Everything You Should Know About This New Era of Albany Lacrosse
After 728 days away from the turf, the "Wolves" are back!
It's been a long time coming for this franchise, to say the least. The team has been through COVID-19, and the subsequent shutdown of their season. They went through a relocation, a re-naming, and months of preparation ahead of face-off.
With the season finally beginning tomorrow night against the Toronto Rock, here is everything you need to know about the Albany FireWolves, how we got here, and what you can expect from the 2021-22 season.
The FireWolves Were the New England Black Wolves Two Seasons Ago
The New England Black Wolves played out of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut from 2015 through the beginning of 2021. They relocated from Philadelphia in 2014, after playing in Philly since 1987. The team won six titles in Philadelphia.
The team was 1st in the Eastern Division in the 2020 season, with a record of 8-3, when COVID-19 shut down the season. As every NCAA team eventually found out, their season would not continue, and it came to a halt in March of 2020.
On February 22, 2021, reports began to surface that the Black Wolves franchise would be sold, and would be re-locating to Albany, New York. Two months later, the official name was unveiled, and the team began to work on building the newest era of lacrosse in the Capital Region.
The FireWolves Held Training Camp in Albany, and in Canada
In late October, the FireWolves took to the turf at the Times Union Center for the first time, in front of fans, media, and most importantly, me.
Without coaches in attendance, the captains and leadership group took control, running the team through drills and allowing the Capital Region to see their team on the field for the first time.
Following the weekend in Albany, the team shipped up north, and completed a few weeks of training camp in Canada. As part of their training, they played a few scrimmages, including one against their home opener's opponent, Rochester.
Now, it's game time.
The FireWolves Have Their Roster, and Schedule, Locked In
As head coach Glenn Clark told me in our conversation earlier this week, the FireWolves returned a great deal of their roster, and have one of the most dynamic defensive cores in the league.
Captain Brett Manney and veteran Greg Downing hold down a strong defense, which plays in front of reigning NLL Goaltender of the Year, Doug Jameison. Offensively, former UAlbany Great Danes' standout Joe Resatarits will present a problem for opposing defenders, and fellow assistant captain Riley O'Connor will be a threat offensively every single game.
As Coach Clark explained, the team will play very strong defensively, and will find success in limiting their opponents' chances. If the team is able to score off of transition chances, which involve advancing the ball up the turf quickly, their record will look very similar to that of 2020.
Check out more in the team's preview of this week's matchup, in which the FireWolves battle the Toronto Rock.
Pack the House on Saturday, December 18th!