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Lyle Thompson scored 9 goals
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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: Albany

We’re back again with the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we’ll go through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Albany Great Danes, located in Albany, NY.

Photo Credit: Rich Barnes

Albany went 13-5 in 2013 and was a dangerous team all year long. Coming off a 5-11 record in 2012, it’s clear that the Danes took a huge step. They knocked off Cuse early on, lost two tough games to Drexel and Yale and then exploded offensively, scoring at least 12 goals in each game, save for a 10-9 loss to Siena. Albany’s season came to an end in Denver at the hands of the Pioneers, 19-14, but their solid NCAA appearance and strong returning core of players make Albany a contender in 2014.

The story for the Danes is one of offense. They have the ability to score on pace with every other program in D1. The Thompson trio at attack (Lyle, Miles, and Ty) is deadly, and puts up gaudy point totals, while keeping the rest of the team involved. Lyle is the favorite to win the Tewaaaraton heading into the season and no one should be shocked when at least one of the Thompsons finishes the season with over 100 points. Lyle had 113 last year. If the trio is playing in every game this year (some games were missed last year), Albany’s regular season record could improve.

Albany can still win the America East conference, and should be considered a heavy favorite to do just that. But what interests me most is their OOC schedule. Early games with Cuse, Drexel, Harvard, UMass, Bryant, and Penn State will test Albany greatly. There are no easy early games, and no cupcakes until they face AE foe Vermont. After that they play Hopkins. 8 games into the year and Albany could be 1-7, or they could be 8-0. It’s going to be a tough stretch!

What makes me think that Albany could see some success is actually not their offense. I know they will put up points and be a joy to watch… but how will the defense fare?

Blaze Riorden was excellent at times in net for Albany last year, and he was only a freshman. He returns in net, and will be buoyed by Jon Newhouse and Cody Futia down low. Both defensemen are seniors with good size and a great amount of experience. Kevin McNally saw some success at face offs last year taking limited runs, but freshman Connor Russell is listed as the lone FO player on the team, and this kid was an ATHLETE in high school, so maybe he can make an immediate impact.

Albany has a solid and athletic midfield and a very talented attack unit. With better performances at the face off square and a more seasoned goalie, the Danes are once again looking up!

Rumor has it that Ty Thompson might be using these wands this season:

College All Traditional Team… watch out!

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air Force.