Albany is a weird lacrosse program to keep track of. They're awesome, they're horrible, they're awesome, they're horrible. PICK ONE AND STICK WITH IT!
The Danes were on the verge of something big in the mid 00's. They went to four NCAA Tournaments, capped off by 2007's season in which they entered the tourney 14-2 and a 5-seed. Due to some seemingly-unfair bracketing, the Danes put to sleep by Cornell in the Quarterfinals. From there on out, both of those programs took divergent paths. The Big Red went on to even bigger things while Albany began stepping backwards.
They finished 8-8 in 2008, 7-7 in 2009 and 4-10 last season. Their chance at becoming another great upstate rival for Syracuse was done. It seemed.
Enter 2011 and things got off on the same foot with a 14-7 loss to Drexel. Since then, however, the Danes have been on a tear, winning three games, including two over Top 20 teams (UMass, Ohio State). All of a sudden, what was supposed to be a reprieve game for the Orange is one more in a series of tests against quality, ranked opponents. Consider the trap set.
There's also a sibling rivalry involved in the game. Miles Thompson, Albany's starting attackman, is Jeremy Thompson's brother. Their cousin, Ty, is a freshman on the team as well.
"Everyone’s pretty excited," Jeremy Thompson said. "I talked to my brother earlier in the week, and my family is pretty excited. My mother got some T-shirts made up for the game, half ‘Cuse and half Albany, with our numbers on the back. Everybody’s excited. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun."
Syracuse fans are looking forward to the fun. More than that, they'd like to see the Orange win a game easily. It's been a while. Here's to hoping.
By the way, how's this for a surprising stat: If the Orange win, they'll improve to 5-0, their best start since 2000 when it began the year 7-0. Guess that's what you get for having schedules like ours.
TV Info: Time Warner Sports/SNY
Radio: WTKW 99.5 FM
Last Minute Links:
Leave your pre-, in- and post-game comments below.