BALTIMORE– UMBC women's lacrosse battled hard and came within one goal of No. 19/18 Albany on three occasions, but was unable to put home the game-tying goal as the Retrievers fell short of the Great Danes, 12-8, in Saturday afternoon's Senior Day at UMBC Stadium.
The Retrievers were led by senior Kristen Bilney's (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) hat trick, her sixth of the season, while junior Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) posted a team-best four points on two goals and two assists.
Albany improves to 12-2 on the season and 3-1 in America East play, while UMBC falls to 7-8 overall and 1-3 in the league.
The Great Danes took the early lead, scoring 3:40 into the contest on an unassisted goal from senior Ariana Parker. Wilson knotted up the contest at one apiece with her 17th score of the year on a shot into the upper corner of the net 6:50 into the action, but a minute later, red-shirt sophomore Rachel Bowles registered the first of her game-best five points, beating her defender and slotting a shot past UMBC starting goalkeeper Anna Barnett (Midland, Texas/Midland).
Another Bowles goal with 11:20 remaining in the opening half capped off a 4-0 run in favor of the Great Danes, but 13 seconds later, Bilney came back with the first of three straight scores for the Retrievers. Bilney's goal was the result of a pair of quick passes from junior Alyssa Semones (Westminster, Md./Westminster/Penn State) to Wilson, over to Bilney. Sophomore Rachel Benzing (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) connected with Semones from behind the net for the second score and 28 seconds later Wilson found Bilney for the third goal to bring the Retrievers within one, at 5-4.
Albany's senior Allie Phelan stopped the run with a free position goal with 5:17 remaining in the period, but the Retrievers came back with the response, despite being a player down, when Semones received a pass from senior Shannon Harkey (Purcellville, Va./Loudon Valley/Florida) and drilled home the shot while falling to the ground. Albany did take advantage of being a player up when Bowles managed a shot through close coverage to give the Great Danes a 7-5 lead heading into the break.
The teams played even throughout the opening period, each taking 12 shots in the stanza and UMBC holding a 7-6 advantage in draw controls.
Retrievers' sophomore Kris Coppolino (Winter Springs, Fla./Winter Springs) brought the black and gold back within one, 7-6, 5:59 into the second period, bouncing home her first goal of the season. Albany scored back-to-back goals to keep some distance to take a 9-6 lead.
UMBC continued to battle as Wilson tallied her second of the day, but the Great Danes held off the Retrievers with two more goals, the first from freshman Sarah Martin and the second from junior Nichole Eamer.
A free position goal from Bilney kept the Retrievers within striking distance at 11-8 with 3:58 to go in the contest, but Albany held off UMBC and added a late free position goal for further insurance.
UMBC freshman goalkeeper Kelly Gielner (Pasadena, Md./St. Mary's) entered the contest 18:53 into the first half and made two saves in the contest. Barnett was credited with the loss in the contest (5-5). Albany goalkeeper Anna Berman improved to 11-2 on the year after making six stops in the contest.
Semones finished with a game-high six draw controls to go with her two goals. The Retrievers held a 13-9 advantage in draw controls in the contest, including 6-3 in the second period.
Parker and Martin each tallied hat tricks for the visitors.
The Retrievers conclude their 2014 slate on Saturday, April 26 at Binghamton.