From the Hartford Press Release:
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University of Hartford men’s lacrosse team opened America East Conference play with a 9-8 victory over the University at Albany under the lights of John Fallon Field on Wednesday evening. The Hawks, who have won five of their last six contests including four in a row, improve to 7-3 overall, marking their best start to a season since 2000.
Hartford’s win snapped an eight-game losing skid to Albany which has now dropped four straight contests and falls to 3-5 on the season.
Playing in front of a hometown crowd, sophomore Jared Franze scored twice and dished out an assist to lead the Hawks’ offense with three points. Juniors Carter Bender and Martin Bowes each contributed two goals while sophomore Rory Nunamacher, who hails from the neighboring town of Guilderland, added one. Ryan Compitello, a junior attackman, and rookie Tate Klidonasrounded out the scoring with one goal.
Sophomore Frank Piechota earned his sixth win in the cage for the Hawks. The Trumbull, Conn. native allowed eight in and stopped 15 including six over the final 15 minutes.
With the game knotted at 2-2, Albany strung together three unanswered scores to snap the deadlock in the second quarter. The Hawks, however, closed the opening half with back-to-back goals22 seconds apart from Bender and Compitelloto close the gap to 5-4 before the break.
Hartford took its hot streak into the second half, rallying for three more unanswered tallies. Bowes’ second goal of the evening just 33 seconds into the stanza tied the score for the second time since opening face-off, this time at 5-5. In a man-up situation, Franze gave the visitors its first lead when he found the back of the net 62 seconds later before Bender pushed the advantage to two with 11:51 to play in the third.
Albany closed out the third by outscoring Hartford, 2-1, to cut the visitor’s lead to just one goal at 8-7. The Hawks’ final tally from the stick of Nunamacher proved to be the difference in the contest as the sophomore’s transition goal led to a 9-7 advantage. Rocky Bonitatibus responded for Albany with 1:30 remaining however the Hawks’ defense was able to keep their opponents off the scoreboard in the final 90 seconds, which included an extra-man opportunity for the Great Danes, to preserve the win.
Despite doubling the Great Danes’ turnovers with 22 giveaways, the Hawks finished on top in all of the hustle stats, outshooting their opponents, 44-36, while scooping up 11 more ground balls (41-30). Hartford converted on 1-of-3 man-up opportunities and held Albany off the scoreboard in all three of its extra-man chances.
Behind a 13-of-21 performance at the face-off X by senior specialist Tim Fallon, the Hawks controlled the battle of possessions.
Following a 10-day layover, the Hawks host the #15/14 Stony Brook Seawolves, a member of last year’s NCAA tournament field, on Saturday, April 9 under the lights of Alumni Stadium, marking the first night game in seven years played on the turf of Al-Marzook Field. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.