posted posted 03.14.2011 at 1.11 p.m. by Matt DaSilva

Albany's Caufield, Bonitatibus Doubtful for Showdown at Syracuse

Albany midfielder Rocky Bonitatibus is unlikely to play Tuesday at Syracuse.

The Albany men's lacrosse team has won three straight games and on Tuesday will play its fourth game in 10 days at top-ranked Syracuse riding a wave of momentum, but it has come at a cost. Starting midfielders Brian Caufield (shoulder), a preseason All-American, and Rocky Bonitatibus (undisclosed) left Saturday's game against Ohio State with injuries that will likely keep both out of action against the Orange, Albany head coach Scott Marr said Monday.

With Derek Kreuzer, who suffered two knee injuries last year, also sidelined, it means the Great Danes will be without their entire first midfield line for the biggest game of the season.

Albany has already shuffled its starting lineup quite a bit this season. After a season-opening loss to Drexel, the Great Danes inserted freshman goalie Edmund Cathers for John Carroll, faceoff man Keith Olson for Matt Mackenzie and defenseman Scott Raffensperger for Mike Finnegan. Marr also brandished midfielder Mike Woods with a long pole about an hour before the Delaware game to make him primarily a long-stick midfielder.

Injuries were a major cause of Albany's undoing during a 5-11 campaign in 2010. Caufield missed the last five games of the season with a broken jaw. Attackman Joe Resetarits played in just five games before suffering a season-ending foot injury.

Marr told's Jude Hazard on Saturday that he did not expect Caufield to be out for an extended period of time. The nature of Bonitatibus' injury remained unspecified. Bonitatibus had just hit his stride with two goals and two assists against Ohio State.

"Staying healthy is the key to any sport. You’ve got to have your best players on the field,” Marr said. “Hopefully we can get these guys back in the lineup.”

It's unlikely to happen Tuesday.