Albany dominates Stony Brook to win third consecutive America East title
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Albany secured its second America East Tournament three-peat in dominating fashion on Saturday, crushing rival Stony Brook 22-9 in the conference title game at Bob Ford Field.
|ALBANY 22, STONY BROOK 9|
America East Championship
Albany (15-2) earns its third consecutive America East title and seventh overall under coach Scott Marr, all coming in the past 13 years. In addition, the Great Danes have won their past 22 games against America East opponents, including all 16 regular-season and six tournament games the past three years.
Up 8-5 midway through the second quarter against Stony Brook (13-5), Albany went on a 5-0 tear in the next 15 minutes to essentially seal the game. Leading 16-9, the Great Danes put together a 6-0 streak in the final 10 minutes to end the game.
"I can't say enough about the preparation this team put in and the hard work they did,” Marr said. “The defense was great today, and we knew we could score a lot of goals, and it was a complete effort today."
With the victory, Albany earns the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament. Albany is in the running for a seed and potential home game in the NCAA First Round.
Lyle Thompson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the America East Tournament, scoring five goals -- all in the first half -- on Saturday. He added an assist for six points, totaling 15 points in the two conference championship games.
“It feels real good [to win the America East tournament], and I feel better about this one, maybe because it is my last year, and Stony Brook is a big rival,” Thompson said.
Along with Thompson, Cason Liles, Blaze Riorden and Mike Russell were named to the All-Championship Team from Albany.
On the offensive end, Connor Fields led Albany with eight points, just one away from a career high, on four goals and four assists. Fields has 77 points this year, the eighth-highest single season points tally in Albany history.
Seth Oakes tied a career-high seven points on four goals and three assists while John Maloney notched a goal and three assists. With 22 goals on Saturday, outshooting the Seawolves 48-25, it is the eighth time this season Albany has netted at least 20 goals.
“I went into halftime without a goal,” Fields said. “I took Lyle’s advice, trying to dodge and find the lane. I was just trying to get open.”
Riorden, with nine saves in 56:34 of playing time, led a defense that improves to 10-0 when holding Albany to under 10 goals. JD Colarusso finished the game with a save and no goals allowed in the final 3:26.
“I preached that, we need a stop, we need a stop, and everyone played well on this side,” Riorden said. “We always preach that it is not how you start, but how you finish.”
Liles took all faceoffs for Albany, winning 20 out of 33 of them. Including Thursday the freshman went 32-for-48 on faceoffs.
With Saturday’s win, Albany’s Justin Berger has been part of the past four America East Tournament winners, transferring from Stony Brook after the 2012 season to Albany and being with the Great Danes the past three years.
For Stony Brook, Challen Rogers netted three goals, while Mike Rooney had a goal and three assists. Hayden Johnstone got the loss on Saturday in goal, saving 11 shots and allowing 22 goals.