Great Danes Prepare for Fall Season Openers

UAlbany football team runs onto the field as an American Flag waves in the background.
The Great Danes will open their football season on Friday against Fordham. (Photo by Kathleen Helman/UAlbany Athletics)

By Michael Parker

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 24, 2023) — Classes are underway at UAlbany, and student athletes in fall sports are gearing up for their home openers in football, men's and women's soccer, cross country, field hockey, women's golf and women's volleyball. And when fans of the Great Danes attend games, they will enjoy shorter wait times and enhanced security as the Department of Athletics shifts to a cashless payment model for tickets, concessions and merchandise.

For all events starting with the 2023-24 fall seasons, the UAlbany Athletics ticketing box office, merchandising, concessions and parking will accept all major credit cards. Concessions also will accept Apple Pay, and parking will accept both Apple Pay and Google Pay. Gates for football games will now open 60 minutes prior to kickoff.

Football Readies for Fordham

The Great Danes football team will begin its season against the Fordham Rams on Saturday at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium, with a 7 p.m. start. The team then heads to Huntington, West Virginia on Sept. 2 to face the Thundering Herd of Marshall, a Football Bowl Subdvision (FBS) opponent, before traveling to out to Manoa on Sept. 9 to face another FBS team, Hawai'i. The Great Danes will partner with the Rainbow Warriors to show their support for victims of the Maui wild fires.

The Athletics Department announced new pricing for season tickets, along with a promotion schedule for the five home contests: Saturday vs. Fordham (Blackout); Sept. 30 vs. Villanova (Hometown Heroes & Family Weekend); Oct. 21 vs. Rhode Island (Homecoming); Nov. 4 vs. William & Mary (Breast Cancer Awareness); and Nov. 18 vs. Monmouth (Senior Day).

"The team is extremely excited to return to Casey Stadium," said Head Coach Greg Gattuso. "We've been working hard all spring and summer, and we can't wait to show the fans our progress when we hit the field against Fordham on August 26."

Men's and Women's Soccer Debut on ESPN+

The men's and women's soccer teams will play several games at Casey Stadium this season, including debuts featured on ESPN+.

The women's soccer team won their first game on Aug. 17 vs. Hofstra, and lost a close battle with La Salle on Aug. 20. Both games featured on ESPN+ and ESPN3. The Great Danes next face UMass on Sept. 7 at Casey Stadium. Their America East Conference home opener will be Sept. 24 against Maine, also at Casey Stadium.

The men's soccer team will battle Villanova on Sunday at Casey Stadium in their home opener, which will also air on ESPN+. The men's first America East home game will be Sept. 23 against UMBC at Casey Stadium, with the game set to start at 6 p.m.

Field Hockey Prepares Title Defense

The UAlbany field hockey team looks to follow up its 2022 campaign with another America East title in 2023.

UAlbany women's field hockey players celebrate with a hug after scoring a goal.
The field hockey team will look to defend its 2022 America East championship this season. (Photo by Brent Warzocha/UAlbany Athletics)

The Great Danes, who defeated No. 4 Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago, begin their season with a home contest on Friday against UMass. The game starts at 2 p.m. on Alumni Turf.

UAlbany, which has been unanimously selected to finish first in the America East preseason poll, opens with four straight home contests, including Sunday against Stonehill, Sept. 3 against No. 7 Iowa, and Sept. 8 vs. Hofstra.

The Great Danes begin defense of their America East title with a home contest on Sept. 22 against California.

Volleyball Hosts UAlbany Invitational

For the first time in over 20 years and just the third time in Division I program history, the UAlbany volleyball team will begin the season at home. Welcoming Syracuse, Navy and American Athletic Conference Regular Season Co-Champions UCF, UAlbany will host a tournament from Friday through Sunday, beginning with Syracuse at 7 p.m. at the Capital Center.

"We are very excited to be opening our season at home," said Head Coach Josh Pickard. "Welcoming UCF, the Naval Academy and Syracuse to Albany is a great way to kick off the 2023 season."

The Great Danes will then travel for tournaments in Michigan, Virginia and Hamilton, N.Y., before returning home to face crosstown rival Siena on Sept. 20 at the Kahl Campus Center at Russell Sage College. The match begins at 7 p.m. The Great Danes will play their home matches in 2023 at Russell Sage while construction continues on Broadview Center.

Women's Golf Eyes Crosstown Challenge

The UAlbany women's golf team begins its fall campaign against Siena on Sept. 10 at Wolferts Roost Country Club in Albany. The Great Danes will then head to Princeton, N.J., on Sept. 16 to begin a series of invitational events, culminating with the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, starting on Oct. 23.

The women's golf season is split between a fall and spring campaign. The Great Danes, who play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, will look to improve upon their second-place showing at the MAAC Championship in April when the spring season gets underway.

The men's and women's cross country schedules have not yet been announced for the fall of 2023. In July, cross country and women's track graduate student Amanda Chambers was named to the Capital District Sports Women Class of the Year for 2023. Chambers, who graduated from Colonie High School, finished second at the West Point Twilight on May 11, and 10th last year's America East XC Championships.