Lustgarten, Retrievers Light Up Scoreboard as Men's Lacrosse Opens League Play with 16-12 Victory Over Hartford

Scott Jones, America East First Team
Scott Jones, America East First Team

BALTIMORE- Junior attackman Joe Lustgarten (Wading River,N.Y.) smashed a career highs with five goals and eight total points, leading host UMBC to a 16-12 victory over Hartford in the America East Conference opener for both squads.


The Retrievers improved to 3-4 overall with the victory, while the defending league champions slid to 3-7.


Lustgarten had surpassed his previous single game previous top totals of three goals and four points by the 6:27 mark of the second quarter as contributed a point on five of UMBC's first seven goals, scoring four times and helping on another. He is the first Retriever to score eight points in a game since Ryan Smith had five goals and three assists vs. Albany in the 2008 campaign.


Junior attackman Scott Jones (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) added four goals and an assist for UMBC, while sophomore attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) added three goals in his first start of the campaign.


Lustgarten was UMBC's America East Player of the Game, while Hartford junior midfielder Jared Franze, who scored three goals and added an assist for the Hawks, earned the honor for the visitors.


UMBC never trailed as they took advantage of an early Hawk non-releaseable penalty and scored a pair of man-up goals in a 46-second span. Lustgarten opened the scoring 4:31 into the game, converting a feed from junior midfielder Nick Doub (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's), followed by  a Jones  goal on a pass from junior midfielder Scott Hopmann (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's).


The Retrievers built the lead to 5-0 after 15 minutes and 8-2 at halftime.


The floodgates opened in the second half as each team scored six times in the third quarter and when the Hawks started the fourth quarter on a 3-0 run, they crept to within 14-11 with 8:47 remaining. But Gregoire broke the run, by putting a rebound past Hawk goalkeeper Scott Bement 62 seconds later and Lustgarten scored the Retrievers' fourth man-up goal of the night 58 seconds after that to restore a five-goal margin at 16-11.


Hartford got one back on a goal by attackman Aiden Genik with 5:44 to play, but Retriever junior goalkeeper Adam Cohen (Arnold, Md./Severn) made four saves in the final 2:42 to preserve the Retriever victory.


Hopmann added two goals and an assist for the victors, while Hartford attackman Carter Bender shared scoring honors for Hartford with three goals and one assist.


Cohen matched his career high, just recorded seven days ago vs. Loyola, with 15 saves. Bement, who entered the game 4-0 vs. UMBC, had 10 stops in the Hawk cage.


UMBC outshot Hartford, 38-36, and converted on 4-of-5 extra-man chances.


The win snapped a four-game losing streak by UMBC to their conference foes and boosted their all-time record vs. Hartford to 6-4.


The 16 goals scored by UMBC is a season high and the most since opening the 2011 campaign with 16 goals at Presbyterian. The 28 goals scored by the two squads is the most in a UMBC contest since a 15-13 loss at North Carolina in the 2009 NCAA Tournament contest.


The Retrievers are now 19-3 at home at UMBC Stadium in America East regular season contests.


UMBC travels to Towson for a Wednesday evening contest vs. the Tigers, before heading north to take on Vermont on April 7.