Favorite: Albany The Great Danes (9-3), winners of five straight and eight of nine, are a big favorite to take the automatic qualifier. Albany leads the nation in offense (15.9 goals per game), with Lyle Thompson, his brother Miles and cousin Ty short-circuiting scoreboards. Lyle (34, 44) is the most productive player in the country. Albany became the second team in the sport's history to win at Syracuse and Johns Hopkins in the same season; Virginia also achieved the feat in 2009. Contenders: Hartford, UMBC, Stony Brook Stony Brook (6-7) appears to have an offense capable of keeping up with Albany. With coach Don Zimmerman at the helm, UMBC (5-6) is always dangerous. The Retrievers play at Albany on Friday night, and then Zimmerman will be inducted into the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday. UMBC beat Stony Brook by a goal and lost to Hartford in overtime. Hartford (6-5) has won four one-goal games, but its defense too often gets fleeced.
University of Albany