As confident as you can be about anything these days, UAlbany men’s lacrosse head coach Scott Marr believes the Great Danes will open their 2021 season on Feb. 27 against Drexel.
No matter how the season schedule shakes out, UAlbany is supposed to return to practice on Monday, Feb. 1, the first day of classes for the spring semester, and on Monday the America East will hold a conference call to nail down how the conference lacrosse schedule will look.
Many conferences across the country, including the MAAC, in which Siena is a member, are leaning toward conference-only schedules.
Marr is hoping that UAlbany will be able to retain some of the non-conference matchups it was in the process of lining up, including the Drexel game, UMass on March 9 and Syracuse on April 9. He’s not as optimistic about Maryland and three Ivy League schools the Great Danes were supposed to play, Cornell, Harvard and Yale.
“We’ve been shut out of a lot of non-conference stuff,” Marr said on Thursday. “Right now, I think you can count on the seven normal America East games and maybe adding two more to make it nine, playing two teams twice. We’ll see how that works out. We have a call on Monday to try to finalize on that.”
The Great Danes typically play their season opener the third week of February, but losing Cornell in 2021 would push that to Feb. 27.
UAlbany was supposed to have hosted Syracuse at Casey Stadium for the first time ever on April 3 in 2020, which would have been a bonanza at the ticket window, but it was canceled, along with seven other regular-season games, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marr has talked to head coach John Desko and director of operations Roy Simmons III at SU about moving this year’s game to the Carrier Dome and then giving it another shot at Casey Stadium in 2022.
“With us not being able to have fans, it kind of takes away from what we were trying to do last year,” Marr said.
As far as practice goes, Marr doesn’t expect to face any restrictions about how they conduct it, although that subject hasn’t been addressed yet.
Last fall, the Great Danes practiced in smaller pods to create social distancing, and that might be the way to go in a few weeks.
“It’ll be altered in a sense of re-acclimating the guys in terms of conditioning and stuff like that,” Marr said. “The thing for us now, it’s just lowest common denominator, the bottom line on basic getting in shape, getting our sticks back in order, then putting in relatively small incremental moves as we keep going along.
“You can’t get too specific with players, you just have to have a generic footprint for everybody. And, honestly, that’s not much different from what we’d normally do, anyway. You just have to be in shape and be able to catch and throw.”