Albany Edged by Hartford in America East Opener

Albany, N.Y. Rory Nunamacher's fourth-quarter goal was the difference as Hartford defeated UAlbany, 9-8, in the America East Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday evening at John Fallon Field. The Hawks ended an eight-game skid in the series, winning for the first time since the 2003 campaign.

Hartford (7-3, AE 1-0) tied the contest at five apiece with 32 seconds elapsed in the second half, when Martin Bowes scored from the right point off a short cross from Jared Franze in a man-advantage situation. Franze then put his team ahead one minute and two seconds later as he went low with a jump shot from the right.

The Hawks moved out to an 8-6 later in the third quarter. Tate Klidonas put back a rebound from in front of the crease after UAlbany goalkeeper Edmund Cathers saved Bowes' initial shot. The Great Danes' Miles Thompson sliced the deficit in half when he went one-on-one with a defender and scored with a low underhanded shot.

In the final period, Hartford goalkeeper Frank Piechota made one of his 15 saves that led to a Nunamacher's transition goal and a 9-7 advantage with 4:12 to play.

After the Great Danes kept an offensive set alive with a series of ground balls, Joe Resetarits fed Rocky Bonitatibus who converted from the right side. UAlbany had a couple of opportunities to draw even, including an extra-man attempt in the closing seconds. However, Bonitatibus missed wide to the right of the net.

"We made some costly decisions," said UAlbany coach Scott Marr, whose squad lost for the fourth straight time. "Give them credit, they are a good team. But we have to make better decisions, especially in the clearing game. It's our biggest issue."

UAlbany (3-5, AE 0-1) snapped a 2-2 deadlock with three unanswered in the second quarter. Matt Johnson cut inside a defender from left of the cage to break the tie. Thompson, a freshman, added back-to-back goals. The first went off the goalkeeper and a defenseman and across the goal line.

The second came off Brian Caufield's crossing pass from in back of the net. Hartford scored 22 seconds apart right before halftime to close the gap to 5-4. Carter Bender picked up a loose ball in front of the crease for the first goal. Defenseman Ben Knapton corralled a tipped pass and found Ryan Compitello on the right crease with 1:25 left in the stanza.

Franze had two goals and one assist for the Hawks, who are off to their best start the 2000 season. UAlbany's Thompson scored three times, while Johnson added two goals and one assist.

* * * *

ALBANY, N.Y. The University of Hartford opened America East Conference play with a 9-8 victory over Albany under the lights of John Fallon Field on Wednesday evening. The Hawks, who have won five of their last six contests including four in a row, improve to 7-3 overall, marking their best start to a season since 2000.

Hartford's win snapped an eight-game losing skid to Albany which has now dropped four straight contests and falls to 3-5 on the season.

Playing in front of a hometown crowd, sophomore Jared Franze, scored twice and dished out an assist to lead the Hawks' offense with three points. Juniors Carter Bender and Martin Bowes each contributed two goals while sophomore Rory Nunamacher, who hails from the neighboring town of Guilderland, added one goal. Ryan Compitello, a junior attackman, and rookie Tate Klidonas rounded out the scoring with one goal.

Sophomore Frank Piechota earned his sixth win in the cage for the Hawks. The Trumbull, Conn. native allowed eight in and stopped 15 including six over the final 15 minutes.

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2011-03-31



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