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Pre-season sets high expectations for Great Danes

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(Source: UAlbany Athletics) The cold doesn’t stop UAlbany lacrosse players from enjoying their first official spring practice.
(Source: UAlbany Athletics)
The cold doesn’t stop UAlbany lacrosse players from enjoying their first official spring practice.
(Source: UAlbany Athletics) UAlbany Lacrosse Coach Marr huddles the team together to end practice.
(Source: UAlbany Athletics)
UAlbany Lacrosse Coach Marr huddles the team together to end practice.

By Lamya Zikry

1/26/16


The men’s lacrosse preseason started on Monday, Jan. 18 and the men are preparing for the spring 2016 season.

The team captains for this season are James Burdette (JR), Derrick Eccles (RSR), John Maloney (SR), and Blaze Riorden (SR). Both Eccles and Riorden are second-year captains.

On Monday they met for the first time since fall-ball for a conditioning test and practice. On Wednesday they were outside again for the first “official” practice of the spring— bundled up on the icy John Fallon Field, they got after it.

“Preseason has been awesome. I love our attitude. Our effort today [Jan 20] was outstanding. We had a very high tempo practice these first couple days. The guys came back in good shape and were very excited about what the prospects of this year bring,” Head Coach Scott Marr said.

For the lacrosse team, the conditioning test is to gage where they stand coming out of winter break. From there the practices are planned appropriately to improve their conditioning.

The conditioning test was 12,110-yard sprints. The team has to run the 110-yards in 18 seconds and they have 42 seconds to run back. This is done a total of 12 times.

Marr said it was really cold and windy the day they did the test, so the wind made it difficult, but the results were great.

“It’s been cold but good. A lot of people came back in shape, people’s sticks are sharp, and we look pretty good. A lot of people are starting to step up with the absence of last year’s lost leadership so it’s been good,” Eccles said.

Part of stepping up is being in shape. “Lacrosse is a lot of running so you have to be in really good shape and we had some guys fail the run test so they’re working out at 7 a.m. every morning to get some extra running in to be prepared for the season,” senior goalkeeper Blaze Riorden said.

The lacrosse preseason consists of a lot of conditioning and team bonding. They even did yoga together to mix it up. Riorden says that battling the cold elements has been a challenge, but they still keep coming out and putting in good effort.

So far, Marr is happy with what he’s seen.

“It’s a good start with a very high tempo and a lot of energy,” he said.

One change this season is the absence of a Thompson on the team. For the lacrosse program this opens up the chance for new leadership to step up.

Riorden thinks that the dynamic will be different but they’ll still be able to put together wins as a team.

“It will definitely be different because you don’t have a go-to guy in clutch situations. We don’t have a guy right now where were like we want the ball in his stick when it comes to a big play. We’ve got Connor Fields who can score but it will be different as far as sharing the ball across the field,” Eccles said.

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