After opening the 2015 campaign with four games on the road, the UMBC men's lacrosse team (2-2) will play the first of its six home games on Saturday, March 7 when they meet the Towson Tigers for the 46th time. The opening face-off is set for 1:00 p.m. as Gary Stein and Kevin O'Neill handle the broadcast duties on Q1370 (www.q1370.com). Live stats will be available, but the game will not be streamed, due to recent inclement weather in the area.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: After two losses to nationally-ranked squads, UMBC has bounced back to win road contests at Monmouth and Richmond. The Retrievers have allowed only seven goals in those two victories. Most recently, junior midfielder Jack Gannon scored three goals and added an assist and red-shirt sophomore goalkeeper Connor Gordon turned aside 13 Richmond shots as the Retrievers never trailed in a 9-5 victory at Robins Stadium. Junior midfielder Pat Young (2g, 1a) and sophomore attackman Max Maxwell (2g) were also multiple-point producers for UMBC.
Junior attackman Nate Lewnes (8 goals), who was named America East Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week on Feb. 16, and junior midfielder Pat Young (6g, 2a) lead the UMBC offense, which scored a season-high nine times at Richmond. Gordon was named America East Conference co-Player of the Week for his effort at Richmond. His goals-against-average of 8.18 is currently ranked (through March 4) 17th in the nation. and his save percentage of 55.9 is ranked 22nd.
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.
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: Gannon, who scored a natural hat trick in the second quarter at Richmond, posted his second career three-goal game… His first occurred at Towson last season… The two-goal game for sophomore midfielder Dylan McDermott at Monmouth was the first of his career… His five points have already matched his entire 2014 output, when he tallied 3-2-5 in 15 games… Lewnes, the lone Retriever with at least one goal in all four games in 2015, now has 53 goals in his career, scored in 34 games… He has scored 23 goals in his last eight contests…Young had a point in 28 consecutive games, which was the 14th longest streak in the nation, but the streak was snapped at Monmouth… Young still has points 32 of 34 contests… He is currently ranked 17th in the country amongst active career leaders with 2.09 goals scored per game and is 32nd with 71 career goals… Junior defender Zach Esser is ranked fourth in the nation in caused turnovers with 2.0 per game.
SERIES NOTES: The two squads have faced off 45 times, in each year except for 1986, since 1970. Towson leads the series, 30-15, and has won three straight after UMBC had taken four of five. Ten of the last 12 meetings have been decided by three goals or less.