Men's Lacrosse Meets Second Top-Five Team in Five Days; Faces Off vs. No. 2 Johns Hopkins in Saturday's Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic
The UMBC (2-2) men's lacrosse team hurdled the first obstacle in a challenging week as the Retrievers knocked off No. 4 Maryland, 8-7, at UMBC Stadium on Tuesday evening, March 6. Just four days later, UMBC has the assignment of taking on No. 2 Johns Hopkins (4-0) at M&T Bank Stadium at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic. The opening face-off is scheduled to take place at 4:00 p.m. Game coverage includes the broadcast on the UMBC flagship, V1370 (www.v1370.com) with Gary Stein and Kevin O'Neill and ESPN3 with John Brickley and Paul Carcaterra on the call.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS
The UMBC men's lacrosse team scored five unanswered fourth-quarter goals and rallied to defeat No. 4 Maryland, 8-7, at UMBC Stadium on March 6. It was the Retrievers' first victory over a top-five program since a 9-7 win over No. 5 Maryland in March of 2009. UMBC was ranked No. 10 at that time.
Junior attackman Scott Jones led UMBC with two goals and one assist, while sophomore midfielder Conor Finch posted his first three points of the season with a goal and two helpers, all in the fourth quarter. Jones scored both the go-ahead (7th) goal and eventual (8th) game-winning goal. Sophomore midfielder Zach Linkous added two goals for UMBC.
Sophomore face-off specialist Phil Poe controlled 15 of 19 draws in the contest against a team that entered the game at 61.4 percent.
Jones and Linkous lead UMBC with nine goals apiece through four games.
All four games for the Retrievers this season have been decided by four or fewer goals. Three of the four have been tied at some point in the fourth quarter.
SCOUTING THE BLUE JAYS
Johns Hopkins is coming off an 11-0 shutout win over Manhattan on Tuesday. The Jaspers managed only 14 shots against the Blue Jays. Junior midfielder John Greeley scored three goals for the Jays, as eight different JHU players hit the nets.
Junior attackman Zach Palmer leads the Jays in scoring with 7 goals and 10 assists. Another native of Canada, sophomore attackman Brandon Benn leads the way in goal-scoring with 8. Hopkins is allowing only 5.00 goals per game and junior netminder Pierce Bassett has a 60.9 save percentage in five starts.
The Blue Jays have outscored their foes, 50-25, this year, including 39-16 through the first three quarters.
Johns Hopkins is 106-29 (.784) in its last 135 regular season games dating back to the end of the 2001 season and 123-37 (.767) overall since the start of the 2002 season.
Johns Hopkins made its 40th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. By comparison, the next six longest active streaks of qualifying for the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament add up to exactly 40 consecutive appearances (Maryland-9, Cornell-8, Virginia-7, Notre Dame-6, Duke-5, North Carolina-5).
Prior to the 2012 season, UMBC men's lacrosse had competed against 75 different institutions in men's lacrosse and had a minimum of one victory against 74 of those schools. The exception is Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays are 9-0 vs. the Retrievers. (UMBC lost its first-ever meeting with Robert Morris to start the 2012 campaign.)
The two schools resumed their series in 2005 and have met in each of the past seven seasons. Three of those seven meetings have been decided by three goals or less, with the closest occurring in 2008, when Hopkins prevailed, 10-8.
Last season's 16-5 triumph by Johns Hopkins at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic tied the greatest goal differential in the series (15-4 in the first meeting in 1983 in Don Zimmerman's first game as a Blue Jay mentor).
Rob Grimm has four goals and one assist in three previous games vs. Johns Hopkins.
UP NEXT: UMBC has a rare two-week break between games prior to resuming a series with local rival Loyola. The Retrievers and Greyhounds will square off at UMBC Stadium for the first time since 2004 on Sat., March 24 at 7:00 p.m.