ALBANY — The decision to move the University at Albany men’s lacrosse game against Cornell from Saturday to Sunday was easy and necessary to make after Friday’s winter storm.
“It’s a host of issues,” UAlbany head coach Scott Marr said. “Between [Cornell’s] travel plans and the snow they got there — and just the fact it’s a really heavy and wet snow, it’s difficult for us to clear our field in that short of time.”
Now, the tough part comes for Marr’s program, which is spending its first-ever week ranked No. 1 in the country.
“We’re going to have to play three games in seven days,” Marr said.
First, UAlbany will play Cornell Sunday at 1 p.m. at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.
Next, the Great Danes will play Tuesday at UMass.
Then, the Great Danes will play at No. 2 Maryland next Saturday.
“It’s a big week for us,” Marr said.
And Friday’s storm made things a good deal more difficult for the Great Danes. While there’s not a huge difference in playing three games in eight days as originally scheduled vs. playing three games in seven days, Friday’s storm left the Great Danes unable to practice that day. Marr said he was unsure if his team would be able to practice Saturday, either, because of how much snow needs to be cleared first from the rest of the UAlbany campus.
“It’s a lot to ask in a short amount of time,” Marr said.
The Great Danes, Marr said, will work out and do conditioning drills inside leading up to Sunday’s game. That’s not ideal, but it’s also not unusual for the Great Danes, who had a game last year postponed because of extreme cold.
“It is what it is,” Marr said of running a lacrosse program in the Northeast. “You deal with it.”
After his team scored 16 goals in last weekend’s first half against Drexel, Marr favorably compared this year’s offense to his 2014 group.
“Those are 2014 numbers,” Marr said. “Those are Lyle, Ty and Miles numbers.”
Marr added: “And that’s just a half.”
He expects @UAlbanyMLax’s Connor Fields & Tehoka Nanticoke to each pass him during these next few years.
— Michael Kelly (@ByMichaelKelly) February 20, 2018
Those three Thompsons powered an offense which averaged 15.9 goals per game.
This year’s Great Danes, through two games, have scored 33 goals.
“We’re not gripping our sticks too tight out there,” senior Connor Fields said. “We know if we make a mistake, that it’ll be alright.”
Cornell (1-1) should push UAlbany (2-0) more than the Great Danes were in last weekend’s 18-5 blowout win against Drexel, especially on the defensive end of the field.
“They’re a good, quality offense,” Marr said.
“They’re very crafty and very slick with the ball,” Fields said. “They have some great players over there.”
The top player for Cornell is sophomore Jeff Teat, who has eight goals and nine assists in his first two teams of the season.
UAlbany senior Stone Sims said the team’s defense wants to be tested.
“We set a goal of working every day to get better as unit,” Sims said.
More recognition for UAlbany
Fields and sophomore TD Ierlan were named Thursday to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award.
Fields, a finalist last year for the award, has four goals and nine assists through his first two games.
Ierlan is leading the nation in faceoff winning percentage at 86.0 percent.