BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's lacrosse team (10-5, 4-1 AE) concludes the regular season with a visit to eighth-ranked Albany (14-0, 5-0 AE) Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m. with first place in the America East standings on the line. The Great Danes have already locked up a share of the regular-season title, but the Retrievers also claim a part of the conference crown and earn the right to host next week's America East Championship with a win.
Last Time Out: The Retrievers have not played since a 9-8 victory over Binghamton April 17, nearly two weeks ago. In that game, senior midfielder Amanda Pappas (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) notched a hat trick, while senior attack Erika Braerman (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and junior midfielder Alicia Krause (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron/Duquesne) each tallied three points on two goals and an assist.
On the Great Danes: At 14-0, Albany is one of two undefeated teams in the country and is coming off a 14-7 victory over Binghamton last Saturday. Attack Jodi Battaglia scored seven goals to lead the Great Danes, while attack Taylor Frink tallied 10 points on two goals and eight assists. Frink, a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, ranks fifth in the NCAA with 35 assists and 13th with 64 points, while Battaglia ranks third in the America East with 38 goals. Albany boasts the nation's top defense, allowing just 6.57 goals per game, and goalie Anna Berman ranks second in the NCAA with a 6.73 goals-against average. Also the America East's top offense, scoring 13.79 goals per game, the Great Danes have outscored their opponents by an average of 7.21 goals per contest. Midfielder Nikki Branchini, the 2010 America East Player of the Year, has recorded 70 draw controls – good for fifth in the country with 5.0 per game.
Inside the Series: UMBC is 5-4 all-time against Albany, including an 11-9 victory over the top-seeded Great Danes in the 2010 America East semifinals at John Fallon Field; that game on May 6 represented Albany's last loss. Attack Emily Coady (Westminster, Md./Westminster) scored four goals to lead the Retrievers in the upset. She has scored seven goals in three career games against the Great Danes, while Pappas has nine goals and two assists in four all-time contests, and senior midfielder Ashley Stodter (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) has tallied six goals in three outings.
For Starters: At 10-5, the Retrievers have posted their best record after 15 games since 2002, when they were 11-4. In addition, after winning 11 games in 2010, UMBC has 10 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2002-03, and the Retrievers' four America East victories are their most since going 5-1 in 2006, the year they won a share of the league's regular-season title.
Century Mark: Pappas became the 17th Retriever ever to score 100 goals in her career on April 6, and she now ranks 14th with 105.
UMBC Career Goals
9. Jamie Gerhart, 1999-2002 119
Renee Tirocchi, 1998-2001 119
11. Jackie Seboda, 1987-90 115
12. Robi Tamargo, 1981-83 111
Dolly Ginter, 1985-87 111
14. Amanda Pappas, 2008- 105
15. Jenny Held, 1990-93 100
Kelly Fahey, 2004-07 100
Kara Dorr, 2006-09 100
Century Mark, Part II: Four Retrievers have reached the 100-point plateau this season – Braerman on March 2, Pappas on March 5, Coady on April 2 and Krause on April 9. It is just the second time – and first since Laura Robinson, Laurie Linnell, Jackie Abendschoen and Dolly Ginter in 1987 – that four UMBC teammates have tallied 100 points apiece. Krause scored 24 points as a freshman at Duquesne before transferring to UMBC, where she has tallied 82 points in two seasons. Stodter (94) is also nearing the mark. In addition, Pappas and Braerman both recently moved into the Retrievers' all-time top 20 scoring list, ranking 16th and 17th with 131 and 130 points, respectively.
UMBC Career Points
13. Renee Tirocchi, 1998-2001 146
14. Debbie Krastel, 1996-99 143
15. Loree Miller, 1998-2002 132
16. Amanda Pappas, 2008- 131
17. Heather Komarnik, 1995-98 130
Jen Kasper, 2003-07 130
Erika Braerman, 2008- 130
20. Robi Tamargo, 1981-83 125
Helping Hand: Braerman ranks fourth all-time at UMBC with 56 career assists.
UMBC Career Assists
1. Jen Dragoni, 2001-04 63
2. Laurie Linnell, 1984-87 58
3. Laura Robinson, 1984-87 57
4. Erika Braerman, 2008- 56
5. Jamie Gerhart, 1999-2002 54
Streaking: Stodter has tallied a point in 20 straight games dating to April 20, 2010, while Krause has won in all 15 contests so far this season. In addition, Pappas has found the back of the net at least once in 11 straight games dating to March 5, while Braerman has a point in six straight outings since March 26 and Coady has one in all five April contests.
Taking on the Best: UMBC will face four teams that were ranked in the top 20 in the most recent IWLCA poll, including No. 2 Florida (Feb. 23), No. 7 Loyola (March 23), No. 8 Albany (April 30) and No. 20 Johns Hopkins (April 13). So far, the Retrievers are 1-2 against ranked opponents this season, falling to the then-16th-ranked Gators, 16-6, and to the then-sixth-ranked Greyhounds, 15-8, but upsetting then-No. 17 Towson, 10-9. UMBC is 7-86 against ranked teams since 1988 and has never beaten more than one ranked foe in the same season. The highest-ranked opponent the Retrievers have knocked off was 11th, accomplished three times (Boston University in 2006, George Mason in 2000 and Old Dominion in 1999).
Home Sweet Home: The Retrievers were 6-2 at home this season, averaging 11.5 goals per game and allowing just 8.75.
20/20: The 20 goals scored against Manhattan on March 13 were the most UMBC has scored since March 29, 2010, a 20-7 win against the same Jaspers squad in Riverdale, N.Y. Combined with the 15 goals scored against Mount St. Mary's in the next game on March 19, the Retrievers tallied 35 goals in back-to-back contests, their best two-game stretch since combining for 38 against Iona and Stony Brook March 17-21, 2009.
What a Week: Two Retrievers have earned America East Player of the Week awards this season – Braerman on Feb. 21 and Krause on April 11. In addition, sophomore defender Jamie Fahey (Baldwin, Md./Loch Raven), the reigning America East Rookie of the Year, was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week on Feb. 21 and March 7. Krause was also tabbed the Synapse Sports Division I Offensive Player of the Week on April 12.
Beasts in America East: Krause ranks fifth in the America East in points per game (3.27) and seventh in goals per game (2.27) and assists per contest (1.00). In addition, Braerman is sixth in the league in assists (1.13) and points (2.93), while Pappas is eighth in goals (2.13) and ninth in points (2.47).
Dawg Bites: The Retrievers have won four straight America East openers following their 10-8 victory over New Hampshire on March 23… It was UMBC's first-ever win against the Wildcats in 10 all-time meetings… UMBC has a perfect 3-0 against Colonial Athletic Association opponents this season, defeating George Mason (19-7, Feb. 11), Towson (10-9, March 2) and Delaware (8-5, March 9)… Krause leads the Retrievers with 34 goals, 49 points, 26 ground balls, 24 draw controls and 17 caused turnovers… Braerman is tops on the team with 17 assists… UMBC was picked to finish third in the America East preseason poll.