By Tom Castro
After the late-game heroics last weekend, to get their first victory of the season, the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team found themselves in another highly competitive contest when Harvard University visited Casey Stadium.
The Great Danes poured on 10 goals in just the first half, before having to shut down a late surge of offense from Harvard down the stretch. UAlbany came away with a 15-14 victory, their second straight one-goal victory to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Although they were outplayed at times in the second half, the Great Danes proved once again they are capable of closing out tight games and have no problem getting the ball in the net.
Contributions came from all over, most notably Tehoka Nanticoke who scored five goals to go along with three assists, and Jakob Patterson who added three goals and four assists. The two stars also connected with one another on five of UAlbany’s 15 scores in the game. Kyle Casey, Graydon Hogg and Corey Yunker also each contributed two goals apiece in the victory.
The Great Danes got on the board in the first two minutes of the game, from goals by Casey and last week’s hero Ron John, who also set up the first goal. Midway through the second quarter, UAlbany caught fire offensively and led by as many as six, when Patterson gave them a 9-3 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.
Harvard was able to slowly chip away at the lead, and although they never took the lead, UAlbany was forced to respond to three game-tying goals down the stretch.
The Great Danes leaned on goalkeeper Nate Siekierski to make some big saves in the fourth quarter to keep control of the game. Siekierski finished the game with eight saves overall and the Great Danes as a whole did not record a save until the second half.
Harvard’s strong push in the later half also included them winning 13 out of 14 faceoffs, and having the majority of the chances but UAlbany's defense and clutch scoring allowed them to hold onto the win. The deciding goal came from Nanticoke, set up by Patterson, with just over three minutes to play.
This was the final game of the Great Danes three-game homestand to open the season, and they will take the momentum of their two-game winning streak into Massachusetts next week when they play their road opener vs UMass.