Great Danes Bite Bulldogs in Home Opener

SMITHFIELD, R.I. Senior midfielder Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.) scored four goals and added an assist in Bryant University's home opener Friday afternoon, but it was not enough to overcome a Rachel Bowles-led University at Albany side, as the Great Danes won the match-up, 20-13.

Bowles scored nine points including a quintet of goals for the Great Danes (1-0) in a game that stood as Albany's season opener, and eight different scorers got on the board for the visitors. The Bulldogs (2-1) saw seven different players net tallies, including two apiece from sophomore Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and seniors Kimberley Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) and Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.). Sophomore Nicole Britton (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) added three points with a goal and two helpers in the team's first loss of the season. Senior Olivia McCarthy (Sea Girt, N.J.) and junior Shannon Burns (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) also netted goals in the outing.

Albany started out fast, scoring four of the first five goals to take a 4-1 lead in the opening six minutes. Bryant would rebound with two of their own netted by Vendel and Bloom to close the gap to 4-3. Nichole Eamer renewed the Great Danes' two-goal lead with 16 minutes left in the first half, and while Sniffen would close the deficit to one once more at the 14:10 mark, it would mark the final Bryant tally of the half.

Albany, however, was not done scoring in the frame, recording seven unanswered markers in the final 13 minutes to take a 12-4 lead into the halftime break. That run would stretch to eight-straight tallies less than 90 seconds into the second period with an Allie Phelan goal before Britton got the Bulldogs back on the board with 25:29 left in the contest, 13-5.

Bryant would score three of the next four goals to cut the Great Danes' lead to 15-8 and answered two more Albany tallies for a 17-10 margin entering the final 10 minutes.

Descalzo took a pass from Vendel at the 6:46 mark and hammered it home to bring the hosts within six, 17-11, but Albany quickly closed the door on any Bryant momentum, scoring three straight for a 20-11 advantage with less than a minute left on the clock. Vendel and Bloom would each record quick unassisted tallies to round out the scoring, but the Black and Gold would ultimately fall to the Great Danes, 20-13.

On the day, Albany outshot the Bulldogs, 34-22, and doubled up the hosts on ground balls, 14-7. The Great Danes just edged out Bryant on the draw, 18-17, but it was Vendel and Britton that led the way individually with six wins apiece. Albany goalie Anna Berman made five stops in the contest, with Bryant counterpart Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) turning away eight.

The Bulldogs return to action next Saturday, March 1 when they travel to New York to take on Manhattan College at 5:00 p.m.

* * * *

SMITHFIELD, R.I.- Rachel Bowles scored five goals to go with four assists to lead University at Albany women's lacrosse (1-0) past Bryant (2-1) 20-13. Freshman Dakotah Savitcheff scored four goals, while senior midfielder Ariana Parker had two goals and four assists.

Bowles got scoring rolling just 1:30 into the game, and UAlbany took a 4-1 lead after the sophomore tallied two more unassisted goals and Katherine Sweeney found the back of the cage from Parker.

Bryant brought the score within one before the Great Danes scored seven consecutive goals to end the first half. Savitcheff recorded her first career goal on a free position shot to get the rally started, and found the back of the cage two more times before the end of the half. Parker got in on the scoring run with a free position goal. Katherine Sweeney, Nichole Eamer and Maureen Keggins also scored to give UAlbany a 12-4 advantage going into halftime.

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