May 2, 2009

Make it Five: BU Wins Another AE Title

from press releases

BOSTON - The two-time America East Player of the Year, Boston University's Sarah Dalton, led the Terriers to their fifth-straight conference championship Saturday afternoon at Nickerson Field in Boston. Boston U., with the 16-6 victory over University of New Hampshire, earned America East's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship and will learn of its next match-up when the official bracket is announced Sunday night at 10 p.m. on CBS College Sports Network.

Dalton, whose six goals against the Wildcats tied a single-game America East Championship record, broke the tournament record for most goals with 11 tallies. The previous record, held by Delaware's Megan Fortunato, stood for a decade before Saturday. For her efforts, Dalton was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. 

Joining Dalton on the All-Championship Team from Boston U. (15-3 overall record) were defensive stalwarts Kelly Munroe and Corcoran Downey, and attacker McKinley Curro. Munroe and Downey, together with the rest of the Terrier defense, held opponents to just 13 goals over two games in the tournament, while Curro finished the championship with 12 points on five goals and seven assists. Curro tied the tournament record of seven assists, which she also accomplished in 2007 as a rookie and which was originally set by former Terrier Alyssa Trudel in 2003.

A little over two minutes into the game, Boston U. senior Steph Walker started the scoring off a pass from Xan Weitzel, one of Weitzel's four assists on the afternoon. New Hampshire (12-7) began their attempt to regain the goal right away, taking control of the ball and earning a free position shot. Shaunna Kaplan took the shot, but it was saved by Terrier goalkeeper Rachel Klein.

The Wildcats kept control of the ball and about 30 seconds later, got on the scoreboard. First-team all-conference member Sarah Von Bargen, who scored her 200th career point for UNH in the semifinals Thursday, got a restart behind the Boston U. net, quickly circled around Klein's right and side-armed a shot to the back of the net to knot the score at 1-1.

From there though, the Terriers ran away, netting eight straight goals before the Wildcats could respond again with under five minutes left in the half. Dalton scored her first tally of the game at 24:29 and Curro followed suit 41 seconds later with a nice fake-out, spin move to get past the defenders and put the ball in the back of the net.

At 18:52, Walker scored her second goal of the game on a free-position shot at the 8m circle, giving the Terriers a 4-1 lead. Dalton and Curro each struck twice more in the nine-goal run. Dalton's goal with 2:35 left on the clock in the first frame was acrobatic, the senior falling forward and hitting the ground as her shot sailed past UNH goalie Kate Gunts. That goal made the score 10-3, after Von Bargen and freshman Kate Keagins each tallied goals to stop the Boston U. attack, and is where the score stood at the intermission.

In between Boston U. goals, the Wildcats did get 10 shots off in the first half, including two shots by Deb Dale and Von Bargen that hit the top post. Klein made four saves in the first 30 minutes en route to her eight saves for the day.

The Terriers started the second stanza off with two more goals--the fourth of the day from Dalton and one from Erica Baumgartner, who had scored a career-high four goals in the semifinal against Vermont. Von Bargen completed her hat trick at 22:40 with a free-position goal that made the score 12-4 in favor of the defending champion Terriers.

Rachel Collins got into the mix for Boston U. with her first of two tallies at the 14:19 mark. She took a pass from Baumgartner to complete the play. Dalton once again struck twice more to round out her scoring, tallying her sixth and final goal at 8:32 and forcing a UNH timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, Wildcat head coach Sandy Bridgeman switched out goalie Gunts with Nikki Hume. Hume watched as her teammates Kaplan and Hayley Rausch each notched unassisted goals within a minute of each other at 7:35 and 6:40 to pull the Wildcats to within nine goals, 15-6. Collins' second goal of the afternoon at 3:50 finished off the day's scoring, made the score 16-6, and allowed the clock to keep running down without any stops to 00:00.

Draw controls were even at 12 for each team, while Boston U. just edged on UNH in ground balls, 15-13. Boston U. finished with 26 shots to UNH's 20 shots. The rookie tandem of Gunts and Hume in net for the Wildcats combined for five saves, while Klein made eight on her end of the field.

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