BALTIMORE – UMBC outscored visiting Mercer, 7-0, in the third quarter and the Retrievers went on to defeat the Bears, 15-6, at UMBC Stadium.
Five Retrievers posted three or more points – led by four points on two goals and two assists by sophomore midfielder Jack Gannon (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North). Attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) was the lone UMBC player to tally three goals and the senior continues to lead the squad with 13 scores in five games.
UMBC won its third game in the last four outings and improved to 3-2 on the season, while Mercer slipped to 2-3.
With the host Retrievers holding a narrow 4-2 halftime edge, Gannon scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season in a span of 2:30 in the first five minutes of the third quarter. UMBC would add five more goals in the period – all by different scorers - and held Mercer scoreless for over 27 minutes until they stopped the surge on a goal 35 seconds in the fourth quarter.
UMBC outshot Mercer, 16-1, in the third period, and 49-28 for the contest. Red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gordon (Bourne, Mass./Tabor Academy) made 10 saves and allowed six goals in 54:14 of work. Gordon, who entered play sixth in the nation with 13.5 saves per game, has 10 or more saves in all five outings in 2014. Mercer sophomore netminder Mike Nugent amassed 14 saves against a season-high total of shots by the Retrievers.
Mercer attackmen James Tautkus and Zack Ward led the visitors with three goals each.
Gregoire got the scoring underway for UMBC with an unassisted score just 1:41 into the contest. The Retrievers led, 3-1, after 15 minutes, but the pace slowed in the second quarter as the teams went scoreless for the final 10:45 of the stanza.
Senior midfielder Zach Linkous (Jarrettsville, Md./St. Paul's), junior midfielder Ty Kashur (Manassas, Va./CCBC-Essex) and freshman attackman Grant Searfoss (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth Area) all tallied two goals and an assist for the Retrievers.
UMBC entered the game averaging 15 turnovers per contest, but suffered only eight give-aways in the game, with just four occurring in the first 45 minutes. The Retrievers cleared successfully 15-of-16 times in the contest.
UMBC hits the road for three consecutive games, beginning with a March 15 contest at High Point.
Notes: UMBC went 3-1 on the homestand…. Gannon now has six goals and four assists in his last three games… Searfoss played in just his second game of the season and scored his first three collegiate points versus the Bears… The 15 goals scored by UMBC was a season high… Gregoire now has nine career hat tricks, including three in his last four games.