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UAlbany Men’s Lacrosse Takes on Loyola in the NCAA First Round

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UAlbany Men’s Lacrosse Takes on Loyola in the NCAA First Round

Game Notes | View Live on WatchESPN | Live Stats | Buy Tickets

BALTIMORE – The America East champion UAlbany has returned to Baltimore to compete in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, taking on 3-seed Loyola on Saturday, May 10th at noon at the Ridley Athletic Complex.

The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.  Joe Beninati and Paul Carcaterra will be on the call in Baltimore.

This is UAlbany’s sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the Division I era, with the others coming in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012.  All six berths were from automatic qualifiers after being the champion of the America East.

The Great Danes, standing #15 in the USILA Coaches Poll and #14 in the Warrior DI Media Poll, have won seven straight games to come into Saturday at 11-5.  Loyola, the unanimous #1 team in each poll and Patriot League champion, is on a 15-game winning streak to hold a 15-1 record.

This is the second meeting all-time between the two programs, with the first also occuring the NCAA Tournament.  UAlbany defeated Loyola 19-10 at home in the 2007 NCAA First Round.

The winner of this game heads to Hempstead, New York next weekend to take on the victor of Harvard-Notre Dame.

UAlbany brings the top offense in all of Division I with 16.31 goals per game, led by a pair of Tewaaraton finalists and 100-point scorers.  America East Player of the Year Lyle Thompson already has an NCAA-high 69 assists and 114 points for a DI-best 7.14 points a game, while brother and All-America East First Team member Miles Thompson earns an NCAA-best 4.63 goals a game, tallying 74 goals and 34 assists.  All-America East Second Team member Ty Thompson serves to complete the attack unit, earning 36 goals and 12 assists.

On the defensive side, All-America East First Team goalkeeper Blaze Riorden stand with a 54.5% save percentage, allowing 11.43 goals per game.  Defensive captain and All-America East First Team defenseman Doug Eich has caused 13 turnovers and scooped 22 ground balls, while All-America East Second Team close defender Cody Futia has 14 caused turnovers and 20 ground balls.

Loyola is two years removed from the 2012 NCAA Championship, defeating Maryland 9-3 in the finals. The offense is quarterbacked by Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Justin Ward, a senior attack with 53 assists, averaging 3.31 per game, and 16 goals.  The leading goal-scorer is junior attack Nikko Pontrello with 50 goals, while senior attack Brian Schultz stands with 36 goals and 14 assists.  The team is fifth in DI with 13.31 goals per game.

The Greyhound defense allows 7.13 goals per game, standing second in DI.  The unit is led by Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Tewaaraton finalist senior Joe Fletcher, who has 76 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers, and league Goalkeeper of the Year Jack Runkel, a senior with a 62% save percentage, allowing 6.91 goals per game.  Senior LSM Pat Laconi has caused 32 turnovers.

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