first goal since last May’s America East tournament semifinal. Sophomore Derek Kreuzer got the equalizer in an extra-man situation, when he connected from right of the crease off Dave Brock’s diagonal pass.

After a Hartford turnover in the Great Danes’ offensive end with three minutes left, Alpizar again came around the left side of the net but this time shot the ball to right side of goalkeeper Scott Bement. The Hawks, who now have been involved in seven decisions decided by two goals or less this season, had an opportunity to force overtime, but Pellizzi’s shot hit the right side of the cage with 18 seconds remaining.

“They played us tough for sixty minutes,” said UAlbany defenseman Garrett Pedley, whose squad has won six of its last seven starts. “They have gone through some rough years where they didn’t get the right bounces, but they are talented and getting better. You can’t take anyone lightly in this era of Division I lacrosse.”

In the second quarter, Hartford tied the game at three apiece, as Compitello took a pass, cutting right to left, and sent it into the net. The Great Danes ripped off three straight in a two-minute span to build their halftime margin. Joe Resetarits, a freshman who had three goals and one assist, broke the deadlock when Joe Pompo found him on the left side of the crease. Brian Caufield hit the lower right corner 46 seconds later. Resetarits delivered a laser-beam shot under the crossbar from the left side for a three-goal lead.

“They didn’t give up and they outworked us,” explained Resetarits, who totaled three-plus goals for the fourth time this season. “It seemed they wanted it a little more and played aggressive. Their goalie made some great saves in the third quarter. They are good; they are not a bad team.”

Hartford’s Bement finished with 18 saves, including seven in the final period. Caufield had two goals for the Great Danes, who have reached the win column in 32 of 40 America East regular-season games since joining the conference in 2002.