The UMBC men's lacrosse team (2-3) welcomes Loyola back to UMBC Stadium for the first time since 2004. The Retrievers had a rare week off after the March 10 setback to No. 2 Johns Hopkins, while the fifth-ranked Greyhounds defeated No. 11 Duke on the same day and have improved to 7-0 with subsequent wins over Air Force and Georgetown.
The opening face-off is scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m. Game coverage includes the broadcast on the UMBC flagship, V1370 (www.v1370.com) with Gary Stein and Kevin O'Neill and streaming on www.umbcretrievers.tv.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS
The Retrievers had the week off after facing a pair of top five teams (No. 4 Maryland, No. 2 Johns Hopkins) in a five-day span. UMBC will face its third consecutive top-ten team and fourth straight top-20 team when they entertain No. 5 Loyola.
Junior attackman Scott Jones has now scored goals in 10 consecutive games. He has 25 goals in that span which began vs. Binghamton on April 9, 2011. As of March 12, Jones was 30th in the nation with 2.4 goals per game
Junior goalkeeper Adam Cohen is 10th in the country with 11.2 saves per contest (as of March 12).
Junior attackman Joe Lustgarten recorded a career-high three assists against Johns Hopkins on March 10.
UMBC has outscored the opposition, 16-9, in fourth quarter scoring this season.
The Retrievers' strength of schedule is currently fourth in the nation. For the second consecutive week, UMBC is receiving votes in both the USILA poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll.
SCOUTING THE GREYHOUNDS
Loyola held the Air Force Academy scoreless for over 31 minutes, and the Greyhounds used a 10-0 run to down the Falcons, 15-8, last Saturday afternoon in ECAC Lacrosse League action at Ridley Athletic Complex. They defeated Georgetown, 11-6, at home on Wednesday evening.
The Greyhounds are currently ranked No. 5 in both the USILA and Nike/Inside Lacrosse polls.
J.P. Dalton was critical for the Greyhounds in the comeback over AFA, winning 18-of-26 face-offs, 10-of-13 in the second half. He also had five ground balls. Loyola trailed, 7-4, at the half. Dalton is winning 62.8 percent in the circle in 2012.
JR A Mike Sawyer leads the explosive Greyhound offense with 24 goals and 29 total points. Grad.student A Eric Lusby, who scored five goals vs. Georgetown, is second on the team with 21 goals, and he is tied for the team lead with 29 points.
Loyola's most notable victory was the 13-8 triumph over No. 11 Duke at Ridley Athletic Complex on March 10. Sawyer scored six times in the game and Lusby added three goals and two assists.
This will be the 30th meeting between UMBC and Loyola, although it will be the first meeting since a 2005 contest at Loyola. The teams met every year from 1970-1996, then met in back-to-back years in both 2004 and 2005. UMBC leads the all-time series, 16-13 and won both the 2004 (13-7) and 2005 (9-8, 2ot) contests. The 2004 Retriever victory snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Hounds.
UP NEXT: UMBC opens America East Conference play vs. defending champion Hartford at UMBC Stadium on Sat., March 31. The opening face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.
WINNING THE TIGHT ONES: UMBC is now 24-14 in games decided by three goals or less since the beginning of the 2007 season. UMBC had won eight straight overtime decisions from 2007-09 until dropping a 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.
But, in 2012, UMBC has dropped a two-goal decision to Robert Morris and an overtime heartbreaker to Fairfield. The loss to the Stags snapped a four-game winning streak in one-goal games, which dated back to a 6-5 loss to Princeton in 2009. Three days later, the Retrievers rebounded from the Fairfield disappointment to defeat No. 4 Maryland by a single goal, 8-7.
UMBC has won 16 of its last 21 one-goal decisions.
UMBC is now 15-6 in Don Zimmerman's 19 seasons in overtime and in his career, Coach Zimmerman is 17-8 in extra time.
HOME, SWEET HOME: After 14 consecutive winning seasons at UMBC Stadium, the Retrievers were 1-6 at home in 2010. However, UMBC bounced back to go 4-1 last year and is 35-13 (.729) at home since 2006.
Junior attackman Rob Grimm is UMBC's active scoring leader with 96 points (45-51-95). He needs 4 points to become the 29th player in school history to hit the 100-point plateau. Grimm has points in 40 of 47 games played in his career.
FINIISHING KICK: The Retrievers have been outscored, 25-15, in the first half this season, but have turned the tables in the second half, with a 26-20 advantage on the scoreboard.