Saturday, April 27, 2013

University of Albany's Jon Morgan, Drew Smith Sign NFL Free Agent Contracts - UAlbany Sports 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. – Shortly after the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft Saturday night, University at Albany football players Jon Morgan and Drew Smith signed free agent contracts with the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills, respectively.

Linebacker Jon Morgan, a two-time first-team All-NEC honoree, led UAlbany with 72 tackles, three interceptions, and two blocked kicks in UAlbany’s 2012 NEC championship season. The Copiague, N.Y. native finished his career ranked eighth all-time at UAlbany with 265 career tackles.

Tailback Drew Smith also boasted a historic collegiate career, finishing as UAlbany’s all-time leader for touchdowns scored (45) and the co-leader for all-time rushing touchdowns (40). In four active seasons, Smith accrued 3,196 career rushing yards and 4,721 all-purpose yards, both good for second all-time. In 2012, the Schenectady, N.Y. native eclipsed the 1,000 rushing yards mark for the second time in his career and the 10th time in program history, rushing for 1,001 yards and 18 touchdowns, while totaling 1,280 all-purpose yards. Smith also led the NEC and ranked fourth at the FCS level for scoring (11.40).

In four years, the pair led UAlbany to a 30-15 overall record, two NEC titles and an appearance in the 2011 FCS Playoffs.


Rashad Barksdale was taken in the sixth round of the National Football League Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007. Barksdale, who was the 201st player selected, is the second UAlbany football player to be chosen in the NFL Draft. He was released by the Eagles and immediately signed by the Kansas City Chiefs off waivers. Barksdale became the first Great Dane to play in an NFL regular-season game on Oct. 7, 2007 against Jacksonville.

In 2007, Andre Coleman and Jacob Hobbs signed as free agents with the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. Coleman, who spent three seasons on the Chargers’ practice squad and played during the 2009 regular season, was a consensus first-team mid-major All-America defensive end.

Previously, offensive tackle Geir Gudmundsen joined the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 2005. Split end Dan Gmelin (San Diego Chargers) and tight end Seth Thomas (Carolina Panthers) signed as free agents in 1997. Defensive end Matt Caliandro inked a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans the following year.

Kurt Campbell was the first UAlbany player taken in the NFL Draft. He went in the seventh round to the Green Bay Packers in 2005. Campbell, a former UAlbany captain, also spent time with Oakland and Tennessee and was signed by the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders in May 2009.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Two University of Albany Men's Lacrosse, Thompsons Nominated For The 2013 Tewaaraton Award - UAlbany Sports 2013

WASHINGTON – The University at Albany men’s lacrosse attackmen Lyle and Ty Thompson were named as two of the top 25 nominees for the 2013 Tewaaraton Award, which was announced by the Tewaaraton Foundation on Friday, April 26.

The Great Danes were one of five teams that had two players on the prestigious list. The other four teams with two players included Cornell’s Steve Mock/Rob Pannell, Loyola’s Scott Ratliff/Mike Sawyer, Maryland’s Niko Amato/Jesse Bernhardt and Syracuse’s JoJo Marasco/Brian Megill.

Lyle is having a sensational sophomore season. Lyle leads the nation in points per game (6.85) and assists per game (3.92). The junior attackman already owns the program’s record for assists in a season with 51 at the moment and is one point away from breaking UAlbany’s Cort Kim’s record (89) for points in a season. One record that the Onondaga Nation, N.Y. native has a chance of breaking at seasons end is the NCAA single-season points record of 114 (currently at 89).

Lyle’s cousin Ty has been quietly finding the back of the net for the Great Danes this season. Having started all 14 games this season, Ty has a team best 41 goals and is fourth in the nation in goals per game with 3.15 as of April 21. Before being held scoreless against Siena on Tuesday, the Mohawk Nation, N.Y. native tallied 25 straight games of recording at least one goal, which was tied for the 23rd best streak in NCAA history.

Each year, the Tewaaraton Award celebrates one of the six tribal nations of the Iroquois Confederacy – the Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora. This is The Year of the Mohawk and the men’s nominees include a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation in Ty Thompson and a member of the Onondaga Nation in his cousin Lyle Thompson.

Friday, April 5, 2013

University of Albany Men's Lacrosse Defeats #10 Johns Hopkins, 10-9 - UAlbany Sports 2013

BALTIMORE, Md. – Freshman goalie Blaze Riorden had his best game of his short career, recording 20 saves to lead No. 20 University at Albany past No. 10 Johns Hopkins, 10-9, on Friday, April 5 at Homewood Field. The Great Danes have become road warriors having beaten both Syracuse and Johns Hopkins on the road in the same season for the first time since 2002.

“The defense forced Hopkins to take shots that a goalie should save,” said Riorden on his career day between the pipes. “Yes I had 20 saves but the defense played great as a unit and they should be credited with some of those saves.”

Miles Thompson extended his point streak to 32 games with five points on three goals and two assists. Not far behind Miles is his cousin Ty, who continued his point streak to 31 games with two points on two goals.

Miles cracked open the scoring for UAlbany (7-3) with two quick goals in a span of a minute and a half for the Great Danes first lead, 2-1, with 7:04 left in the first stanza. The second goal was a bang-bang play that started off with Matt Garziano, who found Miles on the left corner of the net.

Johns Hopkins (6-4) responded back with three straight goals in a matter of three and a half minutes to grab what would be its largest lead of the game (two), 4-2. The Blue Jays used three different scorers during the run to finish off the quarter (Zach Palmer, Rex Sanders, Wells Stanwick in that order).

In the second quarter, the Great Danes Tim Cox found a cutting Jimmy Haugen, who received the pass right in front of the net and sent a laser passed Blue Jays goalie Pierce Bassett. UAlbany then used a Thompson-to-Thompson connection (Miles from Ty) to tie the game for the third time at four with 11:25 to play in the half.

During a Johns Hopkins’ offensive possession, a Blue Jays’ offensive player sent a shot towards UAlbany goalie Blaze Riorden, who made the save. Unfortunately, the shot that the Blue Jays offensive player sent hit Riorden in a very soft spot, forcing him out of the game for two and half minutes.

Max Huber stepped up in Riorden’s absence, saving the one shot he saw to preserve the one-goal deficit at that point. Riorden returned at the 5:35 mark to finish out the game.

“Every day, we tell everyone whether you are the first person on the roster or the last you mean something to this team,” said Riorden on his teammate Huber. “Yesterday, we had a speech given to us that and someone one this team will have to step up this season and Max Huber stepped up with a key save in the game.”

However, Johns Hopkins’ midfielder John Greeley found some separation in a tight UAlbany defense to score the team’s lone goal of the quarter. The Blue Jays led the Great Danes, 5-4, at the half.

An impressive UAlbany defensive stand in the third quarter held Johns Hopkins scoreless on six shots. This was the first time this season that the Blue Jays were held scoreless in any quarter in regulation. The Great Danes scored twice in the third, one by Ryan Feuerstein and the other by Will Fuller, to swing momentum back in their favor and lead for the second time in the contest, 6-5.

Johns Hopkins Holden Cattoni tied the game for the fifth time to begin the fourth and final period. The Blue Jays Wells Stanwick facilitated the play for his only assist of the game.

Derrick Eccles impressive hustle play gave UAlbany a 7-6 lead with 12:45 remaining. Eccles began with a shot on net that was saved by Bassett. The saved bounced off Bassett and the sophomore midfielder picked up the loose ball in front of the net and sent a shovel-like shot for his first goal of the game.

Johns Hopkins’ Stanwick put the team on his back and scored back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to one, 9-8. Teammate Brandon Benn followed up with a one-timer from Lee Coppersmith to tie the game, 9-9, for the sixth time with 5:05 left in the game.

The play of the game came at the 2:01 mark in the fourth quarter. Riorden made his 20th save of the game and quickly passed it Doug Eich. Eich, a defensemen, took the ball the length of the field and rattled off a shot to the top right-hand corner of the net past Bassett for the game-winner.

“We have felt, since September, that we have something special,” said Coach Marr on the biggest win of the season. “Since moving Lyle to attack, we feel that there is a certain uniqueness about this team that makes it special. Special teams are mainly made up with great chemistry and how everyone respects one another and that is something we have right now.”

Johns Hopkins held advantages in shots, 44-30, ground balls, 34-25, and face-offs, 14-9. The Blue Jays allowed 10 goals for the first time in the all-time series (12 total games).

UAlbany’s Riorden recorded his seventh win of the season with 20 saves. Johns Hopkins’ Bassett tallied 15 saves on 25 chances in the loss.

The Great Danes, winners of three in a row and six of the last seven, quickly turnaround and face Hartford on Sunday, April 7 at John Fallon Field. Game is slated for 2 p.m.

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