February 15, 2011

New Weapons Give Albany a Sure Shot

by Jude Hazard | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Are Miles and Ty the next Merrick and Frank?

Joe Resetarits was sidelined five games into the 2010 season with a foot injury. With a healthy Albany lineup and the infusion of talent from freshman cousins Miles and Ty Thompson, the Great Danes will pose a legitimate threat to America East frontrunner Stony Brook.

© Kevin P. Tucker

Albany senior midfielder Brian Caufield thinks the incoming freshman Thompson cousins could be a big part of a Great Danes' resurgence to a level not seen since 2007, when Merrick Thomson and Frank Resetarits led Albany to the brink of the NCAA final four.

"Miles and Ty have tremendous skill," Caufield said. "I think they definitely have a good chance to put up some of the numbers that Merrick and Frank did."

The Danes have struggled since their 2007 season ended against Cornell with a Max Seibald superman play in overtime that denied Albany a shot at its first ever NCAA men's lacrosse semifinal appearance. The team finished second in the America East last year, but posted an overall record of just 5-11. Albany was 7-7 in 2009 and 8-8 in 2008.

"Our skill level has certainly been elevated with the additional of Ty and Miles," Albany coach Scott Marr said. "It definitely gives us optimism for what we can do offensively."

America East coaches picked Albany to finish second this season in the preseason poll released last week. Defending conference champion Stony Brook was the unanimous No. 1 selection. The Seawolves defeated Albany, 11-7, in last year's conference title game.

Marr said injuries and illnesses last season forced him to play young players more than he otherwise would have, but he hopes that experience will pay dividends this season.

"Playing in the finals against Stony Brook, and playing pretty well, I think we got a lot of guys experience," he said.

The injury-plagued Danes started last season 0-6 before rebounding and making a run to the conference title game. Caufield began the season recovering from a dislocated knee cap and broke his jaw in the eighth game of the year.

Albany attackman Joe Resetarits was sidelined five games into the season with a foot injury and missed the remainder of 2010. He notched 16 points in the first five games. Joe is Frank Resetarits' younger brother.

"The lineup was changing almost every week depending on who was out from being sick," Marr said. "It was a challenge for us to find the right chemistry."

Caufield, who was selected 32nd overall by Rochester in last month's Major League Lacrosse draft, said he's excited about the freshmen joining the Danes, particularly the added inside threat that the Thompson cousins bring to Albany's fast-paced offense.

"With the kids coming in this year, I think we have the talent on the team [to be successful]," Caufield said. "We just have to focus on the minor details."

Lyle Thompson, Miles' younger brother, will join the Danes next year. Their older brother, Jeremy, is a preseason All-American for Syracuse.

Given the new weapons on offense, Marr said the task will be to shore up Albany's defense.

"I definitely feel good about what we're doing in regards to the team's work ethic," he said. "We certainly have to become a better defensive club. We haven't stopped the ball very well the last few years."

Albany starts its season Saturday, Feb. 26 at Drexel.

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