Albany Rallies Past Yale in Opener, 13-11

Hope Hanley. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Hope Hanley. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Yale women's lacrosse team had Albany on the ropes Saturday afternoon in the season opener at Fallon Field, taking an 11-5 lead with 17:13 left in the game. But the Great Danes would not go down without a fight, battling back with eight unanswered goals to come away with a 13-11 win. Midfielder Sarah Martin led the way for Albany with 10 goals (on 14 shots) and an assist.

Despite the loss there were still signs of progress for Yale (0-1, 0-0 Ivy League); the Bulldogs had lost to Albany 13-7 last year. This time around Yale got hat tricks from three starting attackers -- seniors Hope Hanley and Tess McEvoy and sophomore Izzy Nixon -- and won the draw control battle 14-11.

McEvoy had a pair of tallies in a four-goal run for Yale early in the game, helping the Bulldogs establish a 4-1 lead. After Albany got within 5-3 a free position goal by junior midfielder Madeleine Gramigna sparked another four-goal run for Yale, with a tally by Hanley just before halftime getting Yale a 9-3 lead.

Goals by Nixon and Hanley early in the second half got the Bulldogs' lead to 11-5. But after that Yale would get just two more shots on goal, and both of those were saved by Albany keeper Erin Leghart -- who came on in relief of starter Georgia Schneidereith after the latter  allowed eight goals on 11 shots.

Meanwhile Albany's attack heated up thanks in large part to Martin, an IWLCA All-Northeast Region pick last year, who scored five goals during that 8-0 run to close out the game. That included the go-ahead goal with 1:49 to play, and an insurance goal with 31 seconds left. 

Albany (2-1, 0-0 America East) won six of seven draws at one point during that run, negating what had been a Bulldog strength. Gramigna had a game-high four draws, while Nixon added three. Gramigna and fellow junior midfielder Emily Granger scored Yale's other two goals. McEvoy added a team-best three ground balls.

Junior goalkeeper Sydney Marks finished with eight saves. Leghart stopped five of eight shots that she saw in 35:34 to earn the win.

Yale plays its home opener this Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. against local rival Quinnipiac.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity