UAlbany men’s lacrosse dominates Syracuse

Nanticoke scores 5 in debut
Heralded UAlbany freshman Tehoka Nanticoke scored five goals against Syracuse on Saturday in his collegiate debut.
Heralded UAlbany freshman Tehoka Nanticoke scored five goals against Syracuse on Saturday in his collegiate debut.

SYRACUSE — Days before his team’s opener Saturday at Syracuse, University at Albany men’s lacrosse head coach Scott Marr cautioned against expecting so much from the Great Danes in their debut.

“Everyone is hyping this game like we’re going to win by 10 goals,” Marr said. “That’s just not a realistic scenario.”



Turns out . . .

“Everyone” sold UAlbany short.

To start a season UAlbany is expected to conclude with its first-ever appearance at championship weekend, the Great Danes looked the part in their debut. UAlbany dominated its way to a 15-3 win at the Carrier Dome, blowing past a Syracuse program that had won 15 of 16 games against the Great Danes before Saturday.

The scariest part?

“In our locker room, we know that we didn’t play as well as we could have offensively in the first half,” Marr said after his team’s dozen-goal victory.

Marr added: “We’re just going to keep working and keep building for the next game. We’ve got to keep improving.”

But UAlbany left the Carrier Dome looking a lot like a finished product after its first 60 minutes of the season. Freshman Tehoka Nanticoke met the hype as the nation’s No. 1 recruit with a game-high five goals, sophomore Jakob Patterson added four goals, and senior Connor Fields produced two goals and two assists to start a season in which he could become the NCAA’s all-time leader in points.

Meanwhile, superb play from sophomore faceoff specialist TD Ierlan and redshirt senior goalie JD Colarusso were key elements in the Great Danes keeping the Orange from scoring at one point for more than 35 minutes. Ierlan won 16 of 21 faceoffs, while Colarusso made 10 saves.

“We try to block out the noise,” Fields said of the Great Danes’ mentality. “We just want to focus on us and getting better each and every day. I feel like we’ve been doing that.”

UAlbany (1-0) entered the game ranked No. 3 in the coaches poll and No. 4 in the media poll, while Syracuse (1-1) was No. 8 and No. 7, respectively, and coming off a 21-4 season-opening win last weekend against Binghamton.

Syracuse’s output Saturday was its lowest since scoring two goals in 1973. The last time Syracuse scored three goals was in 1991.

UAlbany started slowly against Syracuse, but took a 4-1 lead into halftime — and, then, got rolling. The Great Danes registered seven goals in the third quarter, including four from Nanticoke, who said he didn’t feel any nerves in his first college game.

“No, I don’t really look at anything as pressure,” Nanticoke said. “I just try to go and play my game. What I’ve been doing my whole life.”

UAlbany led 11-2 after the third quarter in which Nanticoke and Fields combined for six of the Great Danes’ seven goals.

“We kind of got our rhythm there in the beginning of that third quarter, and started going pretty good,” Marr said.

Syracuse head coach John Desko said there was little the Orange could do to stop the Great Danes once they got rolling.

“All in all,” Desko said, “I thought defensively we did not do a bad job.”

A large contingent of UAlbany fans crowded in the stands behind the Great Danes’ bench, often filling the Carrier Dome with long “Albany” chants.

“The crowd support we had was unreal,” Marr said.

UAlbany plays its home opener next weekend against Drexel. The Great Danes stayed on-message throughout Saturday’s post-game press conference, downplaying their season-opening win as just one game in a season that’s supposed to last into late May.

“It’s great. We’re 1-0, right?” Colarusso said. “We’re just ready to get back to practice on Monday and keep improving.”

UAlbany 2 2 7 4 — 15

Syracuse 1 0 1 1 — 3

UAlbany scoring: J. Reh 1-1, Fields 2-2, Nanticoke 5-0, McClancy 1-1, S. Eccles 1-0, Ierlan 1-0, Patterson 4-0, A. Burgmaster 0-2. Syracuse scoring: Solomon 1-0, B. Bomberry 0-1, Trimboli 1-0, Hutchings 1-0, Oladunmoye 0-1, Lane 0-1.   

Goalies: UAlbany, Colarusso, 10 saves; Syracuse, Madonna, 11 saves.

Attendance: 7,238.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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