The dream is that much closer to becoming reality for Connor Fields and the University of Albany Great Danes.
If Albany wins its final two games of the season, it will celebrate its first NCAA men's lacrosse championship. The Great Danes, in their first Final Four, face Yale at noon Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
The winner advances to the national final on Monday afternoon against either Duke or Maryland at 1 p.m. All games will be televised by ESPN2.
Fields, the former Bishop Timon-St. Jude star, has done his part to help the Great Danes reach this point even though he's been battling through a right knee injury. He's missed games but none during the NCAAs even though Albany hadn't planned on having him in the early rounds. He has two goals and eight assists for 10 points in Albany's two NCAA wins.
Fields, who earned his second straight first team All-American honor, shares the team lead in points with 81 even though he has missed some games. He ranks third on the team in goals (31) and first in assists (50).
This is the first time Fields will attend an NCAA Final Four.
“It’s definitely a really cool opportunity,’’ Fields said in a Albany Times Union report. “Not everyone gets to experience it, so I wanted my first time to be as a player. It’s a dream come true. We’re going to enjoy it while we’re there, but we’re not going to sit back and let it pass us. We’re going to play our best and hopefully it goes our way.”
Other Western New Yorkers on Albany's team include Chaunce Hill (Akron), Ron John (Lake Shore) and Matt Perla (Orchard Park).
Maryland is the defending national champion. The Terrapins are captained by Fields' high school teammate Adam DiMillo. DiMillo, a defender, has seven goals while appearing in all 17 of his team's games.
DiMillo was the 2014 recipient of The Buffalo News' Tom Borrelli Award as the top senior lacrosse player in Western New York.