Thursday, September 18, 2014

Greg Gattuso's response to potential career victory 100 is exactly what you think it would be

I had to ask about it. 

I had to. 

University at Albany football coach Greg Gattuso is one win away from nothing his 100th career coaching victory and the Great Danes take on Rhode Island this Saturday in the CAA opener for both teams. So, naturally, after practice on Wednesday while I was doing my interview rounds, I had to ask Gattuso about the prospect of making (more) history this weekend. 
Mike McMahon / The Record

He responded exactly how I thought he would. 

"That’s what I hear," he said. "I don’t worry about that too much. My daughter brought it up to me the other day and I just said, I’m looking to get number three. That’s what I’m trying to do."

I told you. 

The potential record-making game would make Gattuso the fifth active CAA coach to hit the century mark, joining Andy Talley of Villanova (232-144-2), Jimmye Laycock of William & Mary (222-166-2), Jack Cosgrove of Maine (122-121), and Sean McDonnell of New Hampshire (114-72).

But, while Gattuso may not be all that interested in the milestone, it's still a major accomplishment for the coach, whether or not it actually happens on Saturday afternoon. 

Add into the mix that the Great Danes coach is currently the winningest active FCS coach IN THE NATION and we should maybe all take a moment to step back and be impressed. Also add into the mix that this year's 2-0 start is just the fourth time in program history that has happened AND that Saturday's game could be the very first league victory for UAlbany and this matchup is suddenly much more interesting than originally advertised. 

If you're remotely interested in keeping up with Saturday's game (as you should be) you can follow my live tweets, @LauraAmato on Twitter. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UAlbany depth chart heading into CAA opener against Rhode Island

Two weeks after securing the program's 100th FCS victory with a 19-0 win over Central Connecticut, the UAlbany football team is looking to make some more history this weekend.

The Great Danes are looking to post their first-ever CAA victory this Saturday afternoon, taking on Rhode Island (who topped UAlbany in overtime last season), bolstered by the team's fourth 2-0 start in team history. Add into the mix that UAlbany head coach Greg Gattuso is going for his 100th career coaching victory and RB Omar Osbourne is just 40 yards shy of taking seventh place on the UAlbany all-time rushing list and this game could be very interesting.

With that in mind, check out the latest depth chart for UAlbany, including a few changes on defense. With Kyle Jordan sidelined for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, Marcel Ngachie is getting the start at OLB this week, moving from the inside . Terrence Russell is also listed on the two-deep at OLB, sitting behind Neil Morrison and Mechanicville native Nate Hatalsky is listed on the chart for the first time this season.

I'll be live-tweeting the game on Saturday afternoon too, so if you want to keep up with what's happening, go ahead and follow @LauraAmato

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Former area standouts Mat Bodie & Ryan Haggerty make impression with Rangers at Traverse City Tournament

Mat Bodie has been making the most of his time on the ice over the past few weeks.

The former Union defenseman (and national champion) has been eating up ice time with the NY Rangers rookie team at the tournament in Traverse City.

His name has been picked up quite a bit over the past few games and despite a 3-2 loss to Carolina on Monday night, Bodie has been nothing but positive when it comes to his experience in the rink.
"For sure, you know you kind of get your feet wet that first game," Bodie said in a Rangers-produced video. "But you try and grow each game. I think the team's done that. I think, myself, I've kind of figured how the pro game is a little different from the college game."

Of course, it's expected that every player at camp will have some metaphorical chips in the ice, transitioning to a full-time pro experience and Bodie is the first to admit that it isn't always easy shedding that Union college-player mantle.

"I think it might be a little more physical," he said. "In college, you only play two games a week, so guys are really giving it their all and the systems are pretty ingrained in you. This, just kind of throwing together a team, sometimes the systems aren't quite as ingrained in the guys and there's some breakdowns in areas of the game that you don't usually see when a team's in full swing, like full-season mode."

But while Bodie has been finding a rhythm - and a video feature on the NY Rangers website - lest we not forget that there are some other Capital Region standouts suiting up for the Blueshirts in prospect camp.

Former RPI standout Ryan Haggerty scored NY's game-tying goal last night and also netted a goal for the Rangers late last week.

Suffice it to say things are going pretty well for the pair.

To check out all of Bodie's interview with the Rangers, go ahead and click right here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

UPDATE: UAlbany's Kyle Jordan to miss remainder of season

It's official now. 

Per the UAlbany game notes, released by the team on Wednesday, senior linebacker Kyle Jordan will miss the remainder of the Great Danes football season with a hamstring injury. 

Just one week after returning to the Great Danes' starting lineup in the squad's game one 14-13 victory over Holy Cross, Jordan left last week's game against Central Connecticut with an injury.

According to reports at the game, Jordan had injured his hamstring early in the first half. He did not return to the game last Saturday, nor has he returned to practice this past week.

Jordan underwent an MRI earlier this week according to the team and while the results are not official yet, UAlbany head coach Greg Gattuso was not optimistic about his senior linebacker's return any time soon.

After missing the majority of last season with injury, Jordan's return to the Danes' starting lineup against Holy Cross was big in more than just the emotional way. He forced two fumbles, including the final-minute fumble that would result in Neil Morrison's game-winning touchdown return, as well as racking up nine tackles.

In his two appearances this season, Jordan 12 tackles. In his career, he has posted 126 tackles (76 solo), forced five fumbles, and recovered three in 29 games.

NCAA announces game times for women's basketball regional games at TU Center

The NCAA announced game times for the 2015 Division I women's basketball Albany regional games. 

The regional semifinal games will be played on Saturday, March 28 at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. while the regional final will be played on Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. 

The games will be played at the times Union Center and will be co-hosted by both the MAAC and Siena College. This is the first time the NCAA women's regional will be held in Albany, New York and tickets are available for purchase at a later date through both Ticketmaster and the TU Center box office. 

“These are great game times for our fans to attend the first NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional in Albany, New York,” said MAAC Commissioner Richard J. Ensor, Esq. said in a statement released by the league “The schedule will allow us to target young families, dads and daughters, and all fans of college women’s basketball who will see the top teams compete in the Sweet 16. Monday night at 7 p.m. will provide us the opportunity to showcase Albany as a premiere site for NCAA competition.”  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

UAlbany holds flag football matchup with Capital District Pop Warner Challengers

UAlbany football senior receiver Jake Meek called over to quarterback Will Fiacchi on the sidelines of Bob Ford Field on Thursday evening.

UAlbany QB Will Fiacchi tosses the ball prior to the start of the game.
Meek had to show him something. Or, more specifically, Meek had to show Fiacchi someone.

The Great Danes' slot receiver was standing along the sidelines of the turf field with one of the players of the Capital District Pop Warner Challengers, a local group that offers kids ages 5-18 with a physical or mental illness who are currently enrolled in school the chance to play football. This kid had a better spiral on his passes than Fiacchi, claimed Meek.

Of course, that had to be put to the test. Fiacchi and his brand-new teammate tossed the ball around for a few minutes, discussing football and their mutual favorite NFL team (it's the Giants) before the Great Danes hosted the Challengers in the first-ever flag football game on the field.

"It's been great," Gattuso said. "I thought it'd be great for the kids. I don't know who's having more fun out there. I just said, all of the kids are enjoying the game so much and so it's been a great night. We're really enjoying it. I know that my players are probably getting the biggest benefit out of it."

The rules of the game were easy enough, each Challenger player would be teamed up with a UAlbany counterpart, everyone wearing a typical "flag," much like the ones used in gym classes across the country.

There were no set plays, there were no rules and no score was actually being kept. But none of that really mattered.

The only thing that did matter was the look on every players face, whether they were wearing a Great Danes uniform or a Challengers', whenever the ball was snapped and moved down the field.

By the end of the night, every UAlbany player was a brand-new hero to a kid who simply loves football and who thrives on the chances to be part of the game.

Great Danes linebacker Christian Dorsey ties on his
required flag for the flag-football matchup.

"It's not every day you get to come out and do something like this," Danes linebacker Christian Dorsey said. "Help out the community, let these guys have fun, show them what it's like to be on Bob Ford Field and have them run around with us for awhile."

For the program, events like this are, hopefully, the new norm.

When Gattuso took over the reigns of the team last year, one of the first things he mentioned, and continues to mention even now, was his hope that UAlbany's football program would be able to have an impact both off the field and off-campus, finding root in the community and engaging the people of the Capital District.

The Great Danes and the Challengers line up on Bob Ford Field.
"They have this team, the Capital Region Challengers, and they do these games, it might be baseball, it might be basketball," Gattuso said. "But it just helps the kids so much and it helps the parents. So when we started talking about it, I said, 'Why don't you have it here? We'd love to have it."

When he was approached to host the event, the idea was a bit of a no-brainer for the first-year Danes head coach. This made sense, both for his players and the kids they could help impact. There is, after all, more to life than football and sometimes to show that, you have to put a flag around your waist.

"We want them to be able to do this the rest of their lives," Gattuso said. "Part of the experience of college football isn't just academics and football. It's social life and we want them to be great citizens and great young men. We want them to give back to the community and this is one way to do it."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Siena women's basketball releases 2014-2015 MAAC schedules

Just a few days after releasing its non-conference schedule, the Siena women's basketball team has announced its 2014-2015 MAAC schedule.

The Saints open up their 20-game slate with their conference home opener against Fairfield on December 3rd at the Alumni Recreation Center on campus. Siena's season-opener is Friday, November 14 at Buffalo with the non-league home opener on Wednesday, November 19 against Central Connecticut at the ARC.

Siena plays seven of its last 11 games at-home and overall the Saints have 14 home games, including 12 at the ARC.

In addition to the strong home schedule, for the 14th time since 1992, Siena will host the MAAC men's and women's basketball championship at the Times Union Center. The tournament will take place from March 5-9.

The complete women's basketball schedule is under the cut. If there isn't a time listed next to a game, it hasn't been officially announced yet. Bold games are MAAC games.