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MEN'S LACROSSE OPENS HOME SCHEDULE VS. AIR FORCE AT NOON ON SATURDAY
YOU WON’T BE 39 AGAIN NEXT YEAR: UMBC enters its 39th season of varsity men’s lacrosse with a record of 279-240. They are 163-175 in 25 years-plus at the Division I level.
A LOOK BACK: UMBC was 7-8 a season ago, including a 5-1 record in America East Conference play. The Retrievers tied
TOUGH ROAD: UMBC met three of four national semi-finalists last season. The Retrievers were edged at national titlist Johns Hopkins (9-6) and runner-up Duke (12-10) and also lost at
BULLSEYE ON THE BLACK AND GOLD: In a close vote, the Retrievers were selected as the pre-season favorite to win the America East Conference. The Retrievers received three of the six first place votes and amassed 32 points overall, edging Stony Brook (28) and three-time defending league champion Albany (26).
THE TOP DOG: Head Coach Don Zimmerman enters his 20th season as a bench boss and his 13th at UMBC. Entering the season, his .617 winning percentage (153-95) is eighth amongst active coaches. Coach Zimmerman is currently 81-79 at UMBC
NEED THAT RADIO/TV CHART: Nearly 56 percent of UMBC’s 2006 roster are newcomers. Returning All-America East Conference players are senior attackman Brendan Mundorf, junior attackman Andy Gallagher, senior defender Justin Berdeguez (all First Team) and junior attackman Drew Westervelt (Second Team). There are seven players on the roster that have competed at CCBC-Essex. A dozen UMBC newcomers (of the 21 who played) saw action vs. Brown.
FOR OPENERS: UMBC edged host Brown, 6-4, in chilly conditions in
GAME RECAP: Junior midfielder Evan Kay scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period as visiting UMBC (1-0) defeated Brown (0-1), 6-4, in a non-conference contest and the opener for both teams. UMBC never trailed and built a 3-0 lead, holding the Bears scoreless for the first 26:26 of the contest. But Brown would storm back and knotted the game at four-all with remaining in the third. But Kay, a transfer from CCBC-Essex got the game-winning goal in unassisted fashion with to play in the third quarter. The Retriever defense held Brown to just five fourth quarter shots and Westervelt scored an insurance goal with remaining to give UMBC the hard-fought victory.
Kay, Gallagher and Westervelt each tallied twice for UMBC. In his debut, freshman netminder Jeremy Blevins made nine saves and allowed the four goals, as Brown outshot UMBC, 29-26. The Retrievers were 0-5 when they were outshot in 2005.
HOT STARTS: Juniors Andy Gallagher and Drew Westervelt continue to get off good starts to UMBC lacrosse seasons. Gallagher has now competed in four season openers and has amassed 10 goals and four assists (14 points) in those lid lifters. In three openers, Westervelt has accumulated seven goals and four assists (11 points). Conversely, senior Brendan Mundorf was held off the scoreboard for just the fourth time in his 43 collegiate contests. Ironically, UMBC is 3-1 when Mundorf is held scoreless.
WE CAN PLAY THAT GAME, TOO: Until the win over 9-8 win over Loyola last season, UMBC had lost 10 straight games when not reaching double figures in goals. But the Retrievers’ last three wins have occurred when UMBC has not reached double figures. UMBC’s last win when scoring six goals was in 2001, when they nipped Cornell, 6-5.
IT’S BEEN AWHILE: UMBC has not faced Air Force since 1988, when they posted a 9-8 victory. They have won all three contests with the Falcons, including wins in 1987 (15-9) and 1976 (21-6). All meetings have occurred in
HOME OPENERS: UMBC is 6-6 in twelve previous home openers under Coach Zimmerman. Two of UMBC’s last three official home openers occurred at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field (2003 win vs. Mt. St. Mary’s, 2005 loss to
DOWN TO THE WIRE: UMBC played seven games (2-5) that were decided by three goals or less in 2005 and opened the 2006 campaign with another nail-biter. Dating back to 2003, 22 (8-14) of UMBC’s last 39 games have been decided by three goals or less.
QUICK STARTS A GOOD SIGN: UMBC held a 2-0 lead after one quarter vs. Brown and went on to the victory. In their seven wins in 2005, UMBC outscored their foes, 29-7 in the first quarter. Conversely, the Retrievers were outscored, 20-18, in their eight losses in the opening 15 minutes. UMBC was 1-4 when allowing the game’s first goal and 0-7 when tied or trailing at halftime.
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: UMBC finished second in the nation in extra-man percentage (44.4%) last season, behind only league rival Stony Brook. UMBC’s 28 man-up scores were also second to the Seawolves’ 37. The Retrievers scored on their lone extra-man chance (Kay) vs. Brown.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Drew Westervelt led the America East Conference with 10 extra-man goals. For his career, Westervelt now averages 3.00 ppg (90 points in 30 contests). He was the lone Retriever to score in all 15 games this year and owns a scoring streak of a point in 26 straight contests. He was UMBC’s leading scorer in league play with 23 points in 6 games.
DA MAN: Mundorf earned All America status in 2005, the first Retriever to achieve that honor since Dan Marohl was cited in 2000. Mundorf was the 2005 America East Conference Player of the Year. He was named to the Inside Lacrosse 2006 pre-season All America (honorable mention) squad. He was selected to represent
SPARKLING DEBUT: Freshman Jeremy Blevins got the nod in goal vs. Brown, making him the first Retreiver freshman to start in his first collegiate contest since Steve Gorski was the 1993 opening day starter. Blevins made nine stops and allowed four goals to record the win.
CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: Mundorf and senior defenseman Luke Powell are the co-captains of this year’s team.