March 24, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

SHE’S THE BEST:  The University at Albany claimed its’ first-ever victory against a nationally-ranked Division I opponent as the Great Danes knocked off then-No. 13 New Hampshire, 16-15, in overtime to open the America East Conference season on March 21.

Junior midfielder Kayla Best tied a career-high with seven points in the win, extending her goal-scoring streak to 38 games.  The streak is the fourth-longest in the nation.   Best netted three goals and a career-high four assists in the game as she became the fifth player in program history to reach the 100-goal mark.  

Best was named America East Player of the Week and National Player of the Week for her efforts in the history-making win.

STREAKING SCIOSCIA: No. 10 Notre Dame extended its winning streak to seven games with a pair of convincing wins over Rutgers and California behind the stellar play of Gina Scioscia.

The junior attack from Summit, N.J., tallied 14 points on four goals and 10 assists over the two games, including a career-high eight points in an 18-9 win over Rutgers on March 17.   Scioscia matched the school record for assists in a game with six against the Scarlet Knights, and reached 100 career points during the contest.

Scioscia, who was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, has scored in seven straight games, combining for 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points during the stretch. During the seven-game run, she has recorded seven games with three or more points and five with two or more goals. Scioscia leads Notre Dame in scoring this season with a career-best 24 goals and 20 assists for 44 points.
ON THE UPSWING: Bucknell is off to a 3-0 start in Patriot League play for the first time in program history after a 14-11 win over Lafayette on March 21.  The Bison improved their record to 7-2 on the year, already surpassing last year’s total of six victories.

Sophomore Alyssa DeLorenz was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week for the third consecutive week after playing a key role in two Bison victories.  The native of Garland, Texas, notched a career-best 17 saves in an 8-7 win against Binghamton on March 18, including a save on a free-position shot with the game tied at 7-7 with less than four minutes remaining.

DeLorenz paces the Patriot League in save percentage (.530) and saves per game (10.8), and ranks second in goals against average (9.74). She ranks seventh in save percentage and eighth in saves per game.

TIGER TALK:  Princeton University goalkeeper Erin Tochihara collected a pair of wins over nationally-ranked foes as the Tigers downed then-No. 16 James Madison, 13-11, and edged then-No. 7 Virginia, 8-7, last week.

Tochihara tallied 12 saves versus JMU, and then fended off eight shots in the upset of the Cavaliers.  The native of Englewood, Colo., posted her final save of the Virginia game on a shot with just 18 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the upset victory.  She earned Ivy League Defender of the Week honors for her performance.

Tochihara leads the nation with a .570 save percentage, and boasts an 8.71 goals against average. The Tigers are now 5-1 on the season.