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Seniors Shine as Men's Lacrosse Clinches No. 1 in America East Tournament with 18-5 Victory Over Vermont
Baltimore, Md.—Senior attackman Ryan Smith (Fallston, Md./Fallston/CCBC-Essex) scored a season-high seven points on four goals and three assists as tenth-ranked UMBC (10-3, 4-1 America East) captured a share of the America East regular season title with an 18-5 win over visiting Vermont (4-10, 1-4).
UMBC has won or shared the league’s regular season crown in each of the past five seasons. They will be the No. 1 seed for the post-season tournament and host fourth-seeded Binghamton in the semifinals on Wednesday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.).
Trailing 2-1 midway through the first quarter, UMBC went on an 8-0 run over the half’s final 22 minutes to take a commanding 9-2 lead at intermission. Smith scored three times and classmate Alex Hopmann (Annapolis, Md.) tallied twice in the surge.
The Catamounts trimmed the deficit to 9-4 on scores by Geoff Worley and Derek Lichtfuss early in the third quarter, but senior midfielder Peet Poillon (Cranberry Township, Pa.) triggered a 7-0 run with an unassisted score at the 9:19 mark of the stanza.
The 18 goals scored by UMBC is a season high and the most since a 20-11 win over the Catamounts in 2007. Ten UMBC seniors were honored in pre-game ceremonies.
Hopmann tied a career high with four goals and has a team-high 30 on the season. Junior attackman Chris Jones (Martinsville, N.J.) posted his second career three-goal game, while junior defensive midfielder Jordan Pierce (Glen Burnie, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) and senior attackman Eric Gurnsey each scored career-high two goals. Poillon added two goals and an assist for his 22nd multiple-point game in 29 intercollegiate contests.
Worley had a hand in all five Vermont tallies, as he contributed two goals and three assists.
UMBC senior netminder Jeremy Blevins (Cockeysville, Md./Calvert Hall) made four of his ten saves in the first quarter, as he played 52:03. Blevins recorded his 42nd career win, tying him with Duke’s Dan Loftus (’08) for sixth on the all-time victories list. He also became the fourth player in school history to record 600 saves.
Catamount freshman starter Alex Plavner collected 13 saves, while allowing 15 goals in the first three quarters of play. UMBC outshot Vermont, 50-26, posting 50 or more shots for the third consecutive game.
The Retrievers have won 20 consecutive Saturday home games. They recorded their 43rd win over the last four seasons, the most in a four-year span in school history.