Friday, April 29, 2016

University of Albany Men's Lacrosse's Connor Fields, Blaze Riorden Honored as 2016 Tewaaraton Nominees - UAlbany Sports 2016

WASHINGTON – UAlbany men’s lacrosse players Connor Fields and Blaze Riorden have been selected as 2016 Tewaaraton nominees, the Tewaaraton Foundation announced on Friday night. Fields and Riorden are two of 25 male 2016 Tewaaraton Nominees for the player of the year trophy. The male and female nominees were announced on ESPNU at halftime during the first game of the ACC Tournament semifinals. Fields and Riorden each become Tewaaraton nominees for the first time in their collegiate careers. UAlbany has had at least one Tewaaraton nominee each of the past four seasons. Lyle Thompson was a nominee from 2013-15 while Miles Thompson was in 2014. The pair of brothers shared the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2014 while Lyle was selected for the trophy outright in 2015. Going into the weekend, Fields stand fifth in Division I with 4.77 points per game. The sophomore attack leads UAlbany with 62 points, off 36 goals and 26 assists, and has 150 points in his career. This season, he has had seven games with at least five points and three with eight. Riorden is second in all of DI in save percentage at 59.1% and third in saves per game with 13 a contest. The senior goalkeeper has started every game for UAlbany, allowing 9.2 goals per game. He has saved at least 14 shots in eight games including victories over Yale, Harvard and Cornell. The list of 25 will be narrowed to five finalists on May 12th. Those five finalists will be invited to the 16th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony in Washington D.C. on June 2nd.

Friday, April 15, 2016

UAlbany Announces Joanna Bernabei-McNamee As Head Coach Of Women’s Basketball

ALBANY, N.Y. -- University at Albany Director of Athletics Mark Benson announced Friday the hiring of Joanna Bernabei-McNamee as the 11th head women’s basketball coach in program history and fourth head coach in the Great Danes’ Division I era. Bernabei-McNamee (pronounced Bern-uh-BEE Mac-Na-MEE), a native of Weirton, W.Va., comes to UAlbany after three seasons as the head coach of the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Ky. There, McNamee racked up 63 wins and led the program to back-to-back National Tournament berths, including a program-record 26 victories and an NAIA Final Four appearance in 2016. McNamee was named the 2016 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NAIA Regional Coach of the Year, and was also named the 2015 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

University of Albany CAA Football To Open 2017 Season At Old Dominion, 2018 At Pittsburgh - UAlbany Sports 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. -- University at Albany Director of Athletics Mark Benson announced Thursday that the Great Danes will open the 2017 football season at Old Dominion University and the 2018 season at the University of Pittsburgh. The meetings will mark UAlbany’s third and fourth Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) games. In the program’s first FBS clash, the Great Danes took on Buffalo of the Mid-American Conference in the 2015 opener. UAlbany will also play the Bulls for the first game of 2016. The Great Danes’ 2017 debut versus Old Dominion will be played Sept. 2 at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Va. The contest will serve as a homecoming of sorts for Benson, who spent nearly two decades at ODU before becoming UAlbany’s athletic director in August of 2014. “Our scheduling philosophy as a football program is to play one FBS game per season,” said Benson. “These games give our student athletes, coaches and fans an exciting competitive opportunity. Playing programs such as Pitt and ODU also brings tremendous national exposure to UAlbany.” UAlbany has met the Monarchs once before in 2013 when ODU was transitioning from FCS to FBS as a member of Conference USA, and the Great Danes were competing in their first season in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). ODU came away with a 66-10 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,118. “First and foremost, it’s starting to show us as a true CAA member,” said Head Coach Greg Gattuso. “Obviously, it’s a challenge to play them, but it’s great for our players. The kids are excited to play BCS games. It helps in recruiting and it’s just a positive for the overall general health of our program to play up.” UAlbany’s meeting with Pitt of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will take place Sept. 1, 2018 at Heinz Field, which is also home to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. “Our kids are getting an opportunity to play at some great venues, and Heinz Field is one of the best we’ll ever get a chance to play in,” said Gattuso. “I’m excited about it. It’s home. There’s a lot of connection for me personally.” A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Gattuso served as an assistant for the Panthers from 2005 to 2010, and was the head coach of Duquesne University, also located in the Steel City, from 1993 to 2004. “Ultimately, these games are good for the team,” added Gattuso. “It’s good for us budget wise, it’s good for us motivationally, it’s good for recruiting, and it’s good for our kids. They’re really excited about the challenge.” UAlbany football 2016 season tickets are currently on sale. To purchase, visit or call 518-442-DANE.

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