March 25, 2009

Albany Stays Hot, Beats Harvard

from press release

ALBANY, N.Y. – Sophomore attack Jodi Battaglia scored a career-high six goals in leading UAlbany to a 19-15 non-league triumph over Harvard on Wednesday, March 25 at John Fallon Field. The Great Danes, who were coming off their first-ever national top-20 victory four days ago, extended their win streak to three straight.

Harvard (3-5) trailed by six at halftime, but cut the margin down to four on three occasions in the second half. Sarah Bancroft sent a free-position shot under the crossbar to slice the deficit to 16-12 with 14:49 remaining.

UAlbany (4-5) put the game away by scoring three consecutive times. Battaglia worked her way from the right, spun from a defender, and rifled a shot into the upper left corner. She later one-timed Taylor Frink’s crossing pass from the side of the crease into the left side. Freshman Melanie Sosnowski closed out that run by placing a shot around goalkeeper Kerry Clark with 2:13 left.

The Great Danes, who posted their highest offensive output in two years, leaped to a 5-0 lead in the opening seven-plus minutes. Battaglia scored three times in that outburst, and sent Kayla Best’s feed into the net after cutting to the top of the crease. Rory Redmond tallied the first of her two goals to get her team off to a solid start for the third consecutive game.

Harvard’s Kaitlin Martin, a senior attack who netted seven goals, would close the gap to 6-3 when she shook a UAlbany defender and went low into the cage. The Great Danes regrouped with three unanswered. Julie Bush found the net twice in that span. Bush, who accounted for a career-best five points, had a hand in all three scores. She finished off a transition following a successful clear, before setting up Battaglia’s backhanded shot on a give-and-go play. Bush, a junior attack, later drove from the right and delivered the ball inside the right post.

“Everyone can catch the ball on all ends of the field,” said Bush, who has 20 points this spring after missing most of the last two seasons with knee injuries. “There is more of a flow when that happens, especially on attack. I have been looking forward to the season; it’s a good time to come back. My coaches and teammates have given me a lot of support.”

Harvard’s Sara Flood totaled three goals and two assists. Jess Halpern, the 2008 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, had one goal and three assists. Halpern is fifth among the nation’s leaders with 29 goals.

Sophomore midfielder Mel Rorie had four goals, two in each half, for the Great Danes, who avenged a 16-10 loss to Harvard one year ago. Best added three goals and one assist. The junior midfielder has scored at least one goal in 39 consecutive games, the third-longest streak among current Division I players.

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