Albany Wins America East, Secures NCAA Bid

Albany Wins America East, Secures NCAA Bid

Albany Wins America East, Secures NCAA Bid

Albany Wins America East, Secures NCAA Bid

Albany, N.Y. - Chris Martocchia scored a career-high six goals and Merrick Thomson added five goals and one assist in leading UAlbany to its third consecutive America East Conference men's lacrosse championship with a 16-7 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon at University Field. The Great Danes earned their third straight NCAA berth as the conference's tournament champion.

UAlbany (10-5) opened the contest with four unanswered goals. Thomson cut to the top of the crease and deposited Luke Daquino's pass from behind the cage with just one minute and 42 seconds elapsed. Brendan Russell, who had three goals, then scored back-to-back on a pair of bounce shots. His 15-yard blast following an intercepted clearing attempt gave his team a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, the championship's most outstanding player Kevin Rae, a senior goalkeeper, made eight of his 14 saves in the first quarter to ensure that UAlbany got off to that good start.

Stony Brook (10-6), who upset top-seed UMBC in the semifinal round, was still within striking distance midway through the second period, when Adam Marksberry tallied an extra-man goal to close the gap to 6-3. But the Great Danes reeled off three consecutive goals and were never in trouble after that point. Freshman Jordan Levine hit the top left corner while running free in the middle of the field after a failed clear. Martocchia scored twice in a 40-second span, the second goal on a shot from the left side in a man-advantage situation. The Great Danes, who led by six at halftime, would use another three-goal run in the final seven minutes of the third quarter to seal the verdict. Daquino, who had one goal and four assists, finished off Frank Resetarits' crossing pass, before Martocchia and Thomson added goals for a commanding 13-5 margin.

"Our attitude and approach to this game was excellent," said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose team reached the 10-win mark, a school record, for the third consecutive season. "This group has learned how to win. They played together and our defense was awesome." Bo Tripoldi and Rhys Duchs each had two goals for the Seawolves, who had won five of their last seven games entering the championship final. Jason Cappadoro added three assists. UAlbany's Resetarits handed out a career-best six assists for an attack that scored 10-plus goals for the tenth time this season.

"We didn't settle for anything but a championship," said Russell, who joined Rae, Daquino, Thomson and defenseman Patrick McSweeney on the all-tournament team. "Our seniors represent Coach Marr's first recruiting class, so we were on a mission this week. I tried to be more assertive, and it always helps when you make that first shot of the game." The Great Danes, who played Princeton and last year's national champion Syracuse in their previous two NCAA appearances, will find out their opponent on Sunday evening when the tournament field in unveiled.

Post A Comment To This Story >

(no subject)
    by (#44236) on 5/08/05 @5:58PM
Albany is really gaining some steam as they go into their third straight NCAA appearance. I don't think they will be a pushover in the tournament. I am sure that nobody wants to play them right now.

The seniors on this team are really going to pull this team together and might shock the world. Two of the best attackman in D1 and a good solid defense anchored by the most underrated goalie in all of lacrosse. Who will they play, Cornell, UMass, UVA?

AE POY should have been Thompson and AE COY should have been Marr as they proved this yesterday when they dominated Stony Brook who beat Rutgers, Penn State, Delaware, and almost upset Army at home.
 
Reply to this