March 11, 2011

No. 19 Albany Routs Niagara to Stay Perfect

from press release

ALBANY, N.Y. - Rachael Burek scored a career-high five goals, all in the first half, in leading UAlbany to a 23-1 non-league victory over Niagara on Friday. March 11 at John Fallon Field. The Great Danes, who are off to their best start at the Division I level, tied a school record for win margin.

UAlbany (5-0) raced to an 8-0 advantage over the opening 10 minutes of play. Burek, a sophomore midfielder, scored four times in that outburst. She connected 12 seconds into the contest when teammate Amanda Pollock found her in the middle off the draw. Burek later converted a free-position opportunity with a low shot from the left side, finished off a fastbreak by going low to the right, and drove in from the left after her team won another draw.

The Great Danes, who are ranked No. 19 nationally in both the IWLCA and deBeer/Inside Lacrosse polls, tallied four goals in a span of four minutes and two seconds just before the break to take a commanding 17-0 lead to the locker room. Taylor Frink, a senior attacker who equaled a career-best with seven points on three goals and four assists, found the net by spinning around a defender to begin that run. Frink then hooked up with Pollock, who cut to the top of the crease. Freshman Ariana Parker won the following draw and drove to the cage, all in the same sequence, for another goal. Persy Sample, a freshman making her first start, placed a shot high into the net to finish off a transition play.

"We played a full sixty minutes," offered Frink, who also had seven points in a win over Marist two days ago. "I was glad I was able to put my shots away and at the same time find my teammates. It definitely helps to be undefeated and ranked at this point in the season, because it gives us confidence.

Niagara (0-2) got on the scoreboard with 7:37 remaining when Rianne Farrugia delivered a bounce shot into the cage. Freshman goalkeeper Jen Zandlo, who faced 50 shots, made a career-best 17 saves.

UAlbany's Parker had four goals, while Sample added three, her highest total as a collegian. Jodi Battaglia and Nikki Branchini each scored a pair for the Great Danes, who are off for eight days until meeting up with 20th-ranked Massachusetts.

"This was good for the younger players, so they can get up to speed," said Burek, who was a member of last year's America East Conference All-Rookie Team. "We want all of our players to contribute. We take every game seriously and this helps us get better as a team."

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