Danes erase early deficit with 16 straight goals
ALBANY, N.Y. — The No. 1 ranked UAlbany men’s lacrosse team made quick work of Canisius and took down the overmatched Golden Griffins 19-11 in front of a crowd of 1,412 at Casey Stadium on Tuesday.
The win didn’t come as easy as expected as Canisius raced out to an early 3-0 lead just over three minutes into the game. This stunned the UAlbany crowd as Casey Stadium was filled with echoes of the Golden Griffin’s players and fans.
Senior midfielder Kyle McClancy ended the Great Dane drought and made the game 3-1 after an unassisted goal with 8:23 left on the clock in the first quarter.
Just about a minute later Canisius scored again making it 4-1 and left people in the stands thinking that an upset could have been in the making. Luckily for the Danes that was furthest from the truth and they ripped off 16 unanswered goals spanning from the first to the third quarter.
Senior attack Connor Fields led the charge with a five goal day and also added three assists. He now has 25 goals on the season, which moves him up to third most in the nation.
“We knew they were a good team. We just came out a little slow,” said Fields. “We are a confident team and we’ve had some come from behind wins.”
The Danes have erased four and five goal deficits against Cornell and Maryland already this year and playing behind is something that they have been familiar with, but not something they want to get accustomed to.
“I think we would like to eliminate some of the lapses we’ve had,” said Marr. “Today again with a slow start we were down 4-1. Our starts I think can be better.”
The team had another slow start, but once the Dane train got rolling there was no stopping the goals. 10 different players scored at least one goal and that was due large in part to that make it take it mentality. TD Ierlan won 21 out of 25 faceoffs and kept the ball in the UAlbany attacker’s hands.
Freshman phenom Tehoka Nanticoke kept his progression growing and scored a hat trick and assisted in two goals. Those three goals pushed his season total to 20. The combination of Fields and Nanticoke is a lethal force on the field and they were both respectfully named America East Conference players of the week. Fields was the offensive player of the week, his third time this season and 17th time in his career. And Nanticoke was picked the rookie of the week, his fourth on the season.
The Danes are exactly at the midpoint of the season and they are rolling on all cylinders. They are first in the nation in scoring offense with over 15 goals per game and they are third in the nation in scoring defense allowing just under seven goals per contest. These are historic numbers for this program, but the sentiment in the locker room is that there is room to grow.
“We are happy with where we are, but we are not going to get complacent,” said Fields.
In terms of their slow starts Marr said, “When it comes to mistakes like that we can’t let that happen come the end of the season.”
The Danes do have a couple tests on their schedule in the next week or so. This Saturday they will travel east to take on a UMass Lowell team that has won three of their last four games. After that they will host a Harvard team on Mar. 28 that have strung together four wins in a row.
This could be a historic season, but the Danes are taking it one game at a time.
“We have a next play mentality and a next game mentality,” said Fields. “We can’t just look back and say we’re undefeated. We have to keep winning.”