Albany vs. Stony Brook
April 30, 2003
The Game Story:
Albany, N.Y. - Sophomore attackman Luke Daquino had three goals, including two in the fourth quarter, and added one assist, as Albany advanced to the America East Conference championship game for the second straight year with an 11-5 victory over Stony Brook on Wednesday afternoon at Varsity Field. The Great Danes, who extended their winning streak to five straight, will face the Hartford-Vermont winner in this evening's other semifinal in West Hartford, Conn. The championship is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at the highest remaining seed's home field.

Albany (9-5) built a 6-0 lead in the third quarter on back-to-back goals by junior attack Michael Solazzo, who also had two assists. Solazzo netted his 30th goal of the season, when he converted Matthew Green's pass over the top of the cage with 11:44 left in the period.

Stony Brook (5-10) rallied with five unanswered goals to get back into the contest. Freshman attack Jason Cappadoro, who had two goals and two assists, scored twice in that stretch. Kevin Shea sliced the deficit to 6-5 with 13:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, when he found the net from the top of the crease off Cappadoro's pass from behind.

Daquino, the America East player of the year, then gave his team a two-goal margin 29 seconds later. The Seawolves' Fraser Kersey was called for a slashing penalty, and Daquino converted the extra-man opportunity from the left side as the Great Danes worked a weave at the top of the box.

The Great Danes, who lost to Stony Brook in last year's championship final, pulled away when Chris Driscoll and Daquino scored one minute and 31 seconds apart for a 9-5 lead. Driscoll, a senior midfielder, connected with a low shot from the right side on a spin move, before Daquino working his way through the middle and hit the upper corner with 6:58 to play.

"We were solid defensively today," Albany coach Scott Marr said. "We focused on not letting them get inside and coming up with any loose balls in front of the net. Kevin Rae, our goalkeeper, has had an up-and-down season, but he made some big saves and was able to initial our fastbreak offense a couple of times."

Rae finished with 16 saves, including 11 in the second half, as he stopped double-figure shots for the tenth time this season. Chris Martocchia and Driscoll each scored a pair of goals, while Green, a freshman midfielder, had one goal and two assists.