#9 Albany Tops #11 Dartmouth, Stays Unbeaten

HANOVER, N.H. - Seventh-seeded Albany stayed undefeated on the season with a 10-7 win over Dartmouth in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament today.

It was a rainsoaked game that contributed to miscues and bad passes for both teams, but it was Albany's plan to possess and stall that allowed the Great Danes (18-0) to hold on for the win. 11th ranked Dartmouth (11-5) was whistled for an uncharacteristic 21 fouls to just nine for Albany and outshot the Great Danes, 24-19.

Albany was the seeded team but was unable to host the game due to commencement ceremonies on campus, allowing Dartmouth to host.

Albany smartly took advantage of possessions in the second half to kill significant time on the clock and scored its 10th goal on an empty net when Dartmouth had pulled goalie Kristen Giovaniello (Old Brookville, N.Y.) in favor of an extra defender.

Senior Greta Meyer (Denver, Colo.) led Dartmouth with three goals while Hana Bowers (Old Greenwich, Conn.) added two.

Dartmouth jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on Albany just five minutes into the game. The Great Danes won the opening draw but the defense turned them over and charged down the field, where Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.) found Meyer for the first score of the game at 27:40.

Dartmouth wasted little time getting its second goal, again when the defense won possession and Sarah Parks (Ellicott City, Md.) led a breakaway to Meyer for her second just 24 seconds later. Junior Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) made it a 3-0 Big Green lead with 24:59 on the clock with an unassisted rocket.

Albany came back however, and scored two unanswered goals to make it a 3-2 game by the 18:42 mark with scores from Amanda Pollock and Jodi Battaglia. The Great Danes defense settled down and Anna Berman made one of her nine saves against Goldberg to start a counterattack during which Albany burned five minutes off the clock before Battaglia scored on a free position goal to tie it, 3-3, with 12:56 on the clock. It ultimately was a 4-0 Albany run to close the half as Allie Phelan put the visitors ahead, 4-3, at 10:44.

Dartmouth was plagued by turnovers on attack throughout the final 10 minutes of the first half and was unable to tie the game. Senior defender Shannie MacKenzie (Riverside, Conn.) tried to singlehandedly tie the game late with a tremendous play, causing a turnover within the arc defensively and sprinting the ball into the attacking end. She tried to feed the ball to Meyer, but she was covered, and opted to shoot it herself but it went wide.

The Big Green opened the second half with some renewed energy a tied the game up, 4-4 with a free position goal at 28:41. Albany got the lead right back when Rachael Burek scored off a feed from Persy Sample just 39 seconds later, but Bowers answered back to make it a 5-5 game with 27:22 on the clock.

That was it for offense for a while as both goalies got some steam and the teams continued to go back and forth with both turning it over repeatedly. The Big Green finally got the lead back when Hilary Smith (Bronxville, N.Y.) fired a rocket off a feed from Parks at 17:03, up 6-5. The Great Danes snagged the momentum, however, capitalizing on another free position attempt when Nikki Branchini made it a 6-6 game at 15:25. That would ultimately start a 5-0 Albany run, pushed further when Sample made it a 7-6 lead with 13:40 to play.

The real turning point came on the ensuing draw, which Dartmouth won but turned the ball right back over and it proved very costly, as Battaglia scored with a one-timer off a feed from #Sample to put the Great Danes up 8-6 with 11:25 on the clock.

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2011-05-15



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