Mascot: Great Danes
Coach: Scott Marr
Location: Albany, NY
Conference: America East
Game Location: Carrier Dome
Game Time: 2 PM
Television/Radio: ACC Network Extra / ESPN 97.7
Weather: DOME WEATHER!
All-Time Syracuse Record Vs. Opponent: 15-1
Previous Matchup: 10-9 Syracuse Win
Opponent Ranking: #4
2017 Quick Facts
2017 Record: 15-3
2017 Conference Record: 6-0
2017 Conference Postseason Results: America East Champions
2017 NCAA Tournament Postseason Results: Lost to Maryland in 2nd Round
Hovering in the background of Saturday’s matchup is the possibility of Syracuse making a visit to Albany in the near future. According to a report by the Times Union, the two squads are working on a game to be played at Casey Stadium. The head bosses are working on an April date. The massive turnout at the North Carolina Tar Heel NCAA first round game last year turned some heads, and a regular season game against SU in Albany should be another packed house, whenever it happens.
The Orange are 15-1 against UAlbany in the history books, but this may be the most challenging offensive juggernaut that the Danes have ever brought to the field.
Albany has always been strongest at the attack position; Scott Marr loves his offensive recruits. This year is no different. Connor Fields returns for his senior year bringing with him 165 career goals and 113 career assists. He’s a fantastic one on one guy. Look for him distribute a little more this year.
Backing him up is last year’s second leading scorer Justin Reh. Reh had 58 points last season, but is relatively unknown amongst most lacrosse fans. Look for him from the point and on fast breaks, he’s got a nice jump shot.
Finally, there is Tehoka Nanticoke. The undisputed number one recruit in this past year’s recruiting class, but has already been hampered by injuries. Speaking with The Daily Gazette, Marr said that Nanticoke is, “not anywhere near 100 percent.” Nanticoke will back you up and score between your legs. Remember Miles Thompson? Lyle Thompson? Yea, same deal here.
On a team with two number one attackmen, how will the Syracuse defense matchup. That’s really the big question. We’re about to find out just how good this SU defense can be, this might be its biggest test of the year.
The attack will be on point but don’t sleep on this midfield, which could be one of the best in the country this year. All American Kyle McClancy was the top midfield scorer last season with 29 goals and 13 assists. Originally from Syracuse, NY Sean Eccles had a big sophomore season with the second line mids, picking up 23 goals and seven assists including two goals and an assist against the Orange. The third starter is likely to be junior Jack Burgmaster out of Auburn, NY. Jack is the older brother of Alex Burgmaster a freshman midfielder on the team.
The Syracuse defense is not going to get the fast break chances they did last week. This will be a possession game and that means it is going to come down to faceoffs. TD Lerlan went 6 of 21 against Syracuse in the 2017 game after which he never won fewer than 13 faceoffs in a contest and finished the season with the second best faceoff winning percentage in the country at .708. On the other side will be Danny Varello who took 21 of 25 from a group of Binghamton faceoff guys last week. This will be a tough order for the newly minted Syracuse starter, and could be the difference maker in this one
The entire defensive half of the field will be familiar to Syracuse. Seniors AJ Kluck and Stone Sims will accompany junior Erick Dluhy. Marr has always focused on the offensive side of things when recruiting, and while this defensive trio is not a top unit in college lacrosse it is very experienced. In net will be redshirt senior JD Colarusso. The second year starter’s 2017 numbers were solid, a .536 save percentage and a 9.37 goals against average.
The Syracuse Orange will host the Albany Great Danes on Saturday at 2 PM in the Carrier Dome. The game can be seen on the ACC Digital Network Extra and heard on ESPN 97.7.