#12/12 UAlbany Men’s Lacrosse Begins 2017 Campaign with Annual Battle at #6/6 Syracuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The UAlbany men’s lacrosse team is set to begin the 2017 season with its annual matchup against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, February 18th at 3 p.m.
The game will be aired online on ACC Network Extra via ESPN3.
UAlbany earned its fourth consecutive America East regular season title last year and an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament last season, finishing the year at 12-4 overall and 6-0 in its league. Syracuse, the two-time defending ACC Tournament champion, started the year with a 19-6 home win over Siena to begin at 1-0 on the season.
UAlbany comes into its first game ranked #12 in the USILA Coaches Poll as well as the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. Syracuse stands at #6 in each poll.
Syracuse leads the all-time series 14-1 against UAlbany, including taking the last four meetings. The Orange defeated UAlbany 11-9 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament First Round in Syracuse. This is the fifth time in the last six years that UAlbany's first game is at Syracuse.
UALBANY PREDICTED TO FINISH FIRST IN AMERICA EAST IN '17: For the fifth season in a row, UAlbany has been predicted to finish first in the America East in the preseason coaches poll. It is the fourth season in the last five that UAlbany was a unanimous pick to finish first. UAlbany is undefeated in America East regular season play since the start of 2013. The rest of the poll is filled out by, in order, Hartford, Vermont, Stony Brook, UMBC, UMass Lowell and Binghamton.
FIELDS, SIMS NAMED IL PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Connor Fields and Stone Sims were selected as Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Preseason All-Americans. Fields, a preseason All-American for the second straight year, was placed on the Second Team while Sims got on the Third Team.
UAlbany has had at least one preseason All-American on the first, second or third team every year since 2012, including multiple players three of the last four years.
UALBANY #12 IN COACHES POLL AND MEDIA POLL: In the ffirst poll update of the season, UAlbany went to #12 in the USILA Coaches Poll and #12 in the Inside Lacrosse Cascade/Maverik Media Poll.
UAlbany rose one spot in each the coaches and media polls after the first week of competition to #12. UAlbany did not play in that first week of competition.
In the preseason, UAlbany was #13 in the coaches poll and #13 in the media poll. It is the fourth consecutive year that UAlbany has ranked in the top-13 in the preseason.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Home is where the heart is for UAlbany, drawing on the home state for most of its roster. Of its 46-man roster, 31 players hail from New York State.
From the USA, other states represented on UAlbany’s roster include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah and Vermont. The team also has four players from Canada.
The team’s diversity is represented on its helmets. Each UAlbany helmet has three flags on the back, representing the United States, Canada and the Iroquois Six Nations.
NEW KEEPER NEEDED: Blaze Riorden graduated in 2016 after starting four years in the cage for UAlbany. The Great Danes have three goalkeepers on the 2017 roster.
Redshirt junior JD Colarusso has been named the starter in the preseason. He served as the backup goalkeeper the past three years behind Riorden and has appeared in 15 games coming into 2017.
Serving as reserve goalkeepers are Nate Siekierski, a freshman who holds the state record in career saves in Colorado high school history, and Cody Nolan, a junior walk-on who was an all-state wrestler at Hampton Bays High.
SEASON OPENER HISTORY: In the Division I era, UAlbany is 6-11 all-time in season openers, going 2-2 in its last four. It will be the seventh year in a row UAlbany opens on the road.
It is also the seventh year in a row that UAlbany plays an opponent ranked in the coaches poll to begin the year.
Last year, UAlbany began the year at Syracuse, falling to the Orange 16-7. The last victory came in 2015 with an 15-8 road win over Drexel in Philadelphia.
SCOUTING THE SYRACUSE ORANGE: Senior attack Jordan Evans notched three goals, five assists and seven ground balls in the victory over Siena while classmate middie Nick Mariano had three goals and four assists. Preseason All-ACC senior midfielder Sergio Salcido had three assists.
Starting in the cage is redhsirt senior Evan Malloy, saving seven shots with a 5.59 goals allowed average. Preseason All-ACC close defender sophomore Nick Mellen missed the first game of the year after shoulder surgery.
Senior Ben Williams earned Preseason All-ACC honors, winning 68.2% of faceoffs vs. Siena.