ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been an ideal start to the America East slate for the University at Albany women’s lacrosse team. After knocking off reigning conference tournament champion Vermont to begin league play, the Great Danes dropped a crooked number at UMass Lowell last Saturday in a win. They’re now a victory away from moving into a tie with Binghamton atop the conference standings.

Kate Thomson’s squad will have a chance to do just that Friday with UMBC coming to town. The Retrievers, although they’re still searching for a first league win, do have the third-best scoring offense and second-best scoring defense in the America East.

On top of that, UMBC is the first opponent of a back-to-back UAlbany faces this weekend. Game two on Saturday just so happens to be against the No. 2 team in the country: Northwestern. The Wildcats are the fourth ranked team the Danes have faced this season, joining a list that includes Syracuse – a team now ranked first in the nation – Johns Hopkins and Stanford. UAlbany also made a trip to UConn on March 22; the Huskies, who were unranked at the time, now sit 25th in the polls.

Despite the looming Wildcats, UAlbany is not steering its’ attention away from an important conference matchup Friday.

“Obviously, we have that Northwestern game at the end of the week that we’re super excited for to kind of prove ourselves,” said junior midfielder Katie Pascale, who leads the Great Danes in points (47). “But first things first; we have a conference game to get through. So, right now, only person on our schedule is UMBC, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

“They (UMBC) have a lot of offensive threats as well, and a lot of experience on that end,” said Thomson. “So, we know that they’re gonna throw a lot at us. We faced them last year in the semis, and know that they’re gonna come out to fight against us.”

Opening draw from Fallon Field Friday is set for noon. It’ll be a 5:00 p.m. start Saturday against Northwestern in a “Black Out Game” at Fallon Field.