University at Albany’s men’s lacrosse team, which for the better part of the last decade has been a powerhouse in the America East Conference, is looking to gain back some respect.
The Great Danes, who open their season at Denver this afternoon at 3, earned an NCAA tournament berth in four of the last seven seasons and reached the conference championship game seven consecutive times from 2002 through 2008. They won the conference title in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
But this year, the America East Conference coaches picked the Danes to finish third in their preseason poll, and although head coach Scott Marr understands why his team was picked so low, he doesn’t agree with his peers.
“When you go 7-7 and lose in the semifinals of your tournament, it’s hard to be ranked higher than that,” said Marr, “but it does stick in our side a little. I think it’s a source of motivation for us. We have some things to prove — both to other people around the country and to ourselves. We want to come out and prove that we belong in the top 10 in the country, and I really think we can do it. We have a lot of experience coming back — people who were freshmen and sophomores last year. And we lost only four or five guys who played for us last year. We’re a year older and more mature. Plus, our depth has increased. We’ve been practicing well, and we’ve had two good scrimmages, so far.”
Albany, which returns 27 letterwinners, was ranked No. 18 in the USILA preseason coaches poll and No. 20 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll. The Great Danes, who were involved in four one-goal decisions a year ago and battled five top-15 opponents, will once again have a strong schedule that includes six opponents ranked in at least one of the two major polls.
The Danes have plenty of firepower returning, including junior Brian Caufield, who earned honorable mention All-America recognition and led the team in scoring with 24 goals and 27 assists. Joe Resitarits, whose older brother Frank was one of the program’s all-time greats, scored 34 goals and added nine assists while being named to the America East Conference’s first team as a freshman.
Mark Cometti, Kyle Crotty, Joe Pompo and Dave Brock each recorded 19 points, while Mark Kelly was a second-team all-conference selection on defense. Goalkeeper John Carroll compiled a .496 save percentage as a freshman.
“We’ve got some depth and some good athletic ability,” said Marr. “We should have plenty of offense. Defensively, we stack up good. We have our most experience there, with two seniors and a junior in our top three.
“We are very excited. We changed our approach since last fall, and we’re doing some things differently in terms of conditioning. We are in tremendous shape. So much of what happened to us last year had to do with maturity. Now, our freshmen are sophomores, and our sophomores are juniors. It’s a big jump. We will only have to rely on a couple of freshmen this year, because we have plenty of veterans.”
This will be the second meeting between Albany and Denver. The Pioneers defeated the Great Danes, 11-9, at John Fallon Field last spring.
Denver is off to an 0-2 start this season. The Pioneers have lost to No. 1 ranked Syracuse, 15-9, and Jacksonville, 13-12, in overtime.
Albany plays its home opener Tuesday night at 6 against Siena.
Sacred Heart senior Brittany Dexter (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) became a four-time NEC champion in the high jump by winning the individual title at the NEC track and field championships. Dexter, who holds the NEC record in the event, leaped 5-73⁄4, eclipsing the ECAC championship qualifying standard.
Two Niskayuna High School graduates were part of Ithaca College’s third straight UNYSCSA/Empire 8 swimming championship last week in Syracuse. Senior Shannon Archer was the Bombers’ representative on the Empire 8 Sportsperson of the Year team, while junior Joanna Ferreri was part of Ithaca’s second-place finishes in both the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay events.
The College of Saint Rose basketball teams will be hosting first-round Northeast-10 Conference tournament games this weekend at Nolan Gym. The men will host Southern New Hampshire today at 1 p.m., while the women will host Merrimack Sunday at 1.
Saint Rose freshman Caitlin Brauer (Shenendehowa) set five school records and was part of three school-record-setting relay teams en route to being named female rookie of the meet at the Metropolitan Conference Swimming and Diving Championships last weekend.
Union’s Lexi Bascom was fourth in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:11.94, Meredith Nearpass was fourth in the three-meter dive with a score of 421.10 and the team of Priscilla Wright, Diana Fletcher, Maria Prendergast (Niskayuna) and Erica Fugger finished third in the 400-yard freestyle in a time of 3:35.56 at the UNYSCSA swimming and diving championships.
SUNY-Cobleskill sophomore Marten Peterson won the 1,000 meters in a program-record time of 2:32.58 at the RIT last chance indoor track and field championship.
The Fighting Tigers also received an ECAC Division III championship qualifying performance in the 3,200 relay from a team that included Colonie High School graduates
Nicole Soblosky and Meghan Lapoint, as well as Ryan Kelly and Abigail Vanderveen.
University at Albany swept the America East Conference men’s and women’s indoor track championships last weekend. The men won for the fifth consecutive time, while the women took their first conference title.
Freshman Keven Donohue was named the Liberty League rookie of the week in men’s basketball after scoring 24 points in the regular-season finale against St. Lawrence. It was his second league honor of the season.
Senior Joey Lokitis was named the Liberty League guard of the week in men’s basketball after averaging 19.5 points in the Dutchmen’s final two regular-season games. He earned that honor five times this season.
Lokitis, senior forward Matt Covucci and senior guard Drew Goldstein were named to the Liberty League all-conference team. Lokitis was a first-team selection, while Covucci and Goldstein were honorable mentions.
Junior forward Lauren McCormick (Hoosick Falls) was named to the Liberty League all-conference second team in women’s basketball. She led the Dutchwomen in scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).
Junior Brian Hooks (Shaker) was named the SUNYAC player of the week in men’s basketball. He scored 18 points in a pair of wins and is averaging 12.3 ppg with a team-best 69 three-pointers.
Meredith Eger, Kelsey Manley and Mairead Lyons were named the Liberty League’s swimmer, diver and rookie of the week. Eger, a senior captain, finished seventh or better in six events at the UNYSCSA championships. Manley was fourth in the one-meter dive, while Lyons posted four school records and finished 10th or better in each of the six events she competed in.
Nathan Marsan, Garrett Harms and David Kastner were named the Liberty League’s men’s track performer, field performer and rookie of the week, respectively, while Lindsey Rappleyea was the rookie of the week on the women’s side. Marsan (Niskayuna) was third in the 500 dash at the NYSCTC championships, while Harris was second in the pentathlon. Kastner was sixth in the pentathlon, and Rappleyea was fifth in the women’s pentathlon.
HUDSON VALLEY CC
Ramel Alexander (Berkshire) was named to the NJCAA Region III Division III men’s basketball all-region first team and the Mountain Valley Conference first team. Steve Hunt (Tamarac) was selected to the Mountain Valley Conference third team.
SCHENECTADY COUNTY CC
Chris Lewis (Schenectady) earned a spot on the NJCAA Region III Division III all-region second team in basketball, while C.J. Tarver (Bishop Maginn) was picked on the third team. On the Mountain Valley Conference squad, Tarver and Lewis switched places, with Tarver making the second team and Lewis making the third team.
Sophomore attackman Bryan Neufeld was named the MAAC offensive player of the week in men’s lacrosse after scoring a career-high seven goals and eight points in the Saints’ season-opening loss at Stony Brook.
Categories: College Sports