Offense erupts as Men’s Lacrosse shuts out UMass Lowell
By Bryan Saur
March 31, 2015
This past Saturday, the nationally ranked University at Albany men’s lacrosse team (7-1, 3-0 America East) took on the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks (1-8, 0-3 America East) for the first time ever between these two schools.
UAlbany did not offer a warm welcoming to the first-year program, demolishing them 25-0 on a cold and cloudy day at John Fallon Field. UAlbany dominated right from the opening whistle and never looked back.
UAlbany outplayed UMass Lowell in nearly every offensive and defensive category across the stat sheet. UAlbany outshot UMass Lowell 67-21, won 23 of 29 faceoffs, and won the ground by scooping up 65 ground balls.
The scoring was started by UAlbany’s point leader and reigning Co-Tewaaraton Award winner Lyle Thompson. Thompson caused a turnover off a failed clear attempt by UMass Lowell, he then ran towards the cage and ripped a hard side arm shot past UMass Lowell goalie Alex Desmarais. Thompson finished the day with two goals, only playing in the first half.
The two goals put Thompson at 332 career points for the attacker. That is fourth all time in NCAA Division I history and Thompson is now just 22 points behind former Cornell great Rob Pannell for the most points in NCAA Division I history.
Usually it’s Thompson lighting up the box score. But Saturday, the day belonged to freshman Connor Fields. Fields had a career-high seven goals and added two assists in just two quarters of action. Fields’ first goal came seven minutes into the game, when he scooped up a blocked shot in the crease and then buried it, to make it a 2-0 game at the time.
“Its nice to have a game like this, it really gets your confidence up,” said Fields. “I have to give credit to my teammates. They were feeding me inside.”
With Ty Thompson and Miles Thompson no longer on the team, Fields has been a great replacement to go along with Lyle.
“Connor moves a little bit different than Ty [Thompson],” said UAlbany coach Scott Marr. “Without Miles [Thompson], we rely more on Connor to carry the ball and create some offense for us. That’s where were a little bit different.”
The freshman from East Amherst, N.Y. now has a team leading 30 goals on the season.
Even though the ball was on the offensive side of the field for most of the game, the UAlbany defense played great when needed.
Junior goalie Blaze Riorden stopped all three shots he faced in two quarters of action to improve to 7-1 on the season. Backup goalies JD Colarusso and Trevor Cross came in the second half to stop all River Hawk shots to secure the shutout. This was the first shutout in Division I history for UAlbany since the program began in 2000.
16 Great Danes scored at least one goal, and the 25 goal margin of victory is the largest in program history. John Glancy and Troy Reh each scored a pair of goals, while Justin Reh scored a goal and added a team high seven assists. Josh Egan and Cody Kilcoyne each scored their first career goal in the win.
The defense was perfect on clears, converting 16-16 and forcing 23 turnovers.
UAlbany has cross state rival Syracuse coming up on Thursday, April 2 at seven p.m. After coming up a little short against the Orange recently, the tenth ranked Great Danes will look to take down the top ranked team in the country on Thursday at the Carrier Dome.