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Danes take another step in securing place on lacrosse map

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Danes take another step in securing place on lacrosse map (IL)


May 13, 2007

Bob Weiner


Albany, NY – University at Albany played its NCAA Division I opening-round game with Loyola like it had something to prove.


Although the Great Danes had been nationally ranked all season and won a program-record 14 games through the America East Conference tournament, head coach Scott Marr felt there were many lacrosse experts who still didn’t believe in his team.


That all changed with Sunday’s 19-10 pounding of the Greyhounds here at John Fallon Field.


It was UAlbany’s first NCAA tournament victory in four tries and sends the 15-2 Great Danes against undefeated Cornell in the quarterfinals Saturday at Princeton.


UAlbany doesn’t roll off the tongue like traditional powers Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Syracuse or Virginia, but Marr thinks his up-and-coming program is finally putting itself on the lacrosse map.


“We felt the opportunity to silence some doubters and to take the next step with our program,” he said. “I’m proud of this team, especially how focused and prepared they were.”


“This is really special,” said UAlbany senior attacker Merrick Thomson, who with five goals boosted his season total to 54. “It was one of our goals before the season to take the next step by winning an NCAA tournament game.”


Marr, a Johns Hopkins graduate who won a national championship with the Blue Jays, has quickly turned the UAlbany lacrosse program from a novelty to both a perennial league power and regular NCAA tournament contestant. The Great Danes became only the second America East Conference team to win an NCAA tournament game.


“We believed in ourselves, but great teams are measured by what they do in the playoffs,” said senior midfielder Jordan Levine.


That’s a mantra Marr has echoed many times over the last few seasons when UAlbany fans were grateful just to earn a berth in the NCAAs.


But when the 11th ranked Great Danes won their first 11 games and were ranked as high as second in the country in one national poll, expectations suddenly changed. Among those victories was an 8-7 victory over his alma mater, as well as four other wins over teams ranked in the top 20.


Traditional power Syracuse, which failed to make the NCAA tournament this year and finished under .500, snapped the Danes’ winning streak with a 17-13 victory at the Carrier Dome. The Danes barely beat Dartmouth (15-14) and then lost a 9-8 decision to Binghamton, another sub-.500 team, before rebounding in the America East Conference tournament with wins over Stony Brook (17-5) and UMBC (15-14).


“That loss to Binghamton shook us up, but the confidence we got from this game could go a long way,” said Marr.


“As a head coach, this is a great achievement for me. We’ve been working for this for a long time. This was our most realistic chance to win a first-round game since I’ve been here. It’s great for our university, and it’s great for our sport. We are trying to build a tradition here.”


Marr said the Great Danes’ performance against the Greyhounds was their best of the year.


“We were very prepared and ready to play this game. Other than the faceoffs [where Loyola held an outrageous 27-6 advantage] we dominated everything else,” he said. “We played as well as we’ve played all year, but hopefully, it won’t be our best game, because I still think we can play better. There is room for improvement.”


“We did four different things in the first half to try to slow them down, but they had an answer for everything,” said Loyola head coach Charlie Toomey. “They made all the plays today.”


Although small by the standards of all of the remaining NCAA tournament teams, UAlbany’s crowd Sunday of 2,953 was a program best. The school brought in 1,500 temporary bleacher seats and put up a press box in preparation of hosting such an event.


Now, Marr and his team will face their toughest test of the season when they square off against the Big Red.


“This is a great feeling. To be one game away from the biggest event in our sport is just amazing,” Marr said.


“But Cornell is as tall an order as it gets. I picked them to go to the finals. They are the best team in the country, in my opinion. We’ll have to play our best next week to have any chance to win. Cornell and our program are very similar. We stack up against them.”

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guy on laxpower says ESPNU is listing the Albany-Cornell game at noon, Hop-Georgetown at 3


Is it Saturday or Sunday?



Saturday! Already have the recorder set up to record the game

Edited by bob87
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email from Don Ostrom confirms game at noon. No mention of a bus trip. Ticket purchase thru Princeton.edu or by phone at (609) 258-3538 . Cash only at the gate. Game is at Princeton Stadium, the football stadium, not at 1952 Stadium, the lacrosse field. All seats are general admission.


Princeton parking map


Tailgating regulations

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Danes take another step in securing place on lacrosse map (IL)


May 13, 2007

Bob Weiner


Although small by the standards of all of the remaining NCAA tournament teams, UAlbany’s crowd Sunday of 2,953 was a program best. The school brought in 1,500 temporary bleacher seats and put up a press box in preparation of hosting such an event.

I knew I read that somewhere. 2,953 was second-best crowd of the eight first-round games. ESPN and CSTV thought we wouldn't draw well because of Mother's Day.


In today's Gazette, McElroy says "by next year, we want to have more permanent seating...we will build a permanent structure with a minimum of 3,000 seats and the capability of expanding...We want to contnue to build pride and high esteem in all our athletic programs".


Also, Chris Cannata says this year is the toughest NCAA softball bracket we've ever had to play in. It's a young team - 4 seniors, 3 juniors, 1 soph and 7 freshmen. 'if we get good pitching, we've got a chance'.

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Bob , we thought you'd be pleased that Albany beat another team wearing green.


Late in the game we decided we missed you so my wife took over fist-bump duty.




Now, One more win over a team wearing red so I can see one or hopefully two more games in person.

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