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Women’s Lacrosse pounds UMBC on Senior Day

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By Kelsey Auman

Staff Writer

sports.asp@gmail.com

April 28, 2015

Photo by Aaron Cheris. A team effort led UAlbany to a win in their last home game.
Photo by Aaron Cheris. A team effort led UAlbany to a win in their last home game.

   The University at Albany women’s lacrosse team (13-3, 5-1 AE) dismantled UMBC (8-8, 3-3 AE) 20-5 this Saturday afternoon in their final home game to improve to a 9-0 record at John Fallon Field.

This season marked the first time that UAlbany has been undefeated at home in Division I play. The win was a perfect ending to the afternoon, which had begun with an emotionally charged senior recognition ceremony.

   UAlbany head coach John Battaglino is proud of his seniors, who have developed into, “elite players in this league,” as he said. He is impressed with their work ethic and the career they’ve had, but he was also quick to mention that they, “ have more [work] to do.”

   UAlbany carried momentum from the pregame ceremony into the first half of the game, opening the scoring less than three minutes into the game with a goal by Maureen Keggins. Soon after, Rachel Bowles made it 2-0 UAlbany on a free point shot.

   UMBC was able to counter with a goal after a long possession in the UAlbany zone, but they did not have an answer for UAlbany’s relentless attack. A goal by Bowles on the man advantage gave the Great Danes a 3-1 lead and began an eight goal rally. The Danes were able to build momentum due to six consecutive faceoff wins in this span, with contributions coming from several different players.

   The Danes built their lead to 13-2 at the half, with contributions from Dakotah Savitcheff and Alie Jimerson. With Savitcheff’s two goals in the first half, both assisted by Keggins, Savitcheff became UAlbany’s all time leader in single season goals. She passed Jodi Battaglia, who had previously held the record with 56 in 2011.

   The second frame began with a tally from Bowles on a laser of a shot. The ensuing three goal run, led by Keggins, gave the Danes a commanding 17-2 lead.  A costly turnover forced by Michelle Primomo was able to negate a UMBC faceoff win and result in another goal for the Danes, this time by Jimerson. Goals by Rachel Bowles and Emma Powlin rounded out the scoring for UAlbany with five minutes left in the game.

   UAlbany’s defense was able to hold off UMBC thanks in part to the goaltending of Courtney Henderson, who finished with seven saves in her 13th win of the season.  UAlbany also had only 6 turnovers, their lowest number on the season.

   Senior Maureen Keggins had a record-breaking day as she led the offense with six goals and five assists. She tied Rachel Burek’s record for most points in a single game with 11. With 85 points on the season, Keggins also surpassed Rachel Burek’s previously held record of 84 to become UAlbany’s all time single season points leader.

   Keggins said that, because her parents were in attendance for the ceremony, this game was a little more special than most.

   “Our energy was really high,” Keggins said. “We left it all on the field.”

   The seniors were able to maintain their composure throughout the game, which Keggins credited to their experience.

   Battaglino, whose squad has now set a program record with a total of 369 points on the season, was very proud of his team’s effort. “I thought it was a great way to honor our seniors, to have our kids play that well.”

   He is confident in his squad entering postseason play. No matter who they will be playing against, he said, “they’re not afraid.”

   “They’ve played some of the top five teams in the country and they’ve all been couple goal games.”  To finish the regular season with a game like this, in which his team was, as he said, “firing on all cylinders,” certainly can’t hurt either.

   With the win, UAlbany clinched the number two seed in the upcoming America East Tournament at Stony Brook. They will take on Vermont in the semifinals on Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.  The winner of that game will play Sunday at noon in the championship game on ESPN3.

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