Danes upset Johns Hopkins, dominate Hartford
By James Mann
After upsetting the No. 10 seeded Johns Hopkins on Friday, the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team returned home to take on America East Conference opponent Hartford. The Great Danes were still rolling from their huge win over Johns Hopkins as they creamed Hartford, 24-11, on Sunday afternoon.
Freshman goalie Blaze Riorden had the game of his life against Johns Hopkins as he recorded 20 saves in a tight 10-9 victory for UAlbany. “The defense forced Hopkins to take shots that a goalie should save,” a modest Riorden said of his career day in the net. “Yes, I had 20 saves but the defense played great as a unit and they should be credited with some of those saves.”
Miles Thompson extended his point streak to 32 consecutive games with five points on three goals and two assists. The deciding play of the game occurred with 2:01 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Riorden made his 20th and final save of the game and quickly passed it up to Doug Eich. Eich ran the length of the field and fired a shot past Pierce Basset in the top right-hand corner of the net for the game winner.
After defeating the No. 10 seed, Hartford seemed like an easy win—and the Danes carried that confidence into the game on Sunday. 10 different players scored at John Fallon Field to give the Danes their fourth straight victory and improve their America East Conference record to 2-0.
UAlbany started the scoring off early as Ty Thompson set up his cousin Miles for a 1-0 lead with 12:31 remaining. Hartford answered right back and subsequently took the lead with three of the next four goals to take a 3-2 lead with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter.
“It was pretty rough in the first quarter for a lot of guys because of all the traveling and the game we had Friday, but we got our legs going pretty quick and we put up a great team effort to win,” senior defenseman Anthony Ostrander said. “The offense played great putting up 24 goals and the D stepped it up in the second half.”
The Hawks got off to a strong start in the second quarter taking their final lead of the game, 4-3, on a shot from the stick of Rory Nunamacher. From then on, it was all Danes. UAlbany scored seven straight goals in a five minute and forty-five second span to gain a 10-4 lead with 9:18 left in the half.
Hartford tried to rally back, scoring four out of five of the final goals of the half to cut the deficit to 11-8. The Hawks Jared Franze scored two of those goals and Garret Dollard assisted him on both. The Thompsons took over in the third quarter as Lyle scored three of the first four UAlbany goals. He also assisted his cousin, Ty, on two goals.
With a 16-9 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Danes were in commanding control of the game. The Danes defense stepped it up in the final quarter allowing just two goals on seven shots. Seven different UAlbany players would find the back of the net in the final quarter as they fell one goal short of the program record for most goals in a game (25), which was set against the Hawks in March of 2005.
With the win, UAlbany is the last remaining undefeated team in the America East Conference and improve their overall record to 8-3. The Danes look to extend their streak to five at Vermont on April 13 at Virtue Field. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m.