Albany, Marr Try To Keep It 'Real'
by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
|Sophomore attackman Brian Caufield had three goals and four assists Tuesday in Albany's 12-9 upset of No. 13 UMass.
© UAlbany Athletics
Scott Marr might one day be the last man standing when it comes to run-and-gun lacrosse.
It certainly felt that way after Albany lost its season opener Feb. 21 to Denver. Pioneers head coach Jamie Munro - whose previous propensity for pushing the rock reflected that of Marr's - decided to grind the Great Danes down to a 10-9 victory.
Afterward, Munro said bluntly, "you have to slow it down if you're going to win in Division I."
"I was surprised that he slowed it down, to be quite honest. We weren't expecting that," Marr said. "We were anticipating playing a real lacrosse game and having some fun. There's a lot of over-coaching in lacrosse."
Four days later, Siena took a page out of Denver's playbook and nearly pulled the same trick, but Albany rallied for an 8-7, double-overtime victory.
The Danes finally got to play their brand in subsequent wins over Delaware and, just Tuesday, over No. 13-ranked Massachusetts - both foes who have established back-and-forth rivalries with Albany. They play the way the Danes play, and therefore find themselves recruiting against each other for the same types of players.
Marr, for one, found two gems in Joe Resetarits and Brian Caufield, the heroes of Tuesday's big win over UMass.
Resetarits, a freshman younger brother of former Albany great Frank Resetarits, scored five goals to highlight a game that featured five lead changes and six ties. Caufield, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore, had three goals and four assists. The two combined to score all five Great Dane goals in the second half and helped erase UMass' early 4-1 lead after the first quarter.
"I thought our attackmen played very well. I think you're starting to see that a little bit more - like Princeton letting their attackmen go to goal, Hopkins with Steven Boyle going to goal and Syracuse with Kenny Nims," Marr said. "Teams are letting their attackmen go back to being attackmen and dodging long poles."
The same weekend Albany lost to Denver, Princeton -- notoriously of the slow-it-down school -- beat Hopkins with a barrage of shots and nonstop pressure.
Afterwards, Tigers head coach Bill Tierney quipped, "They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I'd still rather a 5-4 game than a 15-14 one, but maybe I'll get over that one day."
The prevailing trend in recent years has been to work the ball around the cage until it finds the offensive player being guarded by a short-stick defender, and then dodging. Marr's teams have been the exception, previously with Frank Resetarits and Merrick Thomson and now with Joe Resetarits and Brian Caufield.
Joe isn't exactly like Frank. Joe changes directions faster and tends to be more outspoken, Marr said, while Frank was more feed or finish and reserved. Both boast composure under the incessant hacking of aggressive defensemen.
Caufield exploits his size advantage.
"You've got to go with what fits your team," Marr said, "whatever puts the ball in the goal."
The key to the Great Danes' success: score early and often. Then opponents have no choice but to play at their pace. That's what they'll try to do Saturday at Drexel, the first of three straight road games for Albany.
The Dragons have struggled to a 2-3 mark, which concerns Marr rather than putting him at ease.
"You fear a team like this because they haven't had their breakout game yet," Marr said. "We have to score early. Then we can get the game going at our pace."