Local Division I lacrosse teams prepare for conference tournaments

Siena’s Grace Dobrzynski against Niagara’s Mackenzie Bushnell during MAAC lacrosse game at Siena College in Loudonville on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
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Siena’s Grace Dobrzynski against Niagara’s Mackenzie Bushnell during MAAC lacrosse game at Siena College in Loudonville on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

All four Capital Region Division I lacrosse teams are in action the next couple of days, and perhaps beyond, as they take part in their conference tournaments.

Both the Siena men and UAlbany men earned No. 4 seeds in their respective Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and America East Conference tournaments. The Siena women earned a No. 2 seed in the MAAC, but are hosting the tournament, while the UAlbany women are the No. 1 seed and host for the America East.

Here is a look at the matchups, in order of when the games start.

NO. 4 UMBC (8-8) AT NO. 1 UALBANY WOMEN (7-8), THURSDAY, 3 P.M.

SEASON RECAP: The Great Danes don’t have the overall record of a lot of No. 1 seeds, but they were 5-1 in the conference, losing only to Stony Brook, which is ranked sixth nationally but ineligible for the conference tournament because it is leaving for the Colonial Athletic Association after this spring. UAlbany played five nationally ranked teams during the regular season. UAlbany has a solid offense, averaging 13.5 goals per game, and only failed to reach double digits in league play against Stony Brook.

LOOKING BACK, FORWARD: UAlbany traveled to UMBC on April 16 and defeated the Retrievers 13-9. It was a game of runs, as UMBC got out to a 2-0 lead before UAlbany scored the next seven. Then UMBC came back to tie it at 7 before UAlbany pulled away. The winner plays the Binghamton/Vermont winner in the America East championship at 2 p.m. Saturday.

FUN FACT: UAlbany is trying for its first America East title since 2012. The Great Danes have appeared in the last 10 conference championship games, and lost the last eight of them to Stony Brook.

NO. 4 SIENA MEN (6-8) VS. NO. 1 ST. BONAVENTURE (10-3), AT MARIST, THURSDAY, 4 P.M.

SEASON RECAP: The Saints started the season 2-5 against non-league opponents before facing MAAC teams. Then, they fell to 1-3 in the league as the result of three one-goal losses before winning their final two to qualify for the postseason. Siena has three players with 29 goals or more in Pratt Reynolds (31), Jack Kiernan (29) and Christian Watts (29).

LOOKING BACK, FORWARD: In a must-win game on April 16 at Hickey Field, Siena rallied by outscoring the Bonnies 7-1 in the fourth quarter to pull off the 14-11 upset. The semifinal winner plays the Manhattan/Marist winner in the MAAC championship at 10 a.m. Saturday.

FUN FACT: This game features two of the top goalies in the country, save percentage-wise. The Bonnies’ Brett Dobson is first in the nation with a .663 save percentage, while the Saints’ Chris Yanchoris is ranked fourth at .584.

NO. 4 UALBANY MEN (5-9) AT NO. 1 VERMONT (9-6), THURSDAY, 7 P.M.

SEASON RECAP: The Great Danes had a rough start to the season, going 0-1 in the league and 1-5 overall before earning a key home victory over Stony Brook on March 26. UAlbany had an emotional 14-12 home win over Syracuse on April 7, but it took a physical toll that showed in a 16-7 road loss to UMBC two days later. Still, UAlbany clinched a spot in the conference tournament with a wn over NJIT.

LOOKING BACK, FORWARD: UAlbany hosted Vermont on April 16, but the Catamounts jumped out to a 6-1 late-first-quarter lead and kept their foot on the gas in a 14-6 victory. The winner plays the UMBC/Binghamton winner in the America East championship at noon Saturday.

FUN FACT: UAlbany was the No. 4 seed last year and beat top-seeded UMBC in the semifinals before losing to Vermont in the final.

NO. 4 FAIRFIELD (11-6) AT NO. 2. SIENA WOMEN (10-7), FRIDAY, NOON

SEASON RECAP:  The Saints started 2-0 in league play before hitting a two-game skid in the middle of the season. It was a win over Fairfield – the team that has beaten them the last two MAAC finals – that turned things around, and the Saints finished the regular season on a 4-0 run. Siena is led offensively by school record-breakers Nicole McNeely and Mary Soures. McNeely has 45 goals and 38 assists, while Soures has 60 goals and four assists.

LOOKING BACK, FORWARD: On April 9 at Hickey Field, the Stags got out to a 3-1 lead before Siena responded by scoring the next six goals in a span of 5:39 and going on to win 16-11. The winner plays the Manhattan/Monmouth winner in the MAAC championship at 1 p.m. Sunday.

FUN FACT: This game features the league’s top two teams in assists. Fairfield is 15th in Division I with 7.18 assists per game, while Siena ranks 25th with 6.71 per game.

Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports, UAlbany

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