UAlbany’s Hay provides leadership on men’s lacrosse defense

UAlbany’s lacrosse head coach, Scott Marr, talks to the team during its lacrosse game against UMass at UAlbany in Albany on Monday, March 22, 2021.

UAlbany’s lacrosse head coach, Scott Marr, talks to the team during its lacrosse game against UMass at UAlbany in Albany on Monday, March 22, 2021.

One of the things UAlbany senior defenseman Tanner Hay does well on the field is anticipate. So it’s not too surprising that he also did that well when selecting to attend UAlbany.

“Coming here when I was visiting, there were Tehoka (Nanticoke) and (Connor) Fields and all these big-name guys. It was crazy,” Hay said earlier this week.

But he also was used to a high level of competition at Victor High School, where he won a state championship as a sophomore and earned All-America honors as a senior. 

“So, yeah, that was part of my plan,” Hay said, “to keep the competition high and try to fit into a system where I would be wanted and valued. That’s exactly what happened here at Albany. I love everybody; competitive, hard-working guys, it’s awesome.”

Hay, a tri-captain, has shown he’s a good fit for the 1-3 Great Danes this season. A starting defenseman, he leads the team with eight caused turnovers and is tied for third in ground balls with 10.

While UAlbany was hoping for a win that didn’t happen against UMass on Tuesday, Hay felt like the team flipped a switch in its 11-7 win over Siena last week.

“We had a couple of small changes on both the offensive and defensive end, and we’re starting to click these pieces of the puzzle into each other,” Hay said.

Coach Scott Marr has been pleased with Hay’s production.

“Tanner’s been one of our leaders, if not the leader, as our captain at that end of the field,” Marr said. “He’s a really good facilitator, understands the game, communicates really well, seems to always make a big play for us, whether it being picking off a pass or getting upfield on a fast break. I don’t know if there are too many defensemen in the country that get up the field as well as he does from a close defensive perspective.”

UAlbany will need the best from Hay and everyone else when it travels to face Maryland (5-0), ranked number one in the Inside Lacrosse and USILA Coaches’ polls, at noon on Saturday. The Terrapins average 16 goals per game and allow just 10 per game. They also win 64 percent of their faceoffs and average nine caused turnovers per game.

“We know what Maryland’s going to bring us. We’re just going to have to play our best,” Hay said.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for us to make some real noise, so we’re certainly excited for the challenge,” Marr added.

TOUGH SCHEDULE

No one can accuse the Union men’s lacrosse team of scheduling lightly. The Dutchmen have already faced Endicott, a frequent Division III tournament team from the Commonwealth Coast Conference, nationally ranked Babson and nationally ranked Williams.

Still to come – without even mentioning its difficult Liberty League foes – are Tufts and St. John Fisher, both nationally ranked, and always-difficult Middlebury.

Union is ranked ninth in the Inside Lacrosse poll, 13th in the USILA poll and 16th in the USA Lacrosse Magazine poll.

The Dutchmen (4-0) topped host Williams 14-6 on Thursday, outsourcing the Ephs 11-1 in the middle two quarters. There were a couple of eye-popping statistics from that game. The first was that Union won 21 of 24 faceoffs and the other was that Union won the ground ball battle, 45-25.

STEPPING IN

Siena College women’s goalie Sabrina Krasner has stepped in admirably the last two times the Saints have called her number this season.

With Siena trailing Colgate 10-5 at halftime on March 2, the junior from Roseland, New Jersey replaced Ally Mervine between the pipes. She made five saves and allowed just three goals as the Saints rallied for a 16-13 victory.

On Tuesday, after Lehigh scored its fifth goal in just under the first 10 minutes, Krasner again replaced Mervine and finished the game. She made 11 saves and allowed 11 goals in the 16-11 loss.

AWARDS

For the second straight week, Union College sophomore goalie Dan Donahue was honored as the Liberty League Men’s Defensive Performer of the Week. He limited Endicott and Springfield to eight and seven goals, respectively, while combining for 26 saves in a pair of road wins. Through three games, Donahue had a 6.33 goals against average, ranking 23rd in Division III, and a .661 save percentage, ranking 27th.

Union College junior Drew Charlton started her season by being named the Liberty League Women’s Defensive Performer of the Week. Charlton caused a game-high four turnovers and grabbed four ground balls in Union’s win over Castleton. She also controlled a game-high 10 draws and scored three goals on five shots.

Siena freshman Grace Dobrzynski earned her first MAAC Women’s Rookie of the Week honor. She had an eight-point week, with three goals and five assists in a 1-1 week for the Saints.

Siena freshman Pratt Reynolds became the first Saint since Anthony Tebbano, in 2018, to win MAAC Men’s Rookie of the Week. Reynolds scored three goals against UAlbany, then added two goals, an assist and four ground balls against Dartmouth.

UAlbany freshman attackman Amos Whitcomb earned the America East Rookie of the Week award. He had two goals and three assists in the Great Danes’ 11-7 win over Siena.

Categories: College Sports, Sports, UAlbany

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