ALBANY — It didn’t take long for University at Albany men’s lacrosse senior Connor Fields to hear his name called Wednesday during the Major League Lacrosse collegiate draft held in Sparks, Md.
Fields, a 2017 Tewaaraton Award finalist, was selected No. 3 by the Charlotte Hounds.
“It was really exciting,” Fields said. “This has been a dream of mine to play in the league.”
Fields watched the draft with about half of his UAlbany teammates. His selection set off a noisy celebration.
“We were all jumping around,” Fields said. “It was a really cool moment.”
This season, Fields is second in the nation in points per game at 6.44. He has missed UAlbany’s last two games with a knee injury, but expects to return to the Great Danes’ lineup for Friday’s matchup with Binghamton.
Despite missing two full games — and most of two games prior to that — Fields still leads the Great Danes in total points with 58. He has registered 26 goals and 32 assists this season in nine games.
With Charlotte, Fields will have at least two teammates familiar to him from his college career. Former UAlbany teammate Adam Osika is on the Hounds, while Maryland alumnus Matt Rambo — who edged out Fields for last year’s Tewaaraton Award — also plays for Charlotte.
“Pumped,” Fields said of joining the Hounds. “They have a good team already and I’m just hoping I can help them out.”
As the third selection, Fields became the second-highest UAlbany player ever selected in an MLL draft. Lyle Thompson, who Fields played with for one season at UAlbany, was the No. 1 pick in 2015.
In this year’s draft, Denver senior Trevor Baptiste was selected first overall by the Boston Cannons, while the Atlanta Blaze took Maryland senior Connor Kelly second.
Along with Fields, three other current Great Danes were selected in Wednesday’s draft.
To start the second round, the Blaze selected Kyle McClancy with the No. 10 overall pick. Then, Troy Reh went No. 27 overall in the third round to the New York Lizards.
“It was exciting to see Fieldsy go No. 3 and then for Kyle to go. For me, it’s nice to go to the New York Lizards. That’s where I’m from, so it’s good to stay home,” said Troy Reh, a Long Island native. “Honestly, I had no idea [if I would get drafted]. I wasn’t expecting to get drafted. I kept my expectations low because I didn’t want to get ahead of myself.”
Later in the night, Justin Reh — Troy Reh’s twin brother — also was selected by the Lizards.
“It definitely would have been weird if we weren’t together. We haven’t been separated in who knows how long,” said Justin Reh, who was picked No. 59 overall in the seventh round. “But I would have been happy anywhere. . . . It’s definitely humbling to get drafted. Just happy to have this opportunity.”
And, now, UAlbany’s drafted players go back to focusing on the rest of this college season, which stands with the Great Danes at 10-1 and currently projected as the top seed for May’s NCAA tournament.
“It’s all about the team at this point,” Troy Reh said. “We wouldn’t be here without the team.”
Fields agreed with that assessment. After his selection, he said he stayed busy on his phone for a few hours, talking with family, friends and old coaches. Once that wrapped up, he said he planned to watch some film of the Great Danes’ next opponent.
“We still have a lot of season to go,” Fields said, “and we need to focus.”