The UMBC men's lacrosse team goes from one storied venue of Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field to another this Saturday when they travel to Philadelphia to face the Penn Quakers at historic Franklin Field. The opening face-off is set for 1:00 p.m. and live stats and video will be available via UMBC Athletics' website at www.umbcretrievers.com. Note- the video link is a pay-per-view service and weather conditions may dictate whether the game is broadcast.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC struggled on special teams and fell in the Feb. 7 opener to No. 5 Johns Hopkins, 16-4. The Retrievers failed on four man-up attempts and allowed the hosts to score on four-of-seven extra-man situations in the earliest opener in UMBC lacrosse history. Junior midfielder Pat Young extended his consecutive-game scoring streak to 27 with a pair of goals, while junior middie Jack Gannon contributed a pair of assists. A pair of UMBC goalkeepers made 16 saves in the game, as freshman reserve David Pisanic stopped eight JHU shots, while allowing only three scores.
The Retrievers have dropped four straight season-opening contests, but have not opened a campaign at 0-2 since the 2008 campaign. UMBC would win 12 of the next 13 games in that season, captured an America East title and competed in the NCAA Tournament.
UMBC, which finished at 8-7 a year ago, returns nine of ten starters and the majority of its specialists from last year's squad.
In 2014, UMBC qualified for its 11th America East championship in 11 league campaigns. The Retrievers won titles in 2006, 2008, 2009 and produced runner-up finishes in 2007, 2013 and 2014. Four of UMBC's five championship games have been against Albany, with UMBC winning match-ups in 2006 and 2008 and dropping decisions in 2007, 2013 and 2014. The Retrievers defeated Stony Brook for the 2009 title.
Four returning players produced between 38-43 points in 2014. SO Max Maxwell (15-26-41) led the team in assists, while junior midfielder Jack Gannon (18-23-41) and Pat Young (33-10-43) and junior attackman Nate Lewnes (31-7-38) form the nucleus of the 2015 offensive unit.
UMBC was ranked ninth in the nation with 12.2 goals scored per game. The Retrievers averaged 13.2 goals per game in America East play and 14.8 in their last five contests. UMBC was also 10th in the nation in shooting percentage at 31.7 percent.
Sophomore GK Connor Gordon was ranked 12th in the nation with 11.13 saves per game. Gordon and Maxwell both earned a slot on the 2014 AE All-Rookie Team.
Head Coach Don Zimmerman enters his 22nd season at UMBC and his 29th as a collegiate head coach. Amongst Division I head coaches, the Retriever mentor stands eighth with 228 victories and is 16th in winning percentage at .598 entering the 2015 campaign. In the all-time coaching annuals of Division I lacrosse, Zimmerman is 26th in total victories and 47th in winning percentage, The Retriever mentor has made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances in his tenures at Johns Hopkins (`1984-90) and UMBC (1994-present). His 1984, 1985 and 1987 Hopkins teams earned national titles and he coached the Retrievers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998.
Scouting the Quakers
Penn finished last season with an 11-4 record, winning eight straight to end the season before losing to Drexel in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Franklin Field. The Quakers were Ivy League Tournament champions for the first time. They return eight of their top 10 scorers from a year ago. Junior attackman Nick Doktor led the Quakers in scoring last season with 23 goals and 19 helpers.