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2015 America East Lacrosse Tournament: Albany Wins Title Over Stony Brook, 22-9

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The Great Danes are headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

(2) Stony Brook v. (1) Albany

The Great Danes earned their first lead -- 3-2 -- at the 5:59 mark of the first quarter and proceeded to lead Stony Brook for the final 50:59 of the game to earn a 22-9 victory over the Seawolves in the America East Tournament championship at Bob Ford Field. The win assures Albany of an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, although questions linger as to whether the Great Danes will earn a seeded position in the field. Stony Brook's season ends with a 13-5 record and two losses to their rivals from the Capital District of New York.

The entire volition of the contest seemed to change midway through the opening period. Facing a one-goal deficit to the visiting Seawolves, Lyle Thompson -- the presumed Tewaaraton Award recipient in 2015 -- uncorked three straight goals for Albany, the natural hat trick giving the Great Danes a one-goal advantage and all the momentum necessary to run away from Stony Brook. With Thompson providing internal combustion, the Danes took off, building a two-goal lead at the end of the first 15 minutes, generating a four-goal lead at the half, and a seven-goal advantage through three quarters. In totem, Albany had three runs of at least four consecutive goals in the game's first 45 minutes, those pushes creating 4-2, 8-3, and 13-5 advantages for the Great Danes, the margins impossible for the Seawolves to substantially erode as the clock ticked toward the conclusion of regulation.

The fourth quarter was merely a victory lap for Albany, but the Great Danes didn't stop mashing the gas pedal through the floorboard. Albany outscored Stony Brook 7-1 in the final stanza, blitzing the field and attacking the cage as if the game was still in its sunrise, holding the Seawolves scoreless for the last 12:12 of regulation while pouring in seven unanswered buckets.

Additional notes:

  • Lyle Thompson had all five of his goals just 19:22 into the game. He finished his day with six points to help Albany to the victory. Connor Fields led all point producers in the late morning start with eight gold stars on four goals and four assists.
  • Mike Rooney -- the attackman entered the game with 111 points -- finished his season with 115 points thanks to a one-and-three effort against Albany. His 2015 point total will rank among the best four single-season marks when the year comes to a close and may rank in the top three depending on Thompson's close to his campaign.
  • Blaze Riorden had a strong game against a dangerous Stony Brook offense, creating nine saves and holding a 50.00 save percentage. His outlet play against the Seawolves provided numerous favorable transition opportunities for the Danes on a day in which he could have seriously suffered.
  • Albany has won three straight America East Tournament crowns, averaging a 10-goal margin of victory in those title games. The Great Danes earned eight wins against league competition this season by an 11.5-goal average margin of victory.
  • Offensive efficiencies: Albany -- 52.38; Stony Brook -- 30.00. Albany held an estimated plus-12 possession advantage over the Seawolves.