Albany vs. Vermont
April 20, 2008
The Game Story:
Albany, N.Y. – Brian Caufield had five goals and Joe Pompo added three in leading UAlbany to a 13-3 America East Conference victory over Vermont on Sunday, April 20 before 1,018 fans at sun-drenched John Fallon Field. The Great Danes moved into a tie for second place in the conference standings.

UAlbany (6-7, AE 3-1) was in complete control from the start. Derek Kreuzer, a freshman who had a career game with two goals and one assist, dodged a defender and converted a low shot from 10 yards away to get his team on the board. The Great Danes, who rebounded nicely from a loss to top-ranked Syracuse on Friday evening, scored 29 seconds apart to open up a 3-0 advantage. Caufield moved to the top of the crease through the defense after Alpizar came up with a ground ball. Pompo then netted a shot from the right side off a pass by Kreuzer from the point.

Caufield scored three times in a five-goal second quarter as his team posted an 8-0 halftime lead. The freshman attacker connected off a fastbreak feed from Jordan Levine following a Vermont turnover. After Nate Sullivan’s man-up goal, Caufield tallied a pair within a 55-second span. Levine found him on the crease with a long crossing pass from the left, and the rookie place a high shot in the cage. He than netted his fourth of the half when Alpizar drove from the left to set him up on the right crease.

The Great Danes, who clinched an America East postseason tournament berth for the seventh consecutive year, upped their margin to 10-0 early in the third quarter. Pompo, a freshman who started for injured leading-scorer Corey Small, hit an empty net after Alpizar broke up a clearing attempt and fed the 6-foot-4 attackman. Caufield scored his 22nd of the season with 12:35 remaining in the period off a crossing pass from behind the cage by Alpizar.

“We played well for four quarters,” said UAlbany goalkeeper Brett Queener, who made 10 saves in 41-plus minutes of action. “The defense was disciplined and the offense was effective. I was a little spent after Friday, but we will have to play two games in three days during our (postseason) tournament.”

Vermont (4-10, AE 1-3) did all of its scoring in the third period. Derek Lichtfuss, the team’s top scorer, broke up the shutout with a shot from the left side with 9:38 left in the stanza. Kyle Sminkey and Andrew Kelleher found the cage. Kelleher finished off a transition play following a turnover. Starting UVM goalkeeper Justin Lubas stopped 10 shots.

“We made a statement to ourselves,” UAlbany coach Scott Marr offered. “This was a huge win. We played at high level for the entire game. Even our reserves kept them off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.”

UAlbany’s Levine tied a career-high with three assists and had a third-quarter goal, while Alpizar handed out a career-best four assists. Back-up goalkeepers Dan McKeon and A.J. Babnik combined on six saves, as the defense held its fourth opponent this season under the five-goal mark.

“We went out and played with a purpose,” said Alpizar, a junior midfielder. “Every game is a playoff game now. The defense has been doing a great job throughout the season, so the offense needs to step it up and score some goals.”