ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany men’s lacrosse team will face Loyola in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Saturday, and a lot of their success can be attributed to one of the unsung heroes of the team.
It’s a gift and a curse to be a goalie on the highest scoring team in the nation. A gift because you have a front row seat to the “show” the Thompson trio puts on. A curse because sophomore goalie Blase Riorden gets overlooked.
“Offense scores goals. That’s the glory position,” Riorden said. “Defense is the backbone. Defense wins championships.”
Riorden is the anchor of that defense posting the fourth highest save percentage in the nation.
“The way we play, a lot of pressure is put on the defense,” senior defenseman Cody Futia said. “There’s times that he really bails us out; a number of times every game actually.”
But ironically, the sophomore net minder gives credit for his success to his offense.
“To be the best you have to play the best, and every day we come out and play the best lacrosse players in the country, and it definitely translates onto the field,” Riorden said.
During a game earlier in the season, Riorden got a chance to show off the dynamic Great Dane offense.
“Lyle told me that I was going to get my opportunity, and finally I scored a goal in front of all the home crowd and everyone was cheering me on,” he said.
Now that Riorden has a taste for goal scoring, there may be a chance for a repeat performance.