ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany has been at the center of some high-level lacrosse events of late. Two weeks after hosting the quarterfinal round of the 2023 Division I Men’s Lacrosse NCAA Tournament, the Premier Lacrosse League is back at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium for its’ opening weekend.

Four games will be played at UAlbany over the weekend – two on Saturday, and two on Sunday.

Great Danes legend Lyle Thompson will not be participating in the 2023 PLL season, but there’s still a handful of former UAlbany stars who will be in action over the next two days. The program’s second all-time leading point scorer, midfielder Connor Fields, will look to translate his stellar season with the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League to the Archers Lacrosse Club, which squares off with the Cannons Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Former Danes goalie Blaze Riorden and long stick midfielder Troy Reh will be on the national spotlight Sunday for the Chaos, as they square off with the Waterdogs at 1:00 p.m. on ABC.

Fields, Riorden and Reh were all part of UAlbany’s six-year run to the NCAA Tournament from 2013-2018, and all three were teammates during the 2015 and ’16 seasons.

Riorden says that playing in front of the Albany lacrosse fanbase gives him a little boost on the field.

“I just know how much passion they have towards the game,” said Riorden. “That kind of lights a fire under my butt to put on a performance, ’cause that’s what they’re here for, and that’s what they deserve. You know, to be able to give back in the sense of signing stuff and giving away gear, taking pictures and just seeing how people are…that’s the family culture that Coach (Scott) Marr’s created here in Albany. It feels like home; I feel at peace. I love playing lacrosse here.”

The league announced last week it would be implementing host cities starting in 2024, creating a combination of both the touring model and a more traditional pro league with home identities for each franchise, according to Inside Lacrosse.

PLL co-founder Paul Rabil said in a press conference Friday that he and fellow co-founder Mike Rabil intend on keeping the league in Albany in some capacity.

“Given our hybrid model, whether a team is part of the Albany market specifically, or not, we will be here, because this market’s that important to us,” said Rabil. “We’ve been coming here since our first year. It was towards the end of the regular season when we came, and we were just so blown away by the attendance. And the facilities are fantastic. It’s certainly a market that is enticing to us.”

The season opener Saturday between the Redwoods and the Atlas airs on ABC. Opening face-off is set for 1:00 p.m.