ALBANY, N.Y.—Top-seeded and eighth-ranked Albany (17-0) scored nine straight goals over a 46-minute stretch and defeated third-seeded UMBC (11-7) by a score of 11-4 Saturday afternoon in the America East championship game at the Great Danes' John Fallon Field.
The teams alternated the first four goals of the game, with senior midfielder Amanda Pappas (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) scoring both of UMBC's tallies, and the game was tied, 2-2, with 18:15 to play in the first half.
But Albany attack Jodi Battaglia's second goal sparked a 5-0 run to end the half and send the Great Danes into the break with a 7-2 lead.
Albany opened the second stanza with four more unanswered goals before UMBC senior midfielder Ashley Stodter (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) ended the Retrievers' scoreless drought with her third goal of the tournament at the 2:10 mark, and freshman midfielder Kristen Bilney (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) gave UMBC a second consecutive score with just eight seconds remaining.
Pappas led the Retrievers with two goals, while Battaglia, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, scored a game-high seven points on five goals and two assists.
Senior goalie Natalie Rau (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) made five saves, while Albany keeper Anna Berman stopped four shots.
The Great Danes outshot the Retrievers, 19-10, and held advantages in both ground balls (9-6) and draw controls (11-6).
After the game, Pappas, Rau and senior attack Erika Braerman (Fallston, Md./Fallston) were tabbed to the All-Championship Team for their play throughout the tournament. Pappas scored a team-best six goals, while Rau finished with 14 saves and Braerman had five points.
Notes: UMBC made its second consecutive appearance in the America East title game after defeating No. 2 Boston University, 12-11, in overtime in Thursday's semifinals… The Retrievers finish the season 11-7 for the second year in a row… Pappas' two goals gave her 41 on the season, making her the first Retriever to score 40 goals in a year since Kara Dorr in 2009 and just the 17th ever… She concludes her career ranked 12th all-time at UMBC with 114 goals and 15th with 141 points, while Braerman finishes her career ranked second all-time with 60 assists and 16th with 139 points.