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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #4 Albany Great Danes

Albany reached Championship Weekend for the first time in program history.

Matt Dewkett

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete and fall ball just around the corner, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’re almost done looking back to 2018 with plenty of team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with Loyola and Johns Hopkins.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#4 Albany Great Danes

Conference: America East
2018 Record: 16-3 (5-1 in America East play)
Postseason: Defeated UMass Lowell and Vermont to win America East, defeated Richmond and Denver in NCAA Tournament, lost to Yale in NCAA Semifinal
Head coach: Scott Marr (18th Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Tehoka Nanticoke (50)
Assists: Connor Fields (52)
Points: Connor Fields (86)
Faceoffs: TD Ierlan (359-of-454; 79.1%)
Ground balls: TD Ierlan (254)
Caused turnovers: Stone Sims (18)
Goals against average: JD Colarusso (8.24 GAA)
Save percentage: JD Colarusso (55.6%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Connor Fields (34 Gs, 52 As, 22 GBs), G JD Colarusso (8.24 GAA, 55.6% SV %, 33 GBs, 1 A), M/SSDM Kyle McClancy (29 Gs, 19 As, 36 GBs, 5 CTs), D Stone Sims (13 GBs, 18 CTs), LSM Troy Reh (45 GBs, 17 CTs, 11 Gs), A Justin Reh (21 Gs, 19 As, 23 GBs), D/LSM AJ Kluck (9 GBs, 6 CTs), M Josh Egan (5 Gs, 2 As, 15 GBs), M Zach Wolfe (2 Gs, 3 As)
Senior scoring departing: 198 of 456 points (43.4%)
Senior starts lost: 89 of 190 (46.8%)

Season Summary

It felt like everyone was aboard the Dane Train in 2018 in what was a historic year for the Albany program. Thanks to a talented senior attackman, a long-awaited debut for a freshman attackman, solid goaltending, and a stud at the faceoff X, the Great Danes went to Championship Weekend for the first time in program history.

The season got off to an unbelievable start, as Albany started the year 10-0 and were the last undefeated team in the country. That stretch was highlighted by a dominant win over Syracuse in the season-opener, a comeback win against Maryland in College Park, and notable wins against Cornell, UMass, Vermont, and Harvard.

But in a win over UMass Lowell, senior Connor Fields injured his knee. It would be something that would linger for the rest of the year and something that he played with dating back to his junior year. He wouldn’t play in the UMBC game, which was the Great Danes’ first loss of the season. He did return with a seven point performance against Binghamton, but was again injured a couple days later in a road matchup against Yale. Albany also lost that game. The Danes did take of business against Hartford and in the America East Tournament before they began another run in the NCAA Tournament.

After a blowout against Richmond, Albany needed to beat Trevor Baptiste and Denver to make it to Championship Weekend for the first time in program history. With TD Ierlan splitting faceoff wins with Baptiste, the Great Danes got off to a fast start in the first quarter and pulled away in the final quarter to get to Foxborough. But it came to a very disappointing end against Yale for the second time in just over a month. In this game, the Bulldogs took a 7-1 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 20-11 win over the Great Danes. The fun run came to a sudden halt.

Fields along with freshman sensation Tehoka Nanticoke and senior Justin Reh consisted of the attack unit for the majority of the season. Davis Diamond saw plenty of time with Fields injured during parts of the year as the fourth attackman and so did Mitch Laffin. The midfield consisted of Kyle McClancy, Sean Eccles, and sophomore Jakob Patterson. McClancy was a rue Great Dane midfielder and played both offense and defense. So did Alex Burgmaster and Jack Burgmaster on the second unit, who were paired with Josh Egan. Ron John, Noah Taylor, Zach Wolfe, and Chris Ryan saw time in double-digit games as well.

Juniors Matt Perla and Erik Dluhy started all 19 games at close defense with senior Stone Sims starting in 17 of them. Sophomore Connor Filipowski filled in as the fourth defenseman while Chaunce Hill and Sean Gleason played on the man-down unit. Troy Reh was one of the better LSMs in the country and delivered on offense as well with 11 goals on the year. AJ Kluck moved from close defense to LSM and was also joined by fellow senior Justin Zelen. As previously mentioned, McClancy, Eccles, both Burgmasters, and Wolfe delivered on the other side of the field as SSDMs. TD Ierlan had a record-setting year at the faceoff X, while goalie JD Colarusso backstopped his way to an 8.24 goals against average and a 55.6% save percentage.

Looking Ahead

The Great Danes have a lot of work to do if they want to return to Championship Weekend. Nanticoke is the only returning starting attackman with Diamond and Laffin coming back as well. Patterson could also move back down to his listed position at attack. Sean Eccles returns for his senior year along with both Burgmasters and Ron John.

The defense loses Sims and all three LSMs as well as Colarusso in goal. Filipowski could fill in at close defense but maybe Hill and Gleason could be slotted in at LSM. Speaking of Gleason, defensive coordinator Liam Gleason is now the head coach at Siena. Nate Siekierski played in four games last year in relief of Colarusso, including in the semifinal blowout against Yale.

But the biggest blow came at the faceoff X. TD Ierlan went to Yale over the summer while former Dane Zack Ornstein transferred to Villanova. That leaves Austin Jones and Anthony Altimari on the roster as returning faceoff guys. There’s plenty of work to replace in the Capital Region, but Albany should still be a tough cookie to deal with in the America East.

Here’s who the Great Danes will be adding to their roster for next year.*

Albany’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Tanney Hay Defense Victor (NY)
Owen Hill Midfield/FO Akron (NY)
Teioshontathe McComber Attack Salisbury (CT)
Declan Palandjian Midfield Avon Old Farms (CT)
Zane Sands Defense Sherwood (OR)
Ryan Smith Midfield West Genesee (NY)
Sam Swingruber Midfield Ballston Spa (NY)
Owen Weathersby Defense/LSM Avon Old Farms (CT)
Corey Yunker Attack Churchville-Chili (NY)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.

Poll

How many wins will Albany get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    0-10
    (20 votes)
  • 34%
    11-12
    (25 votes)
  • 20%
    13-14
    (15 votes)
  • 17%
    15+
    (13 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now