Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
Two for Two
February 28: v. Cornell; April 18: Yale
Comparing Albany's 2014 nonconference schedule to the team's 2015 out-of-conference slate yields the expulsion of one old friend for the inclusion of another, and the elimination of a one-time opponent for another infrequent contact. This is basically how fantasy football leagues are constructed each year.
Gone from the Danes' slate for the first time since the 2001 season -- Albany's second at the Division I level -- is Johns Hopkins, a program that owns an 11-2 record against the Danes through the two schools' 13 meetings (the Great Danes are 1-4 against the Jays in their last five meetings with an average margin of defeat of around six goals per game). The absence of Hopkins from Albany's schedule leaves a hole in the team's set of dates as the Blue Jays are tied with Drexel as the Danes' most frequent non-conference opponent in the program's 15-year history. In that void steps Yale, a team that Albany has met 10 times since 2000, owning a 4-6 record against the Elis (the Great Danes are 3-2 against the Bulldogs in their last five meetings with an average margin of victory of about a half-goal per game). The team's series against Yale is somewhat hiccup-y -- Yale and Albany played from 2000 to 2004, took a break in 2005 and played from 2006 through 2008, took a three-year break and played again in 2012 and 2013 before taking another short hiatus in 2014 -- but the series with the Elis still stands prominently in the program's record book.
As for the team's change in one-time opponents, Albany has swapped out Penn State for Cornell, a neighbor to the west that the Danes have met only in the NCAA Tournament -- an 11-12 overtime loss in the quarterfinals of the 2007 tournament. From the perspective of generating regional excitement, picking up the Red and dropping the Lions is a big move for Albany, especially considering what a Cornell-Albany game means for Thruway Rivalries (even if the game this season will be held in Dallas).
March 14: at Stony Brook; March 21: Hartford; March 28: Massachusetts-Lowell; April 4: at Vermont; April 11: at Binghamton; April 25: UMBC
Albany is on a 10-game America East regular season winning streak and has won 14 games in a row against league competition -- including postseason throwdowns -- going back to the 2013 season. The team's last loss to a conference foe was to Stony Brook on May 5, 2012, a six-goal defeat in the America East Tournament championship (the team's last America East regular season loss came against the Seawolves on April 28, 2012). The Danes have crushed everything in its way over the last two seasons in the America East, winning by an average of eight goals per game (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and securing victory by less than three goals only twice (both against Stony Brook). The details of Albany's rush through its league over the last two seasons is extraordinary:
|OPPONENT||GAMES||AVG. MARGIN OF VICTORY|
|Stony Brook||4 (4-0)||+5|
|ALL OPPONENTS||14 (14-0)||+8|