POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - On Saturday afternoon at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff the fans in attendance were treated a great 60 minutes of women's lacrosse action between the Marist Red Foxes and 19th - ranked University of Albany Great Danes. A matchup of contrasting styles saw the two teams exchange the lead six times and tie on seven occasions before a late Albany run gave the visitors the 12-10 victory. Junior Ashley Miller (Montville, N.J.) and freshman Emily Leonard (Brookfield, Conn.) highlighted Marist's offensive efforts, while junior goalkeeper Ashley Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) was a stalwart in net for the Red Foxes.
Marist jumped out to a fast start on the nationally-ranked Great Danes with an Ashley Miller goal just 1:59 into the game. Albany responded soon after with a Jess Antelmi tally 1:20 later at 26:41. Sophomore Brooke Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) put Marist back in the lead with her first goal of the year three minutes later after senior Ariel Kramer (Syracuse, N.Y.) passed out of a free-position opportunity. Similar to the first Red Fox lead, the Great Danes fired in the tying goal soon after. In this case, 24 seconds later at 23:01.
With the game tied at 2-2, just 6:59 in, the next 10 minutes would see another four goals score, two for each squad. Marist tallies were notched by Leonard at 18:41 and junior Amanda Tuck (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) at 15:04.
The jockeying for the lead would play out the remainder of the half as Marist went up 5-4 with a Leonard-Kramer connection at 12:55. This marked Kramer's third assist of the game. Albany responded with a two goal run before Leonard scored goal number three of the afternoon at 3:49 to tie it at 6-6.
The final 3:49 of the half was not without drama as the Great Danes pressed hard for a lead before the break. The visitors had five shots on goal in the final 96 seconds, including two free position attempts. In each and every situation, Marist's goalkeeper Ashley Casiano defended her goal with 100 percent success. The play of the half was an Albany free-position shot with one second on the clock that Casiano denied as the horn blew.
Going into the locker room the Red Foxes and Great Danes were deadlocked at 6-6, thought Albany had advantages in shots at 18-9, ground balls at 10-7 and draw controls at 8-5. Marist earned the tie with efficient offense with six goals on nine shots and outstanding goaltending.
The second half began with two Red Fox goals in the first seven minutes of play. The first goal was put in motion by a caused turnover by Leonard, who outlet the ball quickly down the field to Tuck, who fed senior Shannon Haas (Farmingdale, N.Y.) as she cut to the net at 28:43. Miller netted the second goal at 23:09.
Up 8-6, Marist ran into an Albany offensive buzzsaw, as the Great Danes strung together six unanswered goals from the 22:05 mark to 12:57. A leading factor in this stretch of play was Albany controlling four consecutive draws, as well as causing three turnovers to short-circuit Red Fox offensive possessions.
The Red Foxes didn't let the four goal deficit get them down as they got back to their successful first half combination of efficient offense and strong goaltending to lead a possible comeback attempt in the final 12:57. Stonewalling Albany with three saves, Casiano allowed her offense to net goal number nine at 6:30. Miller was the Red Foxes' goal scorer with her third of the game.
A fourth save by Casiano in the final stretch of the game gave Marist another scoring possession with five minutes to go. With 4:10, Miller notched her career-best fourth goal of the game off of an assist by sophomore Jamie Romano (Kings Park, N.Y.).
Unfortunately for the Red Foxes, time was not on their side as the 2011 America East Champions held on over the final 4:10 to earn their second win of the young season.
For the game Albany outshot Marist 37-14, but the Red Foxes put 85.7 percent (12-14) of their shots on goal and converted 83.3 (10-12) percent of those shots on goal. In a comparison of netminders, Casiano outplayed Anna Berman, a 2011 America East All-Rookie selection, with 12 saves to two.
Miller's four goal output was the highest in her career and her second career hat trick. Her seven goal total through four games is more than half way to her 2011 season-high mark of 13. Leonard's strong offensive game was augmented by three draw controls, two caused turnovers and two ground balls.
The Red Foxes will close out their three-game homestand on Wednesday, March 7 when they host Binghamton in a 4 p.m. matchup.