ALBANY — The University at Albany men’s lacrosse program released Thursday its 2018 schedule, a 14-game slate that includes a trio of high-stakes road games.
“Those are chances to play in a hostile environment, against teams in the top 10,” UAlbany head coach Scott Marr said. “Those are going to be beneficial for us, regardless of the outcome.”
UAlbany, which advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals last season, will open its season Feb. 17 at Syracuse, and the Great Danes will later travel to take on reigning national champion Maryland (March 10) and Yale (April 22). The Great Danes’ 2017 season ended with an 18-9 loss to Maryland, which also beat UAlbany during the regular season at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.
In the recently released Inside Lacrosse Preseason Face-Off Yearbook Rankings, UAlbany was ranked No. 2 behind Duke — and Yale was third, Maryland was fourth and Syracuse was ninth.
The No. 2 ranking for the Great Danes is the program’s highest placement ever in the preseason poll.
“It’s a great honor for our program to be recognized like that,” Marr said, “but, obviously, it’s a preseason poll and we haven’t played any games.”
UAlbany finished 15-3 last season and brings back a variety of key contributors, led by senior Connor Fields, a Tewaaraton Award finalist last season. UAlbany also added freshman Tehoka Nanticoke, who is widely regarded as the nation’s top freshman.
Each of UAlbany’s seven home games in 2018 will take place at Casey Stadium because of facility maintenance at Fallon Field. UAlbany’s first home game takes place Feb. 24 against Drexel and the Great Danes also open America East play at home with a March 17 game against Vermont.
“Casey Stadium is a pretty nice place for us,” Marr said. “It’s a great venue for us to play in. I think that [playing there] brings more fans to our games.”
UAlbany’s 2018 schedule includes the same opponents as its 2017 slate, pretty much in the same order. The change is that home and away games have been flipped, except for one.
“The only thing that doesn’t change is we go to Syracuse again instead of them coming here,” Marr said.
UALBANY MEN’S LACROSSE SCHEDULE
17 — at Syracuse, 2; 24 — vs. Drexel, noon.
3 — vs. Cornell, noon; 6 — at UMass, 3; 10 — at Maryland, 1; 17 — vs. Vermont, 1; 20 — vs. Canisius, 7; 24 — at UMass Lowell, 7; 28 — vs. Harvard, 7; 31 — vs. Stony Brook, 7.
7 — at UMBC, 3; 20 — vs. Binghamton, 7; 22 — at Yale, TBA; 28 — at Hartford, 7.
3 — America East semifinals, TBD; 5 — America East championship, TBD.