Albany vs. Quinnipiac
May 1, 2002
The Game Story:
Albany, N.Y. - Freshman Luke Daquino scored a career-high five goals and added two assists, as top-seed Albany posted a 12-5 victory over Quinnipiac in the semifinals of the America East Conference Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Varsity Field. Albany (9-6) hosts Saturday's championship at 1:00 p.m.

The Great Danes, who have won seven of their last eight games, used a stingy defense to post a 5-1 halftime lead. Freshman goalkeeper Kevin Rae, the conference's rookie of the year, made six of his career-best 20 saves in the first quarter. Daquino, who had three goals and two assists in the first half, scored twice in the opening period.

Quinnpiac, the fourth seed who dropped a double-overtime game to Albany in regular season, used three consecutive goals to pull within 6-4 with 8:06 remaining in the third quarter. Dan Kerrigan converted a man-advantage opportunity off a feed from Mike Baglio.

But Daquino, who also tied a career-high with seven points, helped Albany pull away with back-to-back goals. He rifled a shot that beat goalkeeper T.J. Barnett to the left side with 4:56 left in the third stanza, and then scored from a low angle at the top of the crease for a four-goal lead early in the final quarter.

Quinnipiac (6-7) was still within striking distance, when Andy Pelletier's goal closed the gap to 8-5. But the Great Danes, who will play for the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in the final, came back with goals 58 seconds apart by Christopher Preble and Brendan Russell.

Albany attacker Michael Solazzo finished with two goals and one assist, while Russell tallied a pair of goals. Barnett totaled 10 saves in the Quinnipiac cage.