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Former Bulldog excels with Great Danes

To be honest, the season is still a bit of a surprise to Frank Resetarits.

He always knew that if he committed to the University at Albany that he would be a part of building the Great Danes into a force in Division I men's lacrosse.

Still, the results in his senior season remain a bit of a dream.

Albany is 11-0 with five wins over top-20 teams -- including a season-opening win over perennial power Johns Hopkins.

With the most wins in a season in school history, the Great Danes also have their first national ranking. They sit at No. 2 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches Poll behind No. 1 Cornell and are No. 3 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll (behind Cornell and Virginia).

"It's still sinking in. It's still a bit surreal," said Resetarits, an attackman who scored four goals, including the game-winner, in the upset of Johns Hopkins.

"We have a lot of seniors on this team and a lot of good leadership. We've been trying to prove each year that we're getting better and better."

Part of the reason Albany has gotten better -- and turned national heads -- is the play of Resetarits. A former standout at Hamburg where he was a two-time All-American, he led the nation last year in points per game (4.27).

This season, he again ranks in the top 10 nationally with 47 points (30 goals, 17 assists). He also has enjoyed a steady spot all season on the Tewaaraton Tracker -- the watch list for the award given to the best collegiate men's lacrosse player in the country.

Resetarits has won the America East Player of the Week award five times this season.

He credits his high school coach, Ed Van Tine, and his teammates with his ability to garner some individual success and the accompanying honors.

"In high school, I had a coach who really helped me develop a good game sense," Resetarits said. "I understand the game well and I play off the ball and look for spaces in the defense. My team does a great job of finding me when I'm open.

"The [individual honors] are nice. It's nice when people across the country recognize you as a really good player, but I couldn't get anything done without my teammates. The biggest thing to me right now is to still be playing in May."

Albany has a good shot at getting back into the NCAA Tournament. The team went three straight years as the America East automatic qualifier -- in 2003 (lost to Princeton in the first round), 2004 (lost at Syracuse in the first round) and 2005 (lost at Virgina in the first round).

Last year the team ended its season in the conference championship, losing to the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 19-10.

But this year, Resetarits believes his team has better balance.

"Offensively, we have a lot of weapons," he said. "We have eight, nine, 10 guys who can score multiple goals in a game. Defensively, we've turned it around. I think we're one of the better defensive teams in the country right now. Offensively, we could always score, but our defense is solid now and that gives us balance."

Indeed, Albany's offense has been powerful and its defense much improved. The Great Danes are second among NCAA Division I teams in scoring offense at 13.78 goals per game while the defense has allowed 8.09. Last year at the same time, the team had allowed 10.67 goals per game.

The Great Danes will play at Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Orange is just 4-6 this season but is one of the most storied programs in collegiate lacrosse, owning an NCAA record nine national championships in 14 appearances.

Albany will play in the America East Tournament on May 3-5. Selection Sunday for men's lacrosse is May 6, when the 16-team NCAA field will be announced.


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