UAlbany men’s lacrosse receives No. 2 seed for NCAA tournament

Great Danes will play Richmond
UAlbany received the No. 2 seed.
UAlbany received the No. 2 seed.

ALBANY — Before dismissing his men’s lacrosse players from Sunday night’s NCAA tournament selection show viewing party, University at Albany head coach Scott Marr pointed his right index finger at his Great Danes.

“Let’s go,” Marr said. “It starts now.”

And it starts from a great position of strength for the Great Danes, who were rewarded with the No. 2 seed for this year’s national tournament. That is the highest seed UAlbany has ever received for the men’s lacrosse tournament.

“Awesome,” said Marr, whose program had never previously been ranked higher than fifth. “We’ve worked all year for that.”

UAlbany will play at 5 p.m. Saturday at its Tom & Mary Casey Stadium against Richmond, an 11-5 team that won the Southern Conference. With a win in the first round, UAlbany would play either No. 7 Notre Dame or Denver in the following weekend’s quarterfinals in Hempstead.

The Great Danes, Marr said, have scrimmaged Richmond the last three falls. He allowed that UAlbany “beat them up pretty good in October,” but said that means little at this point.

“This is playoffs now,” Marr said.

Maryland, a team UAlbany beat 11-10 earlier this season, received the No. 1 seed. Yale, which beat UAlbany a few weekends ago, received the No. 3 seed and Duke is No. 4.

“I think everybody in the field is beatable,” Marr said, “but I think everybody in the field could also win.”

Heading into the NCAA tournament, UAlbany is 14-2 and ranked No. 2 in the RPI. UAlbany is ranked No. 4 in the media poll and No. 5 in the coaches poll. No other team has more than 13 wins.

UAlbany earned entry Saturday to the NCAA tournament as an automatic qualifier after winning its fifth America East tournament championship in six years. In that 14-4 victory against Vermont, sophomore TD Ierlan won 20 of 20 faceoffs and nine different Great Danes scored at least one goal.

“Just a total team effort,” Marr said after that win.

UAlbany played Saturday without senior Connor Fields (knee), but the high-scoring attackman has said he expects to be available next weekend for the Great Danes.

The Great Danes gathered in Damien’s inside the school’s Campus Center building to watch Sunday’s selection show on ESPNU.

“Definitely excited,” UAlbany senior Troy Reh said. “We get to host another game here in Casey Stadium.”

UAlbany senior Josh Egan said the Great Danes were prepared to be ranked anywhere from No. 2 to No. 5.

“So to get that two seed is really awesome,” Egan said.

A year ago, UAlbany was seeded eighth for the NCAA tournament. The Great Danes set national and program attendance records as they beat then-defending national champion North Carolina in the first round before they bowed out in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Maryland.

UAlbany will be making its 10th appearance in the national tournament and has appeared in the past six NCAA tournaments. The Great Danes, though, have never advanced past the quarterfinals.

“There’s a bunch of hungry teams out there,” Marr said. “We’re one of them.”

UAlbany redshirt senior JD Colarusso said the Great Danes are ready to get back to work after their low-key Sunday night.

“We win or we go home,” Colarusso said. “So we have to take every day like it’s our last day.”

Women lose championship game

The UAlbany women’s lacrosse team, which lost 22-14 Sunday to Stony Brook in the America East tournament championship game, did not receive an at-large selection to the  NCAA tournament.

In its championship game loss against undefeated Stony Brook, UAlbany led 7-6 at one point in the first half before heading into intermission down 12-8.

UAlbany finished the season 9-9 after an 0-7 start.

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

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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