Led by Lyle Thompson’s eight points and 11 saves by Blaze Riorden, the UAlbany men’s lacrosse team took down Vermont 20-10 to continue its undefeated start in league play.
“Coming off the week that we had playing Syracuse and playing in less than 30 hours, I thought it was a solid effort by our team,” said UAlbany head coach Scott Marr. “It was a struggle in the beginning with the weather, but the skies opened up for a pretty nice day, and we did a nice job plugging along and playing at our pace.”
UAlbany (8-2, 4-0 AE) outscored Vermont (3-9, 1-2 AE) 16-4 in the first three quarters of the game en route to earn its 14th-consecutive America East victory.
Today’s win also secures a spot for UAlbany in the upcoming America East Tournament. UAlbany can secure the 1-seed in the tournament and at least a share of the America East regular season title with a win over Binghamton next Saturday.
Thompson earned two goals and six assists to move into third all-time in NCAA DI scoring history at 347 career points, just seven away from tying the record.
Seth Oakes led all players with four goals, matching a career-high, while Connor Fields finished with three goals, three ground balls and an assist. Matt Garziano finished with four points off two goals and two assists as he, Thompson, Matthew Bertrams and John Glancy all finished with multiple goals for UAlbany. Riorden finished with 11 saves in the first three quarters off 15 shots on goal. JD Colarusso completed the game, saving four shots in the final period.
“We came out and got an early lead in the first quarter and got ourselves going,” said Bertrams. “Today, we got some time to guys that normally don’t get to play.”
“[The defense] gave up shots that I could see,” said Riorden. “We knew we had to shut down Ian MacKay; he got a couple of opportunities, but we contained him, and it was a great team effort.”
For Vermont, Cam Milligan tallied four points off a pair of goals and assists. Nick Bartlett and MacKay each scored two goals.
UAlbany struck first after Garziano forced a turnover at the clearing line, ran in transition, passed to Thompson for the long shot and score. Thompson later set up Tim Cox for the running goal and Fields next to the crease for another score. After White scored on a rebound shot for Vermont, Thompson added a fourth point on a low shot between the keeper’s legs from Bertrams. Weller scored for Vermont to pull the home team within two. UAlbany countered with three goals in under a minute: Garziano hit a 15-meter heave then Bertrams added two with a high-to-low shot and a long range shot seconds later. Fields added another one after a double team forced the goalie to throw the ball away to Fields, who scored on the open net. The score was 8-2 after one quarter.
UAlbany started to win faceoffs at the start of the second and scored quickly off a sideways John Maloney shot, an Oakes score next to the cage, a Kyle McClancy close shot off a Thompson double team and a Garziano pass off the ground ball to Oakes who scored alone next to the goalie. Michael Clarke scored on a rebound shot to stop the UAlbany run. On a man-up, Bennett Drake added a goal close range to make it 13-3 by the end of the half.
Both sides played back and forth with UAlbany saves and turnovers keeping the ball moving. On a 6-on-4 man-up, Oakes lined up a shot from the left side and scored from Thompson, who later forced a turnover on a Vermont clear attempt which drew the defense away, freeing Fields for the goal. Each side exchanged another goal with Milligan scoring, then Oakes countering with a low angle shot from Ky Tarbell’s pass to make it 16-4 going into the fourth quarter.
Vermont scored two goals in the opening 2:08 of the final period. UAlbany countered with Tom Nuckel rocketing a shot to the upper corner, then Garziano scoring long range a minute later. Bartlett scored for Vermont, then Glancy got the pass from Eli Lasda for the score. Vermont got a late 3-0 run in the span of a minute, but UAlbany held the Catamounts off the rest of the way, adding another Glancy goal for the eventual 20-10 final score.
UAlbany will play next Saturday in Vestal, taking on Binghamton at 7 p.m. for its last regular season road America East game of the season.