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College lacrosse: Great Danes will face Denver in first round of NCAAs

Monday, May 6, 2013
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The University at Albany men’s lacrosse team is going to be taking its high-scoring offense to the Rocky Mountains.

Making its fifth NCAA appearance and first since 2007, the Great Danes will visit fourth-seed Denver on Saturday for its first-round NCAA contest. The game, which faces off at 7:30 p.m. EDT, will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

“Denver lacrosse fans will witness early fireworks when two of the nation’s best offenses get together here on Saturday evening,” said Denver coach Bill Tierney on the college’s website.

The Great Danes will be the only area team taking part in the NCAAs, as both the Siena men’s team and the UAlbany women lost in their conference championship games Sunday.

Albany (13-4), the 12th-ranked team in the nation, earned the America East Conference’s automatic bid to the tournament with a 19-10 win over UMBC in the title game Saturday. Lyle Thompson earned the championship’s Most Outstanding Player honor by totaling a tournament-record 15 points in the Great Danes’ two games.

The Great Danes will enter the NCAAs having won nine of their last 10 games and as the nation’s top scoring team, averaging 16.1 goals per game.

Denver (12-4), an at-large selection, tied for the best record in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and was the top seed for its tournament. The Pioneers have wins over NCAA teams Ohio State, Duke and Loyola this year.

The 16-team field includes eight conference champions with automatic qualification — America East Conference (Albany), Big East Conference (Syracuse), Colonial Athletic Association (Towson), ECAC (Ohio State), The Ivy League (Yale), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Detroit), Northeast Conference (Bryant) and Patriot League (Lehigh). The remainder of the field was selected at large: Cornell, Denver, Duke, Loyola (Md.), Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Penn State.

Saints upset

BUFFALO — Mike Birney scored his fifth goal of the game one minute into overtime to give Detroit an 11-10 come-from-behind victory over the Saints in the MAAC championship game at Canisius.

Detroit (5-9), in just its fifth season as a varsity program, advances to the NCAAs for the first time. The Saints, who have lost three one-goal decisions in the last five years in the MAAC championship game, finished 8-9.

Senior Danny Martinsen, who was named to the all-tournament, scored a hat trick in the span of 79 seconds in the first half to stake Siena to an 8-3 lead.

The Titans scored five unanswered goals in the third quarter to tie the game at 9-9, but soph­omore Conor Prunty, who scored a career-high six points, scored in the waning seconds of the period to put Siena back on top, 10-9.

Alex Maini’s goal for Detroit with 3:45 to play sent the game into overtime, and the Saints won the opening faceoff, but immediately turned the ball over, and Birney scored the game-winner.

Detroit 2 2 5 1 1 — 11

Siena 4 4 2 0 0 — 10

Detroit scoring: Mike Birney 5-0, Alex Maini 2-1, Scott Drummond 2-0, Tom Masterson 1-3, Thomas Sible 1-0, Brandon Beauregard 0-1. Siena scoring: Danny Martinsen 3-0, Conor Prunty 2-4, Colin Clive 2-1, Nate Barry 2-0, Richie Hurley 1-1, Kevin Cousin 0-1.

Goalies: Detroit, A.J. Levell, 8 saves. Siena, Marr Sharp, 14 saves.

Women

Stony Brook 14, UAlbany 3

STONY BROOK — Stony Brook, ranked 10th in the nation, opened up a quick 5-0 lead and routed the Great Danes in the championship game of the America East Conference women’s tournament.

The Seawolves (116-2) won their first conference title in program history to advance to the NCAAs. The Danes finished at 12-5.

“We made some mistkaes early, but we battled back from them,” said UAlbany coach John Bat­taglino. “I think we shot ourselves in the foot a little too many times.”

After the early Stony Brook spurt, the Danes settled down and cut the Seawolves’ lead to 6-3 when junior Ariana Parker scored her 21st career free-position goal with 24:39 to play.

But the Seawolves closed out the game on an 8-0 run.

UAlbany 2 1 —  3

Stony Brook 5 9 — 14

UAlbany scoring: Jess Antelmi 2-0,

Ariana Parker 1-0, Nichole Eamer 0-1. Stony Brook scoring: Janine Hillier 3-3, Emily Mercier 3-0, Demmianne Cook 3-0, Alyssa Cardillo 2-2, Amber Kupres 2-0, Claire Peterson 1-1, Michelle Rubino 0-1.

Goalies: UAlbany, Anna Berman, 9 saves. Stony Brook, Frankie Cardi, 4 saves; Hannah Perruccio, 0 saves.

 
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