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Danes Shake off Rust Against Colgate

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ALBANY, N.Y. — With the snow completely melted at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium and the season opener just two weeks away, it’s time to check in on the No. 3 ranked men’s lacrosse team in the nation.

In their first game action of the 2018 season, the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team knocked off Colgate 13-11 in an exhibition scrimmage at Casey Stadium Saturday afternoon.

“Our attitude and effort is outstanding,” head coach Scott Marr said. “The kids are excited to play and very positive with each other. If we can continue to grow from where we are right now, I think we’re in good shape.”

Those in attendance got to see 2018 No. 1 overall recruit Tehoka Nanticoke in the Purple and Gold for the first time this season.

Nanticoke finished the game with three goals along with senior midfielder Connor Fields, the 2017 Tewaaraton Trophy nominee who also had three.

Colgate started out the game brilliant defensively as Fields was held scoreless in the first quarter.

Senior midfielder Kyle McClancy led the way with four goals to lead all scorers.

“It’s all a testament to my teammates,” McClancy said. “They were just finding me. I had the easy job. Just put the ball in the net.”

The Danes held just a one lead after the first period but broke the game open with a four-goal second to take an 8-4 lead into the locker room.

Faceoff king TD Ierlan continued his dominance from his freshman campaign, a season in which he won over 70-percent faceoffs one year ago, finished the afternoon 13-for-20 (65-percent) to help seal the win for the Danes.

Fields, the Danes’ leading assist man with 62 last season, picked up right where he left off. In the second quarter, Fields connected with teammate Justin Reh on a behind the back pass that Reh ripped into the back of the net for his first goal of the afternoon.

“We do that in practice all the time,” Fields said. “He was sliding under and I was looking. I saw him create an opening for himself and just popped it in there.”

Fields would lead all Danes with three assists on the afternoon.

UAlbany held a comfortable 12-4 lead in the third when head coach Scott Marr decided to take his starters out including Fields, Nanticoke, and McClancy.

The Raiders would go on a quick run immediately after the substitutions, allowing Colgate to cut the lead to 12-6. The Raiders second half run was in part fueled by the turnovers by the Great Danes second unit.

UAlbany finished the game with 13 turnovers compared to just 11 for the Raiders.

The Danes at times played stagnant on the offensive end and didn’t get into their sets as quickly as Coach Marr would’ve liked. He also hoped to see improvements in the transition game.

“We’re not there yet. We’re not even close. We really have a lot of work ahead of us these next two weeks.”

UAlbany will head up to Syracuse in two weeks to play the Orange at the Carrier Dome to open the 2018 campaign.

“Can’t wait,” Fields said. “We’ve got one more week against Princeton so we’re gonna work on some things. We can’t wait. Obviously more we could do but we thought we played well.”

The home opener is set for Saturday Feb. 24 as the Great Danes face off against Drexel at 12 p.m.

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Rob "Lep" Lepelstat is the sports editor of the Albany Student Press. Along with the ASP, Lep works as Vice President of ATV and sports director for WCDB. During the summer of 2017, he interned at WABC-TV in New York City.

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