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Men's Lacrosse Captures America East Conference Championship


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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:45 AM

Men's Lacrosse Captures America East Conference Championship
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information
Release: 05/05/2007









Courtesy: UAlbany Athletics



Albany, N.Y. – Frank Resetarits totaled six goals and two assists as UAlbany held off UMBC, 15-14, to capture the America East Conference men’s lacrosse championship before 1,293 fans on Saturday afternoon at John Fallon Field. The Great Danes, who earned an automatic NCAA Tournament berth, have won four of the last five conference tournament titles.

UAlbany (14-2) built a 13-8 lead by scoring three straight times in a one-minute-and-24-second-span late in the third quarter. Merrick Thomson, the championship’s most outstanding player, found the net off a rebound when UMBC goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins saved Corey Small’s initial attempt. Jordan Levine won the following face-off and found Frank Resetarits in the front of the goal 11 seconds later. Matthew Green tallied the second of his two goals when he drove from the left point and rifled a shot into the far top corner.

UMBC (10-5) rallied in the fourth quarter with five of the game’s next six goals. P.J. Kimener, who scored three times, drilled a bounce shot inside the right post to close the gap to 14-11 with 9:33 remaining. Freshman Cayle Ratcliffe then converted from the top of the crease off Drew Westervelt’s past from behind. Alex Hopmann, who totaled three goals and one assist, cut the margin to one with 5:21 to play when he finished off a series of three shot attempts at the UAlbany cage.

The Great Danes, who dropped a 19-10 decision to UMBC in last year’s championship final, came back 13 seconds later. Levine, a junior midfielder who tied a career-high with 11 ground balls, won the subsequent face-off when he saved a rolling ball from going out of bounds. Chris Schongar, a sophomore long-stick midfielder, collected the ball in mid-air and connected on a bounce shot into the lower right corner for a 15-13 advantage.

The Retrievers, ranked No. 13 in both national polls, would slice the deficit in half one more time as Hopmann connected again from the right side off a pass from behind by midfielder Terry Kimener with 1:11 left. After UMBC picked up a slashing penalty, the Great Danes were poised to run out the clock. But a defensive double-team caused a turnover and the Retrievers’ Kelvin Moulden raced the length of the field into the offensive box. However, Moulden lost control of the ball and UAlbany midfielder Mike Ammann, who had a career-high five assists, picked up the ground ball to seal the outcome.

“I wanted to go to Merrick (Thomson),” Schongar explained. “But they pressed out on him and the defense parted like the Red Sea. At that point I decided to go for the goal with a low bounce shot. Dan Barnes did a great job on the face-offs. If you dominate the face-offs, you have a good chance to win. We didn’t dominate on the scoreboard, but we won the game.”

UAlbany reversed an early 2-1 deficit with five unanswered goals. Resetarits, who tied a career-high point total, ended that run with back-to-back goals. The Great Danes, who are No. 11 in the latest USILA rankings, led by four on two occasions in the second quarter before settling for an 8-5 halftime lead.

“I don’t think we let this one slip away,” said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman, whose team had its six-game winning streak halted. “They’re a great team. We didn’t play a great first half, but we came back in the fourth quarter.”

The Retrievers’ Andy Gallagher had two goals and one assist, while Kyle Wimer and Ratcliffe each scored twice. Goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins made 15 saves. UAlbany’s Brett Queener turned aside 12 shots, including Gallagher’s point-blank attempt with just over four minutes remaining.

“We have worked to get back to this point since last May”, said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose program has made three previous NCAA appearances. “We knew UMBC wouldn’t go away in that fourth quarter, but I didn’t think it would be that tough. I thought we concentrated on each possession the last five minutes. Brett (Queener) came up with a huge save (on Gallagher) and our team made the plays when they had to.”

-agate-
America East Conference Championship

UMBC (10-5) 2 3 3 6 - 14

UAlbany (14-2) 3 5 5 2 - 15

UMBC -- Scoring: Alex Hopmann 3-1, P.J. Kimener 3-0, Andy Gallagher 2-1, Cayle Ratcliffe 2-0, Kyle Wimer 2-0, Mike Burch 1-1, Matt Latham 1-0, Drew Westervelt 0-4, Terry Kimener 0-1; Goalkeeper(s): Jeremy Blevins (60:00, 15 saves, 15 GA).

UAlbany – Scoring: Frank Resetarits 6-2, Merrick Thomson 3-0, Matthew Green 2-1, Corey Small 1-0, Chris Schongar 1-0, Steve Ammann 1-0, Eric Wolf 1-0, Mike Ammann 0-5, Jordan Levine 0-1; Goalkeeper(s): Brett Queener (54:14, 12 saves, 14 GA), Dan McKeon (5:46, 1 saves, 0 GA




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