If you don’t follow lacrosse, you probably didn’t know that UAlbany mens team is pretty damn good at lacrosse.
The Great Danes have 8 America East titles and 9 NCAA Tournament appearances and 4 Tournament victories all under the direction of Head Coach Scott Marr. Marr heading into his 18th season and might just have his best team ever.
Bold statement for me to say, but I’m calling it now: UAlbany will be heading to the final four and playing for a national championship in Gillette Stadium come the month of May. The Great Danes are ranked 2nd in the Inside Lacrosse pre-season poll. Yes, that’s 2nd in the nation.
This team returns a lot of talent from last years team which made it to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round. Players like Connor Fields, and TD Irelan will be back and going into this season the Great Danes will have the #1 recruit in the country playing for them Tehoka Nanticoke.
Nanticoke is from Ontario and is already being compared to a bigger, stronger Lyle Thompson. Lyle Thompson is a 2-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner (Lacrosse’s version of the Heisman). Lyle and his older brother Miles were the Wayne Gretzky of college lacrosse.
I had the pleasure of covering them along with their cousin TY Thompson back in 2014, they made goals look like something out of a video game.
Why do I think this will be the year that UAlbany finally goes to the final four for the first time in program history? Because Scott Marr has everything that he needs to get there. It’s been building up to this moment, back when the Thompsons were at UA they might have had the #1 offense in the country but they lacked a critical position and that’s the guy at the X the face-off man.
TD Ierlan finished last year with a 70% face-off win rate, that was second in the country. Connor Fields is coming off an incredible 2017 season. In 2017 Fields had the fourth-highest scoring season in Division I history with 117 points off 55 goals and 62 assists.
It won’t be an easy road just to make it into the tournament for UA. In their upcoming 2018 regular season schedule they will face three teams that are ranked in the preseason top ten one of them being Maryland the 2017 National Champions.
But lacrosse fan or not, I highly recommend that you head over and catch a game. This team will be extremely fun to watch and the crowd will be more energetic than ever.
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