BALTIMORE– UMBC women's lacrosse takes on its second nationally ranked opponent of the week when it returns home for America East action against No. 19/18 Albany on Senior Day on Saturday, April 19 at the UMBC Stadium. The Retrievers' five seniors will be honored prior to the noon start. Saturday also marks Fan Appreciation Day on UMBC's campus, which features raffles, discounts on food, moon bounces and prizes.
The Retrievers (7-7, 1-2 AEC) concluded there non-conference slate against No. 7/5 Johns Hopkins on Wednesday. UMBC's defense played tough against the Blue Jays, but a second half run downed UMBC, 10-6. Junior Alyssa Semones (Westminster, Md./Westminster/Penn State) has nine goals in the last three games, including her fourth hat trick of the season on Wednesday against JHU. Semones pilots the squad with a team-best 23 goals and 27 points. She has also registered team-bests in ground balls (36), draw controls (25) and caused turnovers (14).
Sophomore Rachel Benzing (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) is coming off a big week for the Retrievers, having posted one goal and seven assists in a 2-0 week for UMBC. Benzing is the Retrievers' leading distributer, dishing out 16 assists to rank fifth in the America East.
Senior Kristen Bilney (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) registered two goals against the Blue Jays, marking her 100th-career point with the Retrievers. Bilney has 22 goals and 25 points on the season. She is one of five Retrievers that will be celebrating their final home game at the UMBC Stadium; joined by Jackie Benson (Nesconset, N.Y./Smithtown East), Shannon Harkey (Purcellville, Va./Loudon Valley/Florida), Devan Hibbs (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) and Mary Milligan (Edgewater, Md./South River/Anne Arundel CC).
Albany (11-2, 2-1 AEC) is 2-2 in its last four games and is coming off an 18-4 victory against Columbia on Wednesday. Junior Maureen Keggins led the squad with a game-high six points on two goals and four assists.
The Great Danes lead the America East in goals (15.0) and points (20.4) per game. Rachel Bowles pilots the squad with a league-best 4.5 points per game. The red-shirt sophomore has 37 goals and 21 assists on the year. Senior Ariana Parker is the second of three Great Danes that have registered 30 goals. She ranks second on the team in points (40) with 30 goals and 10 assists, while also ranking second in ground balls (24).
Albany holds the slight 7-6 advantage in the all-time series against UMBC. The squads have split their last two meetings, with each team being victorious on their home field. The Retrievers defeated 13th-ranked Albany, 8-5, on their home field on March 24, 2012, while the Great Danes picked up a 9-6 win on April 13 of last season.