Without Fields, No. 1 University at Albany men’s lacrosse rolls, anyway

4,044 fans watch Great Danes win 13-7
UAlbany's TD Ierlan won 24 of 24 faceoffs to lead the Great Danes.
UAlbany's TD Ierlan won 24 of 24 faceoffs to lead the Great Danes.

ALBANY — Minus senior attackmen Connor Fields and Justin Reh, were there any nerves for the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team about how it would fare Saturday in an America East first-place showdown?

“Not at all,” UAlbany senior Kyle McClancy said.

“Just two different people on the starting attack,” UAlbany freshman Tehoka Nanticoke said.

And that’s how it looked for No. 1 UAlbany in its 13-7 win against Stony Brook. Without both the nation’s leading scorer (Fields) and the Great Danes’ sixth-leading scorer (Reh), UAlbany had nine players score goals as it easily passed its latest test in front of a whopping crowd of 4,044 at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.

“We didn’t really go out and do anything different,” Nanticoke said. “We’ve got three attackmen that can play [without Fields and Reh], and we’re just going to go out and do what we’ve been doing all year.”

But the best development Saturday for UAlbany? Great Danes head coach Scott Marr said Reh (upper body) will play next weekend at UMBC, while it’s likely Fields (knee) will play in that game.

“Either way,” Marr said, “we’re going to be in good shape.”

UAlbany (3-0, 10-0) showed that against Stony Brook (2-1, 3-6), as the Great Danes never trailed after scoring the game’s first goals and relied on their other stars to carry them with Fields unavailable.

Sophomore TD Ierlan had his second 24-of-24 faceoff performance of the season, plus an assist. Meanwhile, Nanticoke had two goals and three assists, McClancy had three goals and redshirt senior JD Colarusso made 10 saves.

“We’re not just a one-man team,” Marr said.

Fields — who sprained his right MCL last weekend — watched the game from the UAlbany sideline along with Reh. Marr said Fields’ “swelling’s down and his knee is getting stronger,” but admitted it was just gamesmanship on his part in the days leading up to Saturday’s matchup that Fields or Reh could potentially play against the Seawolves.

“Not a shot in hell,” said Marr, laughing. “No. They weren’t going to play, but we didn’t want to let, you know, Stony Brook, know that.”

And UAlbany didn’t need Fields or Reh to beat Stony Brook, as sophomore substitute starters Davis Diamond (one goal, three assists) and Mitch Laffin (two goals) each performed more than adequately for the Great Danes, who led 8-5 at halftime.

“It was a little bit of an adjustment not having two out of three starting attackmen out there in Connor and Justin, but I thought Davis and Mitch did a phenomenal job filling in for those guys,” McClancy said.

Ierlan, though, was the top star for UAlbany. He joked he would need a long ice bath after dealing with a physical approach from Stony Brook, but he didn’t let the toll his body took affect his production.

“He’s a machine. The kid’s a warrior,” Marr said of Ierlan. “I think he’s as tough as they get in the sport.”

Ierlan, too, was tough on himself after Saturday’s 24-of-24 performance. The nation’s leader in faceoff winning percentage at 83.8 percent said he could have controlled several faceoffs more cleanly than he did.

“I’ve got to look at that, clean that up,” Ierlan said. But, I think, any time you go 100 percent, you’re doing something good — and you get the win, makes it even better.”

Marr said the large crowd made the win even better, too. Saturday’s game featured the third-highest attendance in program history. A few times during the game, Marr said he took a moment to look at the crowd “just to feel” the energy coming from the stands.

“It was awesome,” Marr said.

Marr said he loved more the sight of his players signing autographs for a number of young fans who stuck around after the game.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Marr said.

Stony Brook 1 4 1 1 — 7

UAlbany 4 4 3 2 — 13

Stony Brook scoring: Walsh 0-1, Daly 0-1, Haun 1-0, White 1-0, Kaschalk 1-1, McCannell 3-0, Pickel 1-0.

UAlbany scoring: Laffin 2-0, Diamond 1-3, Nanticoke 2-3, Patterson 1-0, S. Eccles 1-0, McClancy 3-0, Ierlan 0-1, J. Burgmaster 1-1, A. Burgmaster 1-1, John 1-0, Egan 0-1.

Goalies: Stony Brook, Bollinger, 10 saves. UAlbany, Colarusso, 10 saves.

Attendance: 4,044.

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

Categories: -Sports-, College Sports

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