BALTIMORE – UMBC junior goalkeeper Brian McCullough (Garden City, N.Y.) returned to the UMBC nets and made 13 saves, leading the Retrievers to a 9-7 victory over Quinnipiac in a non-conference match-up at UMBC Stadium.
The Retrievers snapped a four-game slide, while the Bobcats dropped their second consecutive contest, both to America East squads. Both teams are now 2-4 on the campaign.
UMBC was led offensively by sophomore attackman Scott Jones (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) who scored a pair of goals and added an assist. Sophomore midfielder Scott Hopmann (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) added two goals, while junior attackman Rob Grimm (Black River, N.Y.) chipped in with three assists.
Quinnipiac was led by senior attackman Jack Oppenheimer, who scored a pair of goals and added a helper.
UMBC tied the score at 5-all, 6-all and 7-all in the fourth quarter, forging the last tie on a high, hard shot by sophomore midfielder Dave Brown (Coopersburg, Pa.) with 7:19 remaining. Ten seconds later, Quinnipiac midfielder Matt Minor was flagged for an illegal body check, giving UMBC its third man-up opportunity of the game. Jones made an excellent skip pass to the weak side and Hopmann hard bounce shot beat QU netminder Kevin Benzing at the 6:23 mark, giving the Retrievers their first lead since 1-0 in the first 74 seconds of play.
Jones then became the first Retriever to hit the 10-goal mark on the season, giving UMBC an insurance marker as he made an acrobatic catch of a Grimm pass and fired in a shot from close range with 3:16 to play.
McCullough then came up with two saves in the final minute to seal the victory for the Retrievers. He started the first three games for UMBC, but suffered a broken thumb during his 14-save effort in a 13-9 loss at North Carolina. Sophomore Adam Cohen (Arnold, Md./The Severn School) started in losses to Johns Hopkins and Maryland, but McCullough got the nod and evened his season mark at 2-2 with the victory.
The Retrievers had to come from four goals down to prevail in the contest. Jones scored on a quick shot inside off a Grimm feed just 1:14 into the contest, but the Bobcats won the ensuing draw and equalized the score on a goal by Christian Haggerty six seconds later. That started a 5-0 run by the visitors, which was capped by an Oppenheimer score at the 6:50 mark of the second quarter.
UMBC trimmed the gap to 5-3 at halftime and came within a goal after 45 minutes as Hopmann broke an 18-minute scoring drought by both teams with an unassisted score with 1:05 to play in the stanza.
The Retrievers matched their season high for goals in a quarter with five in the final stanza.
Quinnipiac outshot UMBC, 34-25 and had a 31-28 edge in ground balls. UMBC was sparked by the efforts of freshman midfielder Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha), who won seven of 11 face-offs and led UMBC to an 11-8 advantage on draws.
UMBC also snapped a seven-game home losing streak, which came on the heels on a 29-5 advantage at UMBC Stadium from 2006-09.
Sophomore midfielder Neill Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) added a goal and an assist for UMBC, while junior defender Tim Shaeffer (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) scored his first collegiate goal in the second quarter.
Benzing, who attended Mt. St. Joseph HS, made a pair of saves in a return to the area.
UMBC opens America East Conference play on Friday, April 1 when they travel to Stony Brook to take on the 2010 NCAA quarterfinalist Stony Brook Seawolves. The opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m.