UMBC takes a break from America East Conference competition this week, as they take on two non-league foes at home. The Retrievers defeated Mount St. Mary's, 11-8, on Tuesday and now take on Lafayette for just the second time ever and the first time since 1988. The contest versus the Leopards on Friday, March 27 will be UMBC's third in a seven-day span. 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: Junior midfielder Jack Gannon led a balanced UMBC attack with three goals and one assist as the host Retrievers defeated Mount St. Mary's, 11-8, at UMBC Stadium on March 24. Junior attackman Nate Lewnes and junior midfielder Pat Young added two scores apiece for the Retrievers, who scored a season high 11 times.
UMBC (3-5) snapped a three-game losing streak and remained perfect in 22 meetings versus their in-state rivals.
With 10 goals and six assists apiece, Young and Gannon lead the squad in scoring. Young needs two 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 15 goals and has scored in all eight games of the season.
Making his second collegiate start, sophomore goalkeeper Ruston Souder was credited with 11 saves versus the Mount to earn his first career victory.
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 posted his third career three-goal game vs. the Mount and his first at UMBC Stadium… His first occurred at Towson last season and his second was at Richmond… Lewnes now has 60 goals in his career, scored in 38 games… He has scored 30 goals in his last 12 contests, after scoring 30 in his first 26… Young still has points 36 of 38 contests… He is currently ranked 27th in the country amongst active career leaders with 1.97 goals scored per game and is tied for tied for 35th with 77 career goals.
UMBC 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.
UMBC started the season slowly on man-up and man-down, but have made great strides in both areas. On extra-man, the Retrievers failed on 12 of its first 13 chances, but have gone 7-for-10 since Feb. 28 and are now at 34.8 percent (8-of-23) on the season. The man-down unit allowed seven goals on its first 14 situations, but has killed off eight of the last ten.
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.
LEOPARD SPOTS: Lafayette opened the campaign with a 10-5 win at Wagner, but the Leopards have dropped seven in a row since that Feb. 13 outing. However, three of those setbacks have occurred by three goals or less, including a 9-6 loss at nationally-ranked Penn (March 3).
Lafayette jumped out to a 4-1 lead at No. 14 Loyola on March 21, but an eight-goal second quarter by the Greyhounds turned the tide in a 19-10 Loyola victory. Sophomore attackman Kevin Lewis and junior midfielder Morgan Westby each posted hat tricks for the visitors.
Sophomore attackman Jason Sands leads Lafayette in assists (14) and total points (23), while classmate and linemate Eric Joseph is the leading goal-scorer with 13 tallies.
The Leopards have struggled getting out of the gate in 2015, as they have been outscored, 64-24, in the first half of their eight contests.
SERIES NOTES: The two schools have only met one previous time, and UMBC came away with a 16-3 victory in a game played at Villanova University early in the 1988 campaign. Ricky Fried, now the head coach of the United States women's national team, led the Retrievers with five goals in the contest.
UP NEXT: UMBC gets back to America East action on Saturday, April 4 when they travel to West Hartford, Conn. to take on the Hartford Hawks in a 1:00 p.m. contest.