Pictured: 2017 UAlbany Lacrosse Club Seniors from left to right: Brian Pollard, Owen Spisak, Alex Negro, Mike Almes, Joe Hartman, Will Laughlin, Rob Mendez
In the the first informational meeting of the University at Albany’s club lacrosse team last September, the Captains made one thing clear to the team- beat Towson.
Only months earlier, Towson ended Albany’s season in the quarterfinals in Annapolis, Maryland in a heartbreaking 10-8 loss. This season, UAlbany got their chance for redemption, but their plans will have to be put on hold for one more season.
When the clock struck zeroes, the scoreboard showed a familiar result: Towson 12 – Albany 8. Yet another season ending loss, but the Tigers did not escape without a difficult challenge. After the first quarter, UAlbany took total control of the game leaping out to a fast 3-1 lead that was capped off by a wild, 40 yard goal by Mike Geremia after a failed clear attempt by Towson. The sideline erupted with cheers and charisma, and their momentum carried them to a comfortable 5-2 lead going into the 2nd quarter.
That fairy tale redemption story was only three quarters away from publication, until Towson decided to flip the script in their favor.
In the second quarter, the Tigers clawed their way back to end the half tied at six. The Great Danes seemingly lost all the momentum they collected in the first quarter, but their confidence never wavered as they started the half with a 0-0 mindset.
The second half went back and forth until Towson took a 9-7 lead in the fourth quarter. Towson wore out the Great Danes, who were faced with the challenge of waking up at 5 A.M the same day to make the trip to the tournament location at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. On the other side, Towson had only one hour of distance separating them from USNA.
As the time winded down in the fourth quarter, the seniors knew they may be playing in the last organized lacrosse games of their careers. However, their was nothing to be ashamed of, as they were the winningest senior class in the program’s history. They lead the Danes this season to their first ever Final Four appearance and an 8-2 record, with wins versus top teams Syracuse and Maryland.
Among the many great seniors, captain midfielder Mike Almes and captain defenseman Tom Johnson provided four years of outstanding contributions, and helped pave the way for an extremely bright future.
When the Great Danes congregate again for their first informational meeting next September, they will have their eyes set on something more than revenge. They will be saying one word: Championship.