Men's Lacrosse Battles For Home Field Tourney Advantage as They Travel to Hartford to Close Regular Season Saturday Night

Goalkeeper Brian McCullough is 6-3 in the nets for UMBC this season.
Goalkeeper Brian McCullough is 6-3 in the nets for UMBC this season.

UMBC at Hartford (4-30-11)

The UMBC men’s lacrosse team (6-5, 3-1 America East) closes the regular season this Saturday, April 30 when they travel to West Hartford, Conn. to take on the Hartford Hawks (8-6, 2-2). Both teams have clinched spots in next week’s America East Tournament, but a Retriever win would guarantee a home game vs. Binghamton in the semifinals on Wed., May 4. All the action of Retriever lacrosse is available on Fox 1370 Sports Radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:55 p.m. 



UMBC has won four straight games and five of six after besting Vermont, 9-8 on April 23. UMBC clinched a spot in the four-team America East Tournament for the eighth time in eight conference campaigns. They will either be a No. 2 seed and host No. 3 Binghamton or a No. 3 seed at play at No. 2 Hartford.


Twenty-seven of UMBC’s 35 student-athletes on this year’s roster are freshmen or sophomores. 


After posting four consecutive winning seasons, four NCAA Tournament berths (2006-09) and three America East titles (2006, 2008, 2009), the Retrievers fell to 4-9 in 2010.  They have eclipsed that win total of a year ago.


Sophomore A Scott Jones was named America East Player of the Week on April 18 after his five-goal performance in the win over Albany. He added five points (3g, 2a) and the game-winning goal vs. Vermont. Jones has 15 goals and 19 points in his last seven outings and leads the team with 20 goals and 28 points. 


Senior M Jamie Kimbles and junior A Rob Grimm had two goals and a helper apiece vs. Vermont. Soph. M Joseph Impallaria won 12 of 17 draws.




Despite a 10-8 loss at Binghamton on April 23, Hartford clinched its first America East Tournament spot since 2003. The Hawks can be seeded No. 2 (and host UMBC) or No. 4 and play at top-seeded Stony Brook.


Four of Hartford’s last five decisions (2-3) and eight on the season (3-5) have been decided by two goals or less.


Junior attackman Aiden Genik scored five goals and added a helper in the loss at Binghamton. The Bearcats outscored Hartford, 3-1 in the final quarter to win at home.


Genik (20 goals) is one of three 20-goal scorers for the Hawks.  Junior midfielder Carter Bender leads the team with 24 goals, and sophomore attackman Rory Nunamacher has 21.  


Senior face-off specialist Tim Fallon has won 183 of 291 draws (62.9%) this season.  He is eighth in the nation in face-off percentage and second in ground balls with 8.39 per game.


Hartford has outscored its foes, 71-47, in the first half in 2011, but has been outscored, 75-71 in the second half.


BEASTS OF AMERICA EAST: UMBC is now 33-8 in eight years of America East competition and 18-3 at UMBC Stadium.


STREAKING: UMBC’s current four-game winning streak is its longest since a six-game surge in 2009.


WINNING THE TIGHT ONES: UMBC is now 23-11 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. In one-goal decisions, UMBC has now won four in a row (dating back to a 6-5 loss to Princeton in 2009) and 15 of its last 19.


UMBC is now 15-5 in Don Zimmerman’s 17 seasons in overtime and in his career, Coach Zimmerman is 17-7 in extra time.


HOME, SWEET HOME: After 14 consecutive winning seasons at UMBC Stadium, the Retrievers were 1-6 at home in 2010.   From 2006-09, UMBC had posted a mark of 29-5 on the home stadium turf. The Retrievers have now won four in a row at UMBC Stadium.


THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING: UMBC’s 45 wins over a four-year period (2006-09) is the most in the school’s history, surpassing the 42 wins recorded from 1974-1977. For the first time in school history, UMBC won 10 or more games in four consecutive seasons.


Programs With Most Victories, 2006-09

1. Virginia 58

2. Duke 56

3. Cornell 50

4. Syracuse 47

5. UMBC 45


DON’T LOOK BACK: UMBC is now in its 44thd season of varsity men’s lacrosse with a record of 333-273 (.550). The Retrievers played their 600th intercollegiate match on March 18 at Maryland. They are 217-208 (.511) in their 30th year at the Division I level, achieving win No. 200 vs. Ohio State on March 21, 2009. Before the win over Towson on April 1, 2008, the last time the program was last over the .500 mark at the Division I level was when at the end of its third season (1983) when the record was 19-18.


POWERFUL POWER PLAY: UMBC has been nationally ranked in man-up percentage in four of the past five years. In 2009, the Retrievers led the country in man-up situations and set a school record by converting on 51.7% (30 of 57) of its opportunities.


Early in the campaign, UMBC hit on six of its first 14 man-up opportunities of the season, highlighted by a 3-for-3 effort at North Carolina on March 5. UMBC scored at least one man-up goal in its first four games this season and five in a row overall, but was blanked in three attempts at Maryland on March 18. The Retrievers are currently 15th in the nation (and lead America East) in man-up percentage at 36.1 (13 of 36).


Year     Man-Up Pct. Year-End National Rank

2009     .517                  1st

2007     .464                  5th

2006     .417                  7th

2005     .444                  2nd

2004     .379                  10th


The Retrievers lead America East with only 2.82 penalty minutes per game - they committed a season high five infractions vs. Vermont on April 23.


HONORED: Dave Brown and Matt Gregoire received America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, for games ending Feb. 20. Brown, a sophomore midfielder, had a career day tallying four goals and three assists in the Retrievers’ 16-10 win over Presbyterian. He had just one assist in 11 games all last season. Gregoire tallied three points in his collegiate debut. The redshirt freshman attack scored twice and added an assist in the Retrievers’ win at Presbyterian. His third quarter score was the game-winner.


Phil Poe, who won 21 of 37 draws, collected 15 ground balls and scored his first collegiate goal vs. Towson, was named Rookie of the Week for games ending April 10. 


Junior attackman Rob Grimm set a personal high with four assists at Presbyterian. He has tied his career high with five points on three occasions this season. Grimm has points in 35 of 40 games played in his career. His 11-game scoring streak was snapped on April 1 at Stony Brook - Grimm did not record a shot in that game. Entering play this week, he was sixth in America East wtih 1.36 assists per game. He is UMBC’s active leading scorer with 38-43-81.


Grimm’s scoring streak started after he was blanked at Towson on April 7 of 2010. Ironically, his first career five-point game occurred vs. Towson (2g, 3a) on March 31, 2009 at UMBC Stadium and he equalled that with 3-2-5 vs. the Tigers on April 6, 2011.


Grimm’s Five-Point Games

March 31, 2009  2g, 3a vs. Towson

Feb. 19, 2011                1g, 4a at Presbyterian

March 5, 2011               3g, 2a at North Carolina

April 6, 2011                  3g, 2a vs. Towson


In addition to Brown and Gregoire, sophomore Neill Lewnes and freshman Greg Korvin both scored their first collegiate goals at Presbyterian. Lewnes added team highs with 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers. He posted his first multiple-point game with a goal and a helper vs. Quinnipiac on March 26 and has points in four consecutive games. 


Freshman midfielder Zach Linkous scored his first collegiate goal (he had a pair) at North Carolina on March 5. Linkous posted a season high three points (1-2-3) to lead UMBC at Stony Brook. He posted his third multi-point game with a pair of goals vs. Binghamton on April 9.


Junior netminder Brian McCullough recorded a career-high 14 saves vs. the Tar Heels on March 5. McCullough’s previous high was the eight stops he was credited with in the 16-10 setback at Homewood Field last season.


But McCullough suffered a thumb injury during the game vs. the Tar Heels and sophomore Adam Cohen made his first start of the season on March 12 vs. Johns Hopkins. He came within one save of his career high, making 11 saves in the loss to the Blue Jays. McCullough returned the nets and was UMBC’s America East Player of the Game with 13 saves in the 9-7 win over Quinnipiac. He made eight saves and allowed only two goals in the final 30 minutes. McCullough is third in America East with 9.44 saves per game and has all six UMBC wins (6-3) in 2011. His save percentage is over 50 percent (50.3%) for the first time in 2011.  


HAT TRICKS: Sophomore Scott Jones posted his second career three-goal game by tallying UMBC’s first three of the contest at Maryland. He recorded four goals in the opener at Presbyterian, added five at Albany on April 16 and recorded his fourth of the campaign vs. Vermont. UMBC’s has nine hat tricks on the campaign - others have come from Dave Brown (4g at Presbyterian, Binghamton) Rob Grimm (UNC), Scott Hopmann (Presbyterian) and Jamie Kimbles (Albany).


Jones was named America East Player of the Week after recording five goals (including four fourth-quarter scores and the GWG) at Albany on April 16. It is the most goals for a Retriever since Matt Latham tallied six on April 17, 2010. Jones has points in 10 of 11 games this season and posted his first multi-assist game with two helpers in the April 6 win over Towson. He is fourth in the league with ten goals (2.50) in four league games and has 15 goals and four assists in his last seven outings. Jones has been credited with the GWG in all three of UMBC’s league victories to date.  


I’M YOUR CAPTAIN: Kimbles scored his first goal of the season and posted his first multiple-goal game with 1-1-2 vs. Quinnipiac on March 26. He scored a career-best four goals/six points vs. Albany and now has 53 career points (31-22-53).


WHAT BROWN CAN DO FOR YOU: Dave Brown posted a six -point game (1 goal, 5 assists) at Albany on April 16. The five assists in a game is tied for sixth in the nation this season and is UMBC’s most helpers in a game since Drew Westervelt had six vs. Vermont on April 21, 2007. He is tied for fifth in assists per outing (1.50) and tied with Kimbles for tenth in points per game (2.50) in league games to date.


OTHER PLAYER BRIEFS: Neill Lewnes leads UMBC with 37 ground balls... Freshman A/M Ryan Johnston scored his first two collegiate goals on his first two shots in the fourth quarter at Stony Brook and added two goals in his first collegiate start vs. Towson on April 6... Junior defender Tim Shaeffer scored his first collegiate goal in the second quarter vs. Quinnipiac on March 26... Sophomore LSM Ethan Murphy and freshman middie Brian Patton each scored their first collegiate goals at Albany on April 16... Sophomore midfielder Scott Hopmann missed two games with a leg injury, but returned and scored one goal vs. the Great Danes, giving him ten on the campaign... Sophmore attackman Joe Lustgarten produced back-to-back two-assist games vs. Binghamton and Albany... Sophomore Joseph Impallaria came off the bench and won 12 of 17 draws as UMBC outdrew Vermont, 13-8... Competing in just his third game of the season, freshman midfielder Conor Finch (Westminster, Md./Boys’ Latin) scored his first two collegiate goals, both in the first quarter to give UMBC leads of 1-0 and 3-2.


TOUGH STANZA: In its five losses, UMBC has been outscored, 25-4, in the second quarter. UMBC had scored 13 goals in the second quarter in its first eight games before exploding for six in a 6:50 span of the second stanza vs. Binghamton on April 9. 


GOOD STANZA: In UMBC’s six wins, UMBC has outscored its foes, 19-9, in the fourth quarter. For the season, UMBC has won the fourth period, 34-22.


REMEMBER THIS ONE?: The Retrievers trailed QU, 5-4, after three quarters - UMBC’s last win when trailing after three quarters occurred in the 2008 America East title game vs. Albany when the Retrievers were behind 12-9 after 45 minutes.

Men's Lacrosse-Outlook, 2011
February 15, 2011 Men's Lacrosse-Outlook, 2011