2014 UAlbany Men’s Lacrosse Outlook
2014 UAlbany Men’s Lacrosse Outlook
ALBANY, N.Y. – Last season, the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team took the world by storm with the best offense in Division I. Now the Great Danes look to repeat as America East champions and make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
UAlbany went 13-5 last season, its best finish since 2007, finishing the year with a #12 ranking from Inside Lacrosse and the Coaches Poll. The Great Danes hallmarked their season with road victories over Syracuse, Johns Hopkins and Bryant, followed by sweeping the conference competition en route to the school’s fifth America East championship with a title win over UMBC.
Expectations are high for the Great Danes this season. Along with being picked to finish first in the America East, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Assocation ranked UAlbany #10 in its preseason rankings, while the team is at #11 in the preseason Warrior DI Media poll. Junior attack Lyle Thompson, a Tewaaraton finalist last season, was selected as the Inside Lacrosse and Lacrosse Magazine Division I Player of the Year, while Miles Thompson and Ty Thompson each return for their senior seasons after earning All-America status last year.
The Purple and Gold led all of Division I with just under 16 goals per game, almost one-and-a-half goals more than second-place Cornell. The program’s three All-Americans plus four other all-conference players and four all-rookie members come back for the Great Danes in 2014.
Led by the Thompson trio, the Great Danes had the most productive attack corps in the country last season, combining for 254 points from the three, nearly 50 points higher than any other attack trio in Division I. All three were named IL Face-Off Preseason All-Americans and power the highest-scoring offense in the country. Lyle was the team’s leading assistant, finishing the year with 50 goals and 63 assists, finishing the top-six in goals, assists and points per game, averaging a DI-best 6.65 in the final category. Despite being injured for six games, Miles racked up 73 points off 43 goals and 30 assists, averaging over six points per game. Ty finished fourth in DI with three goals a game, completing the 2013 season with 54 goals and 14 assists.
Three veteran reserve attackmen return in 2014, including junior Will Stenberg, who scored nine goals, including three in man-up situations, sophomore Mitch Rupp redshirt sophomore Tom Nuckel and redshirt junior Jack Huber.
A couple of freshmen will join the ranks from Canada. Joining the team is Jake Cullen, out of British Columbia, was ranked 40th out of the whole country by IL, as well as Bennett Drake, a member of the U-19 squad of Team Ontario.
The Great Danes return plenty of experience to the midfield lines, many with starting roles at one point in time in the season. Leading the way is Second Team All-America East middie Ryan Feuerstein, who started 14 games last year, a strong threat on offense with 16 goals and on defense with 39 ground balls. Junior Matt Garziano made his way to the first midfield by season’s end, concluding with 10 goals, 11 assists and 10 caused turnovers.
Three players in the midfield made the conference’s All-Rookie Team last year and will look for an explosive sophomore campaign. John Maloney led all UAlbany midfielders in goal-scoring with 18, starting five games and shooting 45%. Kevin McNally played briefly on the first midfield, getting seven points and serving as a reserve face-off specialist. Serving as a primary reserve, Derrick Eccles scored 13 goals and grabbed 27 ground balls, causing five turnovers.
Senior Jimmy Haugen, earning a team captain role this season, played in UAlbany’s second midfield last year, earning four goals and seven ground balls, as did junior Tim Cox, who finished sixth on the team with 16 goals as a reserve. Junior Matthew Bertrams and sophomore Tyler Aycock each scored points in the midfield last season. Other experienced members returning including redshirt senior Artie Marrapese, a reserve faceoff player, redshirt sophomore Jack Cutrone and redshirt freshman Eric Scala.
Seven new players will join the UAlbany midfield, including a couple with college experience. Entering at senior standing, Cody Kilcoyne was the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association MVP with Adrian College last season with 55 goals and 27 assists. Also transferring to UAlbany is junior Riley Lasda from Penn State, a member of the Latvian National Team who played 15 games for the Nittany Lions. His brother, freshman and fellow Latvian National Team member Eli Lasda, also comes to UAlbany after earning 103 goals and 360 ground balls at Ithaca.
Four other freshmen join the Great Danes in the midfield, including a former teammate of Bertrams at Mason High, 6-foot-3 Adam Osika is a two-time All-State player in Ohio, earning 84 goals and 203 ground balls in his career. Another 6-foot-3 out-of-stater, Bill Breen from Massachusetts, comes to UAlbany after playing lacrosse and football at Boston College High. The next two freshmen hail from the home state: John Glancy earned all-divisional honors as a junior and senior at Northport, and Dan Hanson, who got all-league honors with 36 goals and 15 assists in his senior season at Arlington.
With UAlbany’s primary face-off specialist gone in Kevin Glueckert, new players will be competing at the X. The two main reserves are back, led by sophomore midfielder Kevin McNally, who won 25 face-offs in 40 attempts last season, and redshirt senior Artie Marrapese, who took 46 face-offs last year. Joining the team is freshman Connor Russell, who finished with a 70% face-off success rate in high school. Bennett Drake will also be in the mix after having a 60% face-off rate in his high school career.
Three all-conference members will suit up for the defense this season to defend the cage. The unit is led by two senior veterans on close defense that earned All-America East honors last season: 6-3 first team all-conference long stick Jon Newhouse, who led the America East with 22, adding 44 ground balls, and second team All-America East member Cody Futia, who finished last season with 11 ground balls and nine caused turnovers. Another longstick senior, Doug Eich, is back on defense as a team captain, scooping 31 ground balls and scoring a trio of goals.
Two players come back in the primary defensive midfield; junior Eric Cantor is a duel threat, finishing last season with 15 ground balls and five points, and sophomore Harry Erickson, who had four ground balls in seven games played.
The unit is bolstered by many veterans. Sophomore Josh Babcock played in 10 games off the bench last season, while junior Sam Leahy saw time in three games in 2013. The corps also returns redshirt junior Mike Russell, redshirt sophomores Justin Berger and Tyler Fahey and redshirt freshman Chris Underwood.
Three freshmen join the longstick unit for 2014. 6-foot-6 James Burdette led Penn Yan Academy to a pair of sectional titles, being named a US Lacrosse Academic All-American. Another New Yorker comes to UAlbany in Mike Skluth, who helped John Jay High to a 10-win season in 2013, and Luke Biggers, a 6-foot-3 defenseman who earned First Team All-State honors in Ohio, leading Mason to a #20 national ranking.
The Great Danes will suit up a pair of goalkeepers this year, led by 2013 Second Team All-Conference and All-Rookie Team member Blaze Riorden. Going into his sophomore year, Riorden started all 18 games and played over 1,000 minutes in 2013, allowing just under 12 goals a game and saving 49.1% of shots. Also in the mix is freshman JD Colarusso, a high school All-American goalkeeper at Arlington H.S. in nearby Poughquag.
Head Coach Scott Marr begins season #14 with the Great Danes. Last year he surpassed the 100-win mark and coached UAlbany to its fifth-ever America East championship.
Marr’s support staff is back for its third season together. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Liam Gleason, assistant coach and offensive coordinator Eric Wolf and volunteer assistant coach Donald Shea return for 2014. Former UAlbany midfielder Will Fuller joins the staff as a student assistant coach.
UAlbany is set for a 14-game regular season schedule, including eight home games and a full conference slate. The Great Danes will also play games against three currently-ranked teams and three reigning conference champions.
The Great Danes open with a matchup against #2 Syracuse on the road in a game between the two top ranked teams in the state of New York on February 16th. Then on February 22nd, UAlbany opens at home against Drexel.
The season, UAlbany will take on Bryant, Penn State and Johns Hopkins among others, plus will have a game against Siena on April 22nd at home. The Great Danes will host Vermont, Stony Brook and Binghamton in conference play and will go to Hartford and UMBC.