Marr believes Danes are lovable ‘dogs

Coach thinks Albany could have more fans than Maryland on Sunday
It won't be the same as last Saturday at Casey Stadium, but ...
It won't be the same as last Saturday at Casey Stadium, but ...

ALBANY — Scott Marr pushed back quick at the line of questioning.

No, he argued Tuesday, the location of Sunday’s NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament quarterfinal in Delaware does not mean top-seeded Maryland will have more supporters in the stands than UAlbany. 

“I’m gonna say we’re gonna have as many fans [as Maryland], if not more than them, to be honest with you,” Marr said.

For sure, UAlbany’s coach gets why Maryland — one of college lacrosse’s true blue-blood programs — is going to have its fair share of supporters Sunday at Delaware Stadium, a venue roughly 200 miles closer to the Terrapins’ campus than it is to UAlbany’s home base.

But UAlbany men’s lacrosse’s brand is built on fun and its status is that of an underdog. While certainly some of the record-setting crowd that showed up for this past Saturday’s win against North Carolina will travel to Delaware for this weekend, Marr’s counting on gaining new fans, too.

“I think everybody in the country, if they’re not a fan of somebody else, they’re rooting for us,” said Marr, who said he’s bought several dozen tickets for family and friends for Sunday’s game. “I think we’re kind of that Cinderella story.”

It’s possible that glass slipper doesn’t fit. UAlbany is the eighth seed in the NCAA tournament, but it entered the postseason ranked fourth in both national polls and third in the RPI.

Meanwhile, an advanced statistical rating system used by has consistently had the Great Danes within its top-10 teams this season and at No. 1 heading into the national tournament.

UAlbany strengthened its case as a top team this past weekend, topping defending national champion North Carolina 15-12 in front of 6,472 fans at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. That win — one Marr called the program’s “greatest accomplishment” so far — helped solidify for the Great Danes, too, that they belong in the national championship conversation. 

“Just to have that win under your belt, it makes you feel good,” UAlbany senior midfielder Eli Lasda said. “It proves what we’ve known all along: that we’re right there with any program in the country.”

Maryland head coach John Tillman said earlier this week that UAlbany didn’t need such a win to prove itself. His team beat UAlbany 12-11 during the regular season, and Tillman said he left that game knowing the Great Danes were as good as they looked from his prior scouting.

“I think [that game] confirmed a lot of what we’d already thought,” Tillman said.

But nobody spends any time wondering if Maryland, the tournament’s top seed, has what it takes to advance to the national semifinals and beyond. The Terrapins are making their 36th appearance in the quarterfinals and own a 24-11 all-time record in that round.

UAlbany? The Great Danes are 0-3 and taking their fourth shot at advancing to their first-ever semifinal — and Marr’s predicting that storyline will sway neutral fans to his team’s side on Sunday.

“I think the average fan is gonna be rooting for that underdog,” Marr said.

Categories: -Sports-, College Sports

Leave a Reply