ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Great Danes are Denver bound.

The University at Albany women’s lacrosse team – three days removed from its’ first America East championship since 2012 – shipped out to Colorado Wednesday afternoon for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Danes were treated to a send-off celebration on-campus before boarding their bus. They were played off by the pep band, and cheered on by numerous fans, coaches and administrators.

UAlbany awaits the University of Virginia Friday – the 12th-ranked team in the country.

But that level of competition is nothing new for a team that’s played four ranked teams this season. The Danes…they’re up to the task.

“We’re feeling so ready,” said head coach Katie Thomson. “We’re excited for this matchup, and just all the preparation throughout the season, between our non-conference strength of schedule, and then our conference; we’re ready for this moment. We’re gonna build off our past few games, and Virginia hasn’t played in 16 games, so we’re gonna use that to our advantage. But it’s gonna be a battle.”

UAlbany punched its’ ticket to the tournament with Sunday’s 14-13 win over Binghamton in the America East championship game.

The players are simply relishing the opportunity to play on lacrosse’s biggest stage.

“This is absolutely surreal,” said junior attack Bryar Hogg. “All of us are so excited to be going out there. No one ever thought we’d be going out to Denver to play, so this is awesome.”

Opening draw Friday is set for 8:00 p.m. The game can be streamed live on ESPN+.