#8/8 UAlbany MLAX Wins Top-10 Thriller vs. #7/7 Yale 12-11 In Front of 4,823 at Bob Ford Field
ALBANY, N.Y. – In front of a program record 4,823 fans at Bob Ford Field, the #8/8 UAlbany men’s lacrosse team defeated #7/7 Yale 12-11 to earn a win in the first matchup of top-10 teams in the Capital District since 2007.
The victory for UAlbany (11-2) over Yale (9-3) gives the Great Danes their second over a then-ranked opponent this season, including its win over Drexel, and fourth victory in a row. UAlbany defeats a top-10 opponent in the regular season for the first time since a 25-10 win at #9 UMass on March 8, 2014.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of the effort tonight,” said UAlbany coach Scott Marr. “We talked about the Medicine Game and playing for JP; it was a great team effort, we did not panic and we stayed with it the whole way.”
With UAlbany up 8-4, Yale scored six of the next seven goals to take a 10-9 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining. UAlbany rolled off three-straight goals in the following 4:05 to lead 12-10. With Yale scoring with 36 seconds remaining, Blaze Riorden, who finished with 14 saves, saved a Harry Kucharczyk shot with 15 seconds left to seal the 12-11 victory for UAlbany.
“It was a total team effort; when the defense gives up shots I can save, on a good night, I can save them,” said Riorden. “What a great atmosphere here tonight.”
On the offensive end, Lyle Thompson earned seven points off three goals and four assists, having a hand in five of the team’s six first half scores. He now stands with 206 assists in his career, passing Rob Pannell and Darren Lowe to stand second-all in DI history, only behind Tim Nelson, who had 221 assists with N.C. State and Syracuse from 1982-1985.
:”It was a good win, and a fun game to watch,” said Thompson. “Offensively, we did not get the ball much, but our defense did a great job tonight.”
It is the largest UAlbany home crowd for a men’s lacrosse game in Marr’s tenure. The previous high was 2,953 for UAlbany’s NCAA Tournament home game on May 13, 2007.
For Yale, Eric Scott led the Bulldogs with four goals. Conrad Oberbeck, Ben Reeves and Jeff Cimbalista all netted two goals. Eric Natale finished with 10 saves in the defeat.
Just over three minutes into the first quarter, Thompson got inside his defender, shot high to low and scored as the ball rolled into the cage for the score. With 8:15 left, Oakes took his stick with one hand and threw the ball into the into the net for the score. Less than a minute later after Eric Cantor caused a turnover on the faceoff, Fields hit the sidearm shot from Thompson to complete the game-opening 3-0 run. Yale got on the board five minutes later with Oberbeck scoring on the man-up chance. Riorden saved a Mark Glicini shot as UAlbany cleared, and on the third shot, Thompson again got inside his defender and scored. Scott scored on a hard shot from long range in the final minute of the quarter as UAlbany led 4-2 after one.
Action went back and forth in the main part of the second quarter as neither side could connect for almost 10 minutes. UAlbany broke the drought with two catch and shoot goals from Thompson to Fields. 30 seconds after, Cimbalista jumped, fired and scored for Yale. Matt Garziano caused a turnover in the waning seconds of the half to keep the score at 6-3.
Using the remnants of a man-up penalty at the start of the second half, John Maloney found Oakes from behind the cage and the goal to put UAlbany up 7-3. After Scott scored from long range, UAlbany fired away three times at the goal without a score. Yale cleared, with Riorden saving a Cimbalista transition shot and helping UAlbany clear. Fields missed with a high shot, getting a second chance after a pass from McClancy, ripping the shot and score to make it 8-4 UAlbany with 8:39 left in the 3rd. Yale went on a 3-0 run in the next six minutes, capped by a Cimbalista shot from J. Conor Mackie, to pull within one. Just before the end of the quarter, Thompson again got inside his defender for the high to low shot and score with two seconds left, making it 9-7 after three quarters.
Continuing to play well on the faceoff, Yale rolled off three quick goals in the quarter’s first two minutes, capped by Reeves running off the draw, for a 10-9 Bulldogs lead. Following a Yale faceoff win and turnover, McClancy took a Fields miss, sprinted from around the cage and heaved a shot for a score to tie the game at 10-10. Two minutes later, Cox took the ball, sprinted towards the far side, fired and scored to put UAlbany ahead. With under nine minutes left, Oakes added an insurance goal, taking a Thompson pass and shooting between Natale’s feet to make it 12-10. UAlbany ran off two minutes of clock on offense and held off Yale’s chance for a minute more. With less than three minutes left, UAlbany held off another Yale possession as Riorden knocked away a Cimbalista shot and a Colin Flaherty shot went wide. Yale scored on a second chance from Scott with 36 seconds left to pull the visitors within one. Yale won the next faceoff, seeing Kucharczyk fire towards the left post. Riorden saved the chance as UAlbany did not see another Yale shot, ensuring the 12-11 victory.
UAlbany will board the bus and head to Loudonville, taking on arch-rival Siena on Tuesday, April 21st at 4 p.m.