The UMBC men’s lacrosse team (1-1) heads back down south for the second time in three weeks and will take on No. 11/13 North Carolina (2-1) at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. The opening face off takes place at noon and live stats are available at http://bit.ly/e4BPOy. UNC has won 19 of 25 contests in the series, including the last four in a row. Despite Jamie Kimbles’ a career-best three goals a year ago, the Tar Heels came away with a 12-7 victory at UMBC Stadium.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS
-Visiting Rutgers outscored five consecutive first half goals and the Scarlet Knights improved to 3-0 by defeating UMBC (1-1), 12-5, in the home opener for the Retrievers.Five different players scored for the Retrievers, but UMBC managed to put only nine of 26 shots on goal.
-Twenty-seven of UMBC’s 35 student-athletes on this year’s roster are freshmen or sophomores. Senior midfielders J.D. Harkey and Jamie Kimbles will serve as captains of the 2011 Retrievers.
-After posting four consecutive winning seasons, four NCAA Tournament berths and three America East title, the Retrievers fell to 4-9 in 2010 and dropped a decision to Albany in the semifinals of the America East Tournament. Junior A Rob Grimm is the Retrievers’ leading returning scorer with 16 goals and 27 points last season.
-Soph. M Dave Brown scored four goals and added three assists as the Retrievers opened the 2011 season with a 16-10 victory at Presbyterian. Brown was part of a potent UMBC starting midfield unit which accounted for 11 goals. Soph. Mr Scott Jones contributed four goals and one helper, while classmate Scott Hopmann tallied three times. Grimm had a goal and a career-high four assists.
SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS
- The Tar Heels opened the campaign with a 14-11 win over Robert Morris, then fell at Ohio State, 13-8, before bouncing back for a 10-8 win over Navy on Feb. 25.
- Freshman R.G. Keenan won 18 of 22 face-offs and claimed a game-high 12 ground balls to help power a rally by North Carolina as it claimed a 10-8 victory over Navy before 2,031 fans at Fetzer Field Friday night. Senior attackman Billy Bitter and senior defenseman Ryan Flanagan each scored twice as eight different Tar Heels tallied goals in the game.
- Flanagan was one of two national defensemen of the year in 2010.
- Nicky Galasso leads UNC with 11 points on seven goals and four assists, while Bitter has six goals and four helpers. Bitter scored eight goals vs. UMBC in the 2009 NCAA Tournament game played in Chapel HIll.
- Carolina improved to 15-0 in games played at Fetzer Field under head coach Joe Breschi, who arrived in 2009. UNC’s last loss at Fetzer came on May 10, 2008 when Navy beat Carolina 8-7 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
WINNING THE TIGHT ONES: UMBC is 19-11 in games decided by three goals or less since the beginning of the 2007 season. UMBC had won eight straight overtime decisions in the last three seasons, until dropping the Feb. 20, 2010 triple overtime decision to Delaware. UMBC’s previous overtime loss was an 11-10 setback at Penn early in the 2006 season. In one-goal decisions, UMBC has won 13 of its last 17. UMBC is now 15-5 in Don Zimmerman’s 17 seasons in overtime and in his career, Coach Zimmerman is 17-7 in extra time.
HOME, SWEET HOME: After 14 consecutive winning seasons at UMBC Stadium, the Retrievers were 1-6 at home in 2010 and have now dropped seven of eight at the stadium. Since 2006, UMBC had posted a mark of 29-5 on the home stadium turf.
FOR OPENERS: Prior to the loss to the Blue Hens last season, UMBC had won its last seven home openers since an 11-4 loss to Navy in 2002. After the setback to Rutgers last week, Coach Zimmerman is now 11-7 in UMBC home openers.
DON’T LOOK BACK: UMBC is now in its 44thd season of varsity men’s lacrosse with a record of 328-269 (.550). The Retrievers are slated to play their 600th intercollegiate match on March 18 at Maryland. They are 212-203 (.511) in their 30th year at the Division I level, achieving win No. 200 vs. Ohio State on March 21, 2009. Before the win over Towson on April 1, 2008, the last time the program was last over the .500 mark at the Division I level was when at the end of its third season (1983) when the record was 19-18.
HONORED: Dave Brown and Matt Gregoire received America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, for games ending Feb. 20. Brown, a sophomore midfielder, had a career day tallying four goals and three assists in the Retrievers’ 16-10 win over Presbyterian Saturday. He had just one assist in 11 games all last season. Gregoire tallied three points in his collegiate debut. The redshirt freshman attack scored twice and added an assist in the Retrievers’ win at Presbyterian. His third quarter score was the game-winner.
Junior attackman Rob Grimm set personal highs with four assists and five points at Presbyterian. Grimm has points in 28 of 31 games played in his career.
In addition to Brown and Gregoire, sophomore Neill Lewnes and freshman Greg Korvin both scored their first collegiate goals at Presbyterian. Lewnes added team highs with 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers.
EARLY NATIONAL LEADERS: Grimm and Brown are tied for 11th in the nation with 2.0 assists per game, while Lewnes is 16th in ground balls per game (6.5). Harkey is 13th in face-off percentage at .667.
TOBACCO ROAD UNKIND: UMBC is 1-12 in games played at UNC and has lost ten straight since the lone victory in 1975.