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Maryland men's lacrosse vs. Albany preview: Terps face Great Danes for first time in school history

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Maryland lacrosse returns home to face Albany on Wednesday.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men's lacrosse looks for its first top-25 win of the season Wednesday night against Albany at Maryland Stadium.

The No. 6 Terrapins (3-2) lit up the scoreboard with 17 goals Saturday, beating Princeton 17-5. Wednesday will the first home game for the team in two weeks after playing four consecutive road contests.

Albany is coming off a lopsided victory as well, defeating UMass 16-4 on March 8. The Great Danes have a strong offense, with star attackman Connor Fields leading the way. They are sixth in the nation in goals per game, averaging almost 14.

How to watch

Television: ESPNU at 6 p.m.

Radio: 1300 AM/570 AM

Players to Watch

Connor Fields: Fields recorded the greatest freshman scoring season ever last year for the Great Danes, setting a Division-I record for freshman with 66 goals. Fields benefited greatly from graduated attackmen and Tewaartaton Award-winner Lyle Thompson, the No. 1 overall pick in the MLL Draft last year, but is more than capable to handle the offense on his own. He is a lethal goal scorer who is underrated as a facilitator.

Seth Oakes: The junior ranked sixth in the nation in goals per game last year, averaging 3.18 per contest. Oakes has kept his scoring up this season, leading the team with 11 goals. He has the fourth longest goal streak in the nation, scoring in 21 consecutive games.

Blaze Riorden: The senior goalkeeper was named the America East Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week Monday, his second straight week winning the award. Riorden allowed only two of the four goals in the victory over UMass and saved 14 shots. He's the anchor for the Great Danes' strong defense.

Strengths

Defense. Albany forces almost 10 turnovers per game, second in the nation. The Great Danes don't just cut off passing lanes, they get in the face of the offense. Maryland needs to limit turnovers to have a chance of keeping up with Albany's high powered offense. Even if Maryland holds onto the ball, there is no guarantee of scoring, as Riorden has been excellent for Albany all year. He is second in the nation in saves per game, averaging over 15.

Firepower. It doesn't take an expert to realize a team ranked sixth in the nation in scoring has a lot of firepower. Connor Fields is a threat to score whenever he has the ball, and Seth Oakes is a good bet to score at least once per game. Maryland needs to limit the Great Danes' offense to below its season average 14 goals a game to win.

Weaknesses

Faceoffs. Maryland will have its best chance to take control of the game at center field. The Terrapins' Austin Henningsen has solidified his place as Maryland's top faceoff man, winning 61 percent of his chances at the x. Albany's top faceoff man, Zack Ornstein, is winning only 46.6 percent of faceoffs, 49th in the nation. If Henningsen can continue winning faceoffs, Maryland will be able to control the tempo of the game and give itself more chances to score.