BALTIMORE – Trailing 2-1 midway through the first half, the UMBC women's lacrosse team scored five straight goals to take the lead for good, and then held off a late rally by California to win its home-opener, 7-5, Saturday evening at UMBC Stadium.
Senior attack Lindsay Cox (High Bridge, N.J./Voorhees) scored a team-best four goals for the second-straight game to pace the Retrievers (2-0) and sophomore Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) added two tallies. Both also contributed an assist while junior Kristen Bilney (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) completed the scoring with a goal and an assist. FreshmanMegan Flock (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) also notched an assist.
Paige Gasparino led the Golden Bears (0-2) with a two-goal effort while Amelia Burke, Gaby Christman, and Melissa Humphrey each netted once.
The visitors took the initiative in the game, breaking the deadlock four-and-a-half minutes in on a solo effort from Humphrey. The Retrievers eventually answered when Cox took advantage of a free-position opportunity to knot the game at one.
Cal once again took the lead just two minutes later as Gasparino recorded an unassisted goal, but this would prove to be the Bears' final lead.
Remaining patient, UMBC tied the game for the last time with 11:30 left in the half after Bilney took a feed from Wilson and finished from close range. Cox then gave UMBC the lead for good with just under six minutes left in the half as Bilney turned distributor for the hosts.
After the break, the Retrievers, led by Cox, extended the run by scoring three goals in the first ten minutes of the half to build a game-high, four-goal lead, 6-2.
Following Wilson's goal at the 20:13 mark in the second period, the Golden Bears responded just a minute later on Gasparino's second goal.
Neither team could crack the opposing defense over the next 12 minutes, but Burke drew Cal within two, 6-4, with 7:16 left after taking a feed from Lizz Lavie.
After the Bears stemmed the tide, they began pressing, but Wilson made them pay by finishing into an open net after receiving a pass from Cox at the 4:00 mark.
Cal climbed back within two at 7-5 with just 27 seconds remaining, but it was not enough as the Retrievers held on for the win.
Senior Kendall Mason (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) made eight stops for the Retrievers to improve to 2-0 on the season while Bears' goalie Megan McGinnis recorded nine saves in the losing effort.
UMBC returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 27 when local rival Towson travels around the beltway to invade UMBC Stadium. The opening draw between the Retrievers and Tigers is set for 4:00 p.m.