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Unranked Syracuse will look to get back to .500 on the season when it faces UAlbany, which’ll most likely be the Orange’s final unranked opponent of the season.
From there, Syracuse has four games against ranked opponents to close out the regular season. Syracuse and Albany have played in the Carrier Dome every year since the series began in 2004 (with the exception of 2020, when the season was canceled due to COVID-19), but this will be the first time in the series’ history that SU goes on the road to play at the Great Danes.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Great Danes before Syracuse (4-5, 1-2 ACC) travels to Albany (3-5, 2-1 America East):
Syracuse leads the all-time series 17-2.
Last time they played
In 2021, Syracuse won 13-8 behind hat tricks from Brendan Curry and Chase Scanlan. Stephen Rehfuss added another two goals and two assists.
UAlbany stayed within one goal of the Orange, but SU used a 4-0 run right before halftime to establish a comfortable grip on the game. Syracuse has won seven of the last eight contests against the Great Danes, with the only loss coming in a 15-3 defeat in 2018.
The UAlbany report
The Great Danes’ rank 62nd in the nation (out of 73 Division I teams) in overall efficiency, according to Lacrosse Reference. Syracuse isn’t much better — sitting at 53rd — but most of the Orange’s problems lie in their defense.
Albany, on the other hand, has an offensive efficiency of 27.4% (51st in DI) and a defensive efficiency of 34.1% (61st in DI), making it more balanced in its feats, per Lacrosse Reference.
The Great Danes sit below .500 this season, which includes an eight-goal loss to No. 6 Cornell and an 18-goal one to No. 1 Maryland. They don’t boast a particularly impressive offense — unlike years past when they had star attackman Tehoka Nanticoke — or a particularly impressive defense either.
In conference play, Albany lost by eight goals to Binghamton, but beat Stony Brook by two and UMass Lowell by one. Syracuse also played Stony Brook this season, a game where neither team led by more than a goal in the first half. But SU pulled away with an 8-0 run in the second to secure a 14-10 win.
How Syracuse beats the Great Danes
Syracuse clearly has the offensive talent, via the likes of Tucker Dordevic and Curry, to take care of business at Albany. It clearly has the defensive skill to contain Albany’s balanced offense that includes Graydon Hogg (20 points), Camden Hay (19 points), Corey Yunker (17 points) and Amos Whitcomb (16 points).
The Orange just need to avoid a repeat of what happened last week in South Bend, when they had what head coach Gary Gait referred to as an all-around “off day.” Sitting at under .500 with a difficult schedule left, SU can’t afford that.
In that 16-goal loss, the Orange didn’t take care of the ball, didn’t generate much of anything on offense and couldn’t contain Notre Dame on defense. Syracuse shouldn’t need anything particularly special to beat Albany, but it’ll need to play much more fundamental lacrosse than it did a week ago. Limiting mistakes and errors in this game — like turnovers and penalties — and cashing in on open offensive looks will be key.
Stat to know: 70th in turnover rate
Albany ranks 70th in Division I in turnover rate with a clip of 44.7%, according to Lacrosse Reference. That means almost half of the Great Danes’ possessions result in turnovers, a clip that’s the fourth-worst in DI. Even in its three wins this season, Albany’s turnover rate has been 47.1%, compared to 48.9% in its five losses.
Syracuse struggled to take care of the ball in its last game against Notre Dame, with a season-high 45% of possessions ending in turnovers. If the Orange can do a better job taking care of the ball on their end and forcing a turnover-prone Albany team into mistakes, they should be able to take care of business.
Player to watch: Graydon Hogg, No. 45, attack/midfield
Albany has a pretty balanced attack that features multiple different threats, but Hogg is probably the biggest standout for the Great Danes. The junior leads Albany with 20 points this season on 12 goals and eight assists.
Hogg started 10 of 12 games last season, notching the most goals on the team (29) and the third-most points (38). He had three goals and an assist in the team’s America East Tournament semifinal win over UMBC, in addition to a crucial defensive play on the ride that helped set up the game-winning goal for his teammate.
The post Opponent Preview: Everything you need to know about UAlbany appeared first on The Daily Orange.