UAlbany men’s lacrosse loses Fields, matchup vs. Yale

Yale pounds Great Danes 14-6
UAlbany's Connor Fields injured himself in Sunday's loss at Yale.
UAlbany's Connor Fields injured himself in Sunday's loss at Yale.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — His right knee first gave out, then the rest of him dropped to the turf.

At first, senior Connor Fields was able to pop back up. Hobbled, he took a few awkward skips toward the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team’s sideline Sunday at Yale’s Reese Stadium, then collapsed back to the ground with his face pushed into the turf.

“Your heart stops,” UAlbany head coach Scott Marr said of the sight. “You don’t want to see that.”

But that was the lasting image from Sunday’s 14-6 loss at Yale, an outcome which means practically nothing for UAlbany compared to finding out whether Fields will be able to return this season for the Great Danes.

“It’s frustrating. He’s our best player,” UAlbany redshirt senior JD Colarusso said. “He’s one of the best players in the country, if not the best.”

Fields, who was not made available to reporters after Sunday’s loss, had just returned for UAlbany in Friday’s 18-7 win against Binghamton after spraining his right MCL a month ago. He tried initially to play through that injury before missing two full games, but looked healthy against Binghamton in a game in which he scored seven points.

Playing a second game in three days, though, Fields didn’t make it through Sunday’s first quarter before re-injuring his right knee in a non-contact situation trying to make a cut with the ball.

In between the first and second quarters, Fields headed onto the field to work through some agility drills, but he never returned and UAlbany officially ruled him out for the game at halftime. As halftime closed, Marr consoled an emotional Fields, hugging the player and patting him on the head.

After the game, Marr didn’t offer up many specifics about Fields’ latest injury, but said Fields will undergo an MRI Monday to determine the extent of the injury.

Fields’ injury quickly overshadowed a matchup of highly ranked opponents. Without Fields, No. 2 UAlbany (11-2) had no answers for No. 5 Yale (11-2) in a game in which the Great Danes never led.

“We were kind of a little bit lost,” UAlbany junior Sean Eccles said of the Great Danes after Fields’ departure.

Not helping matters for UAlbany was a rare off day for sophomore TD Ierlan, the nation’s leader in faceoff winning percentage. Against Yale senior Conor Mackie, Ierlan won 8 of 21 faceoffs.

“Pretty bad. Pretty awful,” Ierlan said of his performance. “He was at his best, I was pretty awful. All you can really say.”

But Ierlan wasn’t done there. Asked how UAlbany’s offense looked without Fields, he said he was unsure.

“I mean, it’s hard to tell,” Ierlan said. “They didn’t have the ball. That’s on me.”

Yale, though, had plenty of offensive chances. Senior Ben Reeves led the Bulldogs with three goals and an assist, as Yale scored its 14 goals despite Colarusso making 19 saves in goal for UAlbany.

“We were just playing a lot of defense,” Colarusso said.

“They just outplayed us,” Marr said.

For UAlbany, Eccles had three goals, while no other Great Danes had multiple goals. Fields had an assist before he exited, while freshman star Tehoka Nanticoke was shut out by a Yale defense that increasingly focused its efforts against him.

“He was trying to take over,” Marr said.

UAlbany won’t play again until Saturday at Hartford, an America East game in which the Great Danes appear unlikely to have Fields available to play. The 2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist and No. 3 pick this year in the Major League Lacrosse draft was in good enough spirits after Sunday’s game to sign autographs for fans, but nothing about his status moving forward will be known until after his MRI.

“Just hope for the best,” Marr said.

UAlbany 1 2 2 1 — 6

Yale 4 3 4 3 — 14

UAlbany scoring: Fields 0-1, J. Reh 0-1, Patterson 1-1, S. Eccles 3-0, McClancy 0-1, Diamond 1-1, Egan 1-0.

Yale scoring: Reeves 3-1, Sessa 0-1, Daniggelis 2-1, Keating 0-1, Morrill 1-0, Tigh 1-0, Gaudet 3-0, Cotler 3-0, Alessi 1-0.

Goalies: UAlbany, Colarusso, 19 saves. Yale, Starr, 10 saves.

Attendance: 3,746.

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

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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