UMBC takes a break from America East Conference competition this week, as they take on two non-league foes at home. When contests versus Mount St. Mary's and Lafayette have concluded, the Retrievers will have played three times in a seven-day span. The Retrievers welcome the Mount on Tuesday, March 24 in the 22nd meeting between the in-state rivals. The opening face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and live stats will be available via UMBC Athletics' website at www.umbcretrievers.com. Gary Stein and Kevin O'Neill handle the broadcast duties on Q1370 (www.q1370.com) and streaming will be available on www.americaeast.tv.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: The UMBC (2-5, 0-2 AE) defense held explosive Stony Brook to only six goals in the first three quarters, but the host Seawolves broke open a tight game in the final minutes, defeating the Retrievers, 12-6, at Kenneth P. La Valle Stadium on Saturday. Junior attackman Nate Lewnes posted his second hat trick of the season and led the Retrievers with three goals, while teammate and linemate Jack Gannon contributed a goal and two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Ruston Souder made his first collegiate start and played admirably, making nine saves in going the distance.
The Retriever offense has struggled to get cranked up, as UMBC is averaging 6.0 goals per game through seven contests.
Junior midfielder Pat Young leads the squad in assists (6) and total points (14). Young needs four more points to become the 32nd player in school history to reach 100 career points. Lewnes, who was named America East Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week on Feb. 16, leads the team with 13 goals and has scored in all seven games of the season.
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.
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 seven points have already surpassed his entire 2014 output, when he tallied 3-2-5 in 15 games… Lewnes now has 58 goals in his career, scored in 37 games… He has scored 28 goals in his last 11 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 35 of 37 contests… He is currently ranked 28th in the country amongst active career leaders with 1.97 goals scored per game and is tied for 37th with 75 career goals… Junior defender Zach Esser is ranked first in America East and 19th in the nation in caused turnovers with 1.57 per game. He now has caused 50 miscues in 37 games.
UMBC has started the season at 2-5 in the odd-numbered years of 2011, 2013 and 2015… In '11 and '13, the team would go on to win five of six and five of seven respectively.
The 4-2 win over Monmouth was the lowest scoring game in UMBC lacrosse history…The six goals scored by both squads was the fewest since a nine goals were recorded in a 5-4 UMBC loss at Binghamton in 2004… UMBC led, 1-0, at the half, the lowest scoring half of lacrosse in program history and the two goals allowed by UMBC was the fewest since a 20-2 win over Drexel in 1992.
HEAD COACH DON ZIMMERMAN enters his 22nd season at UMBC and his 29th as a collegiate head coach. Entering the season, amongst Division I head coaches, the Retriever mentor stood 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.
MOUNT NOTES: Mount St. Mary's (2-5, 0-1 NEC) opened NEC play on Staten Island on Saturday and fell to Wagner, 6-5, in overtime. Freshman goalkeeper Matt Vierheller made 11 saves in the cage. The Mount dropped to 2-5 overall on the campaign.
Six of the Mountaineers' seven games have been decided by three goals or less and four have been one-goal decisions. Both UMBC and the Mount have faced Towson and Richmond. Both squads lost to the Tigers (UMBC, 11-7; Mount, 7-4), while the Retrievers defeated the Spiders, 9-5, and Mount fell, 8-7.
Sophomore attackman Bubba Johnson leads the Mount with 11 points (7g, 4a) and Justin Gosnell also has posted seven goals. The Mount is averaging 7.0 goals per game, but allowing only 8.11 per outing.
LAST YEAR'S MEETING: Matt Gregoire scored a career-high six goals as UMBC jumped out to a 6-1 lead and cruised to a 17-7 victory in Emmitsburg on March 22, 2014. Nate Lewnes scored five times and Max Maxwell added a pair of goals and three assists for UMBC. The Retrievers outshot the Mountaineers, 47-25 and won the ground ball battle, 43-27.
SERIES NOTES: UMBC has won all 21 meetings versus the Mount, in a series that resumed after a nine-year hiatus in 2013. The two goal decision in 2013 (see below) and a 7-5 UMBC victory in 2002 are the closest contests in the all-time series. The two teams engaged in a tough battle in 2013, as the Retrievers scored a goal with 6:48 remaining to snap an 8-all deadlock and go on to a 10-8 victory at UMBC Stadium. Pat Young scored twice in that game, but did not hit the nets in last season's contest in Emmitsburg. Lewnes has six goals in two career contests vs. the Mountaineers.
UP NEXT: UMBC welcomes Lafayette to UMBC Stadium on Friday, March 25 in the Retrievers' final non-conference game of the 2015 campaign.