The UMBC men's lacrosse team visits the New Jersey shore this weekend, as they face the Monmouth Hawks in the wrap-up of a home-and-home series. UPDATE: The game time has been moved up to 11:00 a.m. at Monmouth Stadium in West Long Branch, N.J. and live stats will be available via UMBC Athletics' website at www.umbcretrievers.com.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC junior attackman Nate Lewnes led all scorers with four goals, but a late rally came up just short, as the Retrievers were edged, 10-8, in cold, snowy conditions at 13th-ranked Penn on Feb. 14. Pat Young added a pair of goals and one assist and sophomore midfielder Dylan McDermott contributed a pair of helpers.
Lewnes, who was named America East Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week, leads UMBC with five goals on the season, while Young has four goals and one helper.
UMBC fell to 0-2, with both losses to Top-15 programs. This is UMBC's first 0-2 start to a campaign since the 2008 season. In '08, UMBC would win 12 of the next 13 games in that season, captured an America East title and competed in the NCAA Tournament.
SHORT HISTORY LESSON: 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.
SHORT 2014 SUMMARY: 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.
NOTABLE: Lewnes now has 50 goals in his career, scored in 32 games… Young has a point in 28 consecutive games, which is the 14th longest streak in the nation, and points 31 of 32 contests… He is currently ranked 9th in the country amongst active career leaders with 2.16 goals scored per game and tied for 26th with 69 career goals… Junior defender Zach Esser is ranked eighth in the nation in caused turnovers with 2.0 per game.
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 HAWKS: Monmouth's scheduled season opener, a home date against Wagner on Feb. 17, was postponed due to weather conditions. Under second-year head coach Brian Fisher, Monmouth University will enter its sophomore season as a Division I men's lacrosse member selected seventh (of seven) in the 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' poll.
The Hawks were winless in 13 games in their maiden season, but twice by one goal and dropped their program opener by only a 10-8 count at UMBC. Sophomore attackman Chris Daly led MU last season with 17 goals and 9 assists. Senior Garrett Conaway and sophomore Nick Hreshko split the goalkeeping duties and both return in 2015.
LAST YEAR'S ENCOUNTER/THE SERIES: Matt Gregoire scored two of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter as the Retrievers opened the home schedule with a 10-8 victory over Monmouth on Feb. 22. Max Maxwell added a second-half hat trick for the hosts and face-off specialist Phil Poe controlled the draws, capturing 17 of 22 in the contest and recording nine ground balls. MU was paced by freshman attackman Dan Bloodgood, who scored three goals and added an assist. UMBC outshot the Hawks, 38-33, and netminder Connor Gordon came up with a dozen stops. Conaway, who entered the game in the third quarter, took the loss, making eight saves, but allowing six second half goals.
UP NEXT: UMBC completes the season-opening four-game road swing at Richmond next Saturday, Feb. 28 at 1:00 p.m. The Retrievers open the home slate the following Saturday, March 7, versus Towson.