UMBC will play for its first America East Conference title in men's lacrosse since 2009 when they face top-seeded Albany on Saturday, May 4 at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium. The Retrievers and Great Danes will face-off at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday in front of a national television audience on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app. Mark Dixon and Ryan Flanagan have the call of the fourth meeting between UMBC and Albany in the title game.
The Retrievers (7-7) advanced by virtue of a stunning comeback in the semifinal contest vs. No. 2-seeded Hartford. Trailing 13-9 with less than six minutes remaining, UMBC junior face-off specialist Phil Poe won the final six draws of the game, and senior attackman Joe Lustgarten scored three of the Retrievers' six goals in a span of 5:12 to spearhead a rally which resulted in a 15-13 UMBC victory. Lustgarten, who led UMBC with four goals and two assists, scored the game-winning goal with 55 seconds remaining, while Poe won 11 of 12 fourth-quarter draws and 22 of 29 in the contest.
Twelfth-ranked Albany (12-4) faced a tough out in No. 4 and host Stony Brook, but came away with a 17-15 victory in the nightcap of Thursday's thrilling action at LaValle Stadium. The Great Danes defeated UMBC, 16-10, on April 19.
LAST TIME WE MET: Matt Gregoire scored a career-best five points, but the Retrievers fell, 16-10, to tenth-ranked Albany at John Fallon Field on April 19.Gregoire scored back-to-back goals late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to bring the Retrievers to within 11-9 with 10:48 remaining. But the high-powered Great Danes reeled off three straight goals in a span of 2:12 to take its biggest lead of the game at 14-9 with 6:36 to play. Pat Young briefly halted the surge and cut the deficit to four goals with 5:10 to play, but the Retrievers could get no closer.
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: In the conference semifinals, junior attackman Ty Thompson scored three goals down the stretch as the Great Danes scored five of the game's final six goals to seal the 17-15 victory over Stony Brook. Ty Thompson finished with four goals and an assist while his teammate and cousin Lyle, the America East Player of the Year, had three goals and three assists to up his season-point total to 99.
ALL-TIME SERIES: UMBC leads the all-time series, 10-6, but Albany has won the last two contests. The two teams will meet for the seventh time in ten league seasons in the championships. The Great Danes have won four of the previous six meetings, although the Retrievers have won two of the three title game match-ups (2006, 2008).