• The University at Albany’s practice fields were unusually quiet in 2011, thanks to the National Football League lockout.
When a collective bargaining agreement couldn’t be reached in time to save the traditional training camp schedule, the New York Giants announced that they would not be coming to UAlbany for the first time in 15 years. Instead the team trained at their New Jersey facility. In the same statement, though, Giants principal owner John Mara said that it was his team’s intention to return to UAlbany in 2012 to honor the final year of their contract with the university.
• The Albany Dutchmen saw some positive gains in 2011. Playing in a new stadium (Bellizzi Field) and in a new league (Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League), the Dutchmen had an uptick in total attendance over their first two years while playing at Bleecker Stadium.
The on-field product was also good for the first half of the PGCBL season, as the Dutchmen contended for a playoff berth. Injuries and departures eventually took their toll on the Dutchmen, as they faded to a tie for third place in the four-team Eastern Division with an 18-29 record. The 18 wins still marked a franchise record, though.
One of Albany’s top players was Guilderland High School graduate Steve Anderson. The first baseman/designated hitter belted a team-high six home runs and drove in 27 runs. LaSalle Institute graduate and Latham native Will Remillard came on strong in his first season of collegiate summer league ball with a .297 batting average and 24 RBI.
• The College of Saint Rose women’s soccer team won its first NCAA Division II title by beating Grand Valley State 2-1 in the finals. The Golden Knights had made the last three Final Fours only to lose in the semifinal round each time before breaking through in 2011.