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Great Danes Train Gets Back on Track

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The UAlbany train conductor was back behind the wheel on Saturday as Connor Fields returned to the field to lead the Great Danes over the Binghamton Bearcats.

Two weeks after being upset by UMBC in the college lacrosse upset of the season, the #2 UAlbany Great Danes men’s lacrosse team (11-1, 4-1 AE) restored order in the America East with a convincing 18-7 win over the Binghamton Bearcats (4-10, 1-4 AE) in front of a crowd of 3,553 at the annual Spring Stomp game.

Connor Fields led the Great Danes with two goals to go along with five assists in his first game back from his knee injury. Tehoka Nanticoke added three goals of his own to go along with two assists. In total, 11 different Great Danes scored, including two goals apiece from Alex Burgmaster, Sean Eccles, Justin Reh and Troy Reh.

“I was getting more and more confidence as the game went on,” Fields said. “Towards the end of the game, I felt back to normal.”

The Great Danes struck first, six minutes into the first period after Chris Ryan sent a shot into the upper left-hand corner past the goalie to put the Great Danes up 1-0. The Great Danes scored moments later after Tehoka Nanticoke set up Jack Burgmaster to go up 2-0.

Binghamton cut the deficit in half with 3:33 left in the first period to bring the Bearcats within one at 2-1. The Great Danes weren’t finished as Nanticoke set up Sean Eccles a minute later to put the Great Danes up 3-1. Then, Connor Fields made his presence with just under a minute remaining in the opening period with a goal to make it 4-1.

Binghamton opened up the scoring in the second period to make it 4-2 with a goal less than two minutes in. Justin Reh responded quickly for Albany to make it 5-2. Alex Burgmaster beat the keeper moments later to increase the Great Danes lead to 6-2. Eccles tacked on another goal a minute later to make it 7-2. Nanticoke got in scoring column seconds later, increasing the lead to 8-2.

Faceoff guru TD Ierlan, who went 20-22 on faceoffs on the day, got in on the fun scoring his fourth goal of the season not too long after, making it 9-2. Binghamton scored the next two goals to close the gap to within five at 9-4. Jakob Paterson restored order for the Great Danes with an unbelievable over the shoulder goal to put UAlbany up 10-4 with just under two minutes remaining in the first half.

Fields got the party started in the opening two minutes of the third period with his second goal of the game to make it 11-4. The Bearcats responded quickly to make it 11-5. The Reh brothers scored the next two goals for the Great Danes with Justin making it 12-5 and Troy Reh adding on to make it 13-5.

Nanticoke scored his second goal of the game just over a minute into the fourth period to make it 14-5. Alex Burgmaster scored to make it 15-5 and Nanticoke added another goal moments later to make it 16-5 and secured the hat trick. The Great Danes weren’t finished as Troy Reh found the back of the net again, making it 17-5.

The Bearcats tacked on another two more to make it 17-7 but it was much too little too late, as the Dane train kept chugging along. Sophomore Mitch Aladdin got in on the action for the Great Danes to make it the final score of 18-7.

“Certainly pleased with our effort tonight,” Coach Matt said after the game. “Coming off our loss and not playing in a couple of weeks. Started off a little slow, but I thought we picked it up, played a pretty solid game.”

The Great Danes entered the game having not played since their upset loss to UMBC 11-7, on April 6. Going into the game, the Great Danes got senior attacker Connor Fields back after missing the previous two games.

“It felt like years since the UMBC game,” Ierlan said after the two weeks off. “I was getting kind of sick of getting phone calls and stuff about it.”

Binghamton entered the game winning three out of their last four.

The Great Danes will finish up the season at Hartford on Tuesday, April 28 at 1 p.m.

Earlier in the week, the Great Danes had four members selected in the Major League Lacrosse collegiate draft. Connor Fields was selected 3rd overall by Charlotte, Kyle McClancy was taking 10th overall in the second round by Atlanta, Troy Reh was selected 27th overall in the third round by New York and his brother Justin Reh was selected 59th overall in the seventh round, also by New York.

Elijah Casper is a sports reporter for the Albany Student Press and co-anchor on ATV 360.

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