ALBANY — There was a grim determination to move past this week, when UAlbany’s most talented player was dismissed from the team.
And a grim determination to move into the next week, when the Great Danes travel to the Carrier Dome to play No. 4-ranked Syracuse.
The UAlbany men’s lacrosse team dismantled UMass Lowell 17-6 at Fallon Field on Saturday, as Graydon Hogg scored six goals, goalie Liam Donnelly and freshman faceoff specialist Regan Endres were brilliant and 10 different players had at least one goal.
Tehoka Nanticoke, still the Great Danes’ leading point producer on the season after the game, was not one of them, after head coach Scott Marr announced on Wednesday that the senior attack had been kicked off the team “based on internal team issues.”
So UAlbany briefly celebrated — in front of about 100 spectators for the first time — then looked forward to Thursday’s big non-conference game against the Orange.
“It’s a team game,” Hogg said. “Everyone played pretty well today. We have some things to work on, but we got the ball moving and put the ball in the back of the net.”
“I thought after a long and emotional week for our team and our players, with what was going on with our personnel, I was really pleased with how we responded,” Marr said.
“Any time that you have to make the decision that we made, it has an emotional toll. I mean, he’s friends with them, we’re all friends with him and the kids like him. It was just a tough situation for us to make the call.
“They’re answering questions of their friends and people they know, their parents, and I’m answering questions all week. The talk of the week was mostly about the decision to remove him, and that takes a toll on what we’re doing getting prepared for the week.”
Hogg scored five of his six goals in the first half, when the No. 20 Great Danes (3-2 America East, 5-2 overall) took a 9-2 lead.
UAlbany wasted no time putting the game away in the third quarter, outscoring UMass Lowell (1-4, 1-5) 7-2, including a runaway freight-train goal by junior defenseman Elijah Gash, who sprinted into the offensive zone, split two defenders and rifled an overhand longstick shot past Max Christides to make it 13-4.
The Great Danes expanded their lead to 16-4 through three quarters.
“I think our team came out a little slow in the beginning, but as the game went on, the bench picked up and we started to get clicking,” Endres said.
“Ten different guys scoring, 13 of our 17 goals assisted, so we shared the ball well,” Marr said. “And I thought their goalie played well, too. He had some saves early. Jakob [Patterson] had a rocket that he just got a piece of and it hit the crossbar. You saw a couple times where we got in a good rhythm and we were really moving the ball well.”
Now it’s on to Syracuse — and the rest of whatever this season holds — without Nanticoke, whose brief season included a one-game suspension from the conference for a multi-player fight that broke out in the fourth quarter of the Binghamton win on March 20.
“It was a tough week,” Marr said. “He’s a well-liked kid on the team, and it’s unfortunate the way it unfolded.”
“We were sloppy at times and still had some things to dial in, but we’ll show up Tuesday morning and we’ll get ready for Syracuse on Thursday,” Hogg said.
UMass Lowell 0 2 2 2 — 6
UAlbany 4 5 7 1 — 17
UMass Lowell scoring: Harvath 1-0, Parker 1-0, Cremin 0-2, Giachello 0-1, Lining 2-0, Foley 1-0, Rhatigan 1-0. UAlbany scoring: Gash 1-0, Piseno 1-0, Hogg 6-1, Casey 1-2, Seneca 2-0, Yunker 2-3, Salit 0-1, Patterson 0-3, Burgmaster 1-1, Ryan 1-0, Shook 1-0, John 1-0. Goalies: UMass Lowell, Christides, 11 saves; Mancino, 3 saves. UAlbany, Donnelly, 8 saves; Ramos, 1 save.