March 9, 2011

Albany Tops Marist for Best Start in Its Division I History

from press release

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Taylor Frink scored a career-high point total with three goals and four assists in leading UAlbany to a 17-8 non-league victory over Marist on Wednesday, March 9 at John Fallon Field. The Great Danes, who are ranked No. 19 in both national polls, are off to their best start as a Division I program.

UAlbany (4-0) ripped off seven unanswered goals to build a 9-1 advantage late in the opening half. Senior attacker Jodi Battaglia, who had a season-high three goals and assisted on another, scored twice to jump-start that run. Battaglia, cutting down the center of the zone, deposited Frink's feed and then converted from in front when teammate Rachael Burek broke up a clearing pass to start the play.

Frink, a senior who became the 13th UAlbany player to reach the 100-career point mark, later spun to her left shoulder and sent a sidearm blast into the net. Ariana Parker, a freshman who totaled four goals and one assist, connected with a bounce shot, before Frink hooked up with Burek in transition for their team's ninth goal. The Great Danes took a 10-2 lead to the intermission.

Marist (2-2) started the final period with three consecutive goals to close the gap. Ariel Kramer, the team's top scorer, drove from right of the crease and converted by going to the far post. Jessica Guarino placed a shot into the right side of net and Kramer finished off the outburst with a shot into the top right corner.

The Great Danes, who were coming off a pair of wins over national top-20 teams, answered over the next seven-plus minutes by scoring five straight times. Parker made a bounce shot from the middle of the zone after her team broke up a clearing attempt. The freshman then found Battaglia on the left side in a free-position situation for a 14-5 lead. Frink found a cutting Amanda Pollock to complete the run with 17:50 remaining.

"After the start of the second half, we made a couple of good plays offensively, came up with some draws and got some life," said Frink, whose previous career-best was six points. "As a team, we finished our shots and it was good to see us get a few fastbreaks. But we still can be better."

Shannon Haas and Kramer each had a pair of goals for the Red Foxes, who advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament championship. UAlbany's Burek and Pollock each scored twice.

#19 UAlbany 17, Marist 8
Marist - Scoring: Ariel Kramer 2-0, Shannon Haas 2-0, Kelly Condon 1-1, Ashley Miller 1-0, Jamie Romano 1-0, Jori Procaccini 1-0; Goalkeeper(s): Ashley Casiano (45:19, 8 saves, 15 GA), Alyssa Littin (14:41, 0 saves, 2 GA).
UAlbany - Scoring: Ariana Parker 4-1, Taylor Frink 3-4, Jodi Battaglia 3-1, Amanda Pollock 2-0, Rachael Burek 2-0, Allie Phelan 1-0, Nikki Branchini 1-0, Persy Sample 1-0; Goalkeeper(s): Anna Berman (54:51, 5 saves, 7 GA), Brett Yenger (5:09, 0 saves, 1 GA).

Paw Prints: The Great Danes' previous best Division I start came in 2006 when they won their opening three contests ... UAlbany has won 11 of their last 12 non-conference games ... the Great Danes are No. 19 in both the IWLCA and deBeer/Inside Lacrosse national polls ... Taylor Frink moved to 12th on the program's career scoring list with 105 points and climbed to fourth among the all-time assists leaders with 39 ... Jodi Battaglia upped her career goal total to 69.

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