On Saturday October 7, 2017, I had the chance to check out the University at Albany Men’s Lacrosse alumni game at John Fallon Field. The game featured the 2018 team scrimmaging the Great Danes alumni. Although I didn’t have a roster for either team, a few things were quickly noticeable: Connor Fields was not present, Tehoka Nanticoke was present – but DNP, and TD Ierlan started the game playing with the alumni team.
Ierlan started things off with a bang for the alumni – scoring off the opening faceoff win. Again, I didn’t have a roster and didn’t keep any stats, but readily recognizable players included alumni team offensive catalyst Ty Thompson, multi-goal scorer Bennett Drake, and two-way midfielders Matt Bertrams and John Maloney. Blaze Riorden was present on the sidelines in street clothes. Thompson (Rochester), Bertrams (Boston), Maloney (Chesapeake), and Riorden (Rochester) were each recently named to their respective MLL team’s 23 man protected roster for 2018. Alumni close defenders that I recognized included Michael Banks, Luke Smith, Brendan Gleason, and Justin Berger.
Volunteer Assistant Coach Derrick Eccles, a 2016 graduate playing for the alumni, appeared to be the target of some good natured razzing from the current team (which includes his brothers Sean and Matt) when he took the field.
With Fields and Nanticoke not on the field, the reins to the current team were clearly in the hands of Justin Reh. Reh did what we have come to expect from watching him over the last few years- score goals and set up opportunities for teammates.
The current team took the early lead, and as the scrimmage progressed into the second half appeared to give a lot of players some time on the field. The alumni team eventually tied it up, before the current team scored the game winner with seconds remaining.
While at the scrimmage, I wasn’t aware of why Connor Fields wasn’t present, but later found out that he was named to the tryout roster for the Canadian National Team, which was scrimmaging a group of NCAA teams, including Notre Dame, in Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday. Before this announcement, how many of us knew that Fields maintained dual US-Canadian citizenship?
Also announced to the Team Canada tryout roster was 2017 UAlbany grad Bennett Drake. Unless I misidentified another Albany alum wearing 88, Drake was at the alumni game on Saturday, and therefore would have to have joined the Team Canada event on Sunday. UAlbany Head Coach Scott Marr will serve as an Assistant Coach for the Iroquois National Team in the Lacrosse World Championships which will take place in Israel during summer 2018, while Albany Assistant Coach Merrick Thomson will serve in the same capacity for the Canadian National Team.
The current Great Danes next play at the HEADstrong Classic in Baltimore on October 15, with expected opponents to be Johns Hopkins and Richmond.
Ty Thompson with the Backhand Finish for the Alumni Team
The alumni get back on the board….. pic.twitter.com/H5TJoKL3Vd
— UAlbany Lacrosse (@UAlbanyMLax) October 7, 2017