UMBC (4-5, 0-2 America East) gets back to America East play and faces a crucial contest at Hartford (5-4, 2-1 AE) at Al-Marzook Field on Saturday, April 4. Both teams have won two straight games, but UMBC is looking for its first conference victory of the 2015 campaign. The opening face-off is set for 1:00 p.m. and live stats will be available via UMBC Athletics' website at www.umbcretrievers.com. Steve Levy handles the broadcast duties on Q1370 (www.q1370.com) and streaming will be available on www.americaeast.tv.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: The UMBC men's lacrosse team received dominating efforts on both ends of the field, as the Retrievers scored 13 second half goals en route to an 18-7 victory over Lafayette on March 27 at UMBC Stadium.
A bevy of Retrievers posted career-best performances on the evening. Junior midfielder Pat Young led all goal scorers with five and became the 32nd player in school history to reach the 100-point plateau. Senior attackman Conor Finch recorded career best in assists (4) and total points (6) and junior middie Jack Gannon scored a career-best four times, all in the pivotal third quarter. In his third career start in goal, sophomore Ruston Souder made 17 saves, the most by a Retriever netminder since 2008.
Young leads the squad in scoring with 15 goals and seven assists, while Gannon has also hit the 20-point mark with 14 goals and six helpers. Junior attackman Nate Lewnes, who was named America East Men's Lacrosse Player of the Week on Feb. 16, leads the team with 18 goals and has scored in all nine games of the season.
Souder was credited with 28 saves and allowed only 15 goals in wins over Mount St. Mary's (11-8) and Lafayette last week.
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: Lewnes now has 63 goals in his career, scored in 39 games… He has scored 33 goals in his last 13 contests, after scoring 30 in his first 26… Gannon, who scored seven goals on eight shots last week, is ranked fourth in the nation in shooting percentage at 50.0 percent…Young still has points 37 of 39 contests… He is currently ranked 23rd in the country amongst active career leaders with 2.05 goals scored per game and is 31st with 82 career goals.
Young became just the eighth UMBC Division I player to score 100 points by his junior season. The last to accomplish that feat was Drew Westervelt, who hit the plateau in 2006. He now has 80 goals and 24 assists (104 points, tied for 28th in school history) in 39 career contests. Young also had a five-goal game versus Hartford in 2014, but the six points (he added an assist) is a new career mark.
Souder's 17-save effort was the most stops in a game for a Retriever netminder since Jeremy Blevins saved 20 Denver attempts in a UMBC victory in March of 2008.
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 10-for-14 since Feb. 28 and are now at 40.7 percent (11-of-27) on the season. The man-down unit allowed seven goals on its first 14 situations, but has killed off 13 of the last 16.
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.
HAWKS RISING: Hartford has won two straight, both on the road, as they defeated America East rival Binghamton, 13-12, on March 28 and outlasted Siena, 14-9, on March 31. Senior attackman Kevin O'Shea and sophomore midfielder Alec Brown each posted hat tricks versus the Bearcats as UH built a 12-7 lead after three quarters and held off Binghamton down the stretch. Freshman attackman Justin Huggins broke out with a four-goal game versus the Saints and O'Shea led all scorers with three goals and three helpers. O'Shea leads the squad in goals (18), assists (12) and total points (30). Freshman face-off specialist Dylan Protesto has won over 57 percent of his draws attempted, while rookie goalkeeper Ryan Vanderford has started all nine games and maintains a solid 48.8 save percentage. UH averages 10 goals per game and allows 11.4.
SERIES NOTES: UMBC took an 8-5 series lead over Hartford after a 16-11 victory at UMBC Stadium in April of 2014. The Retrievers have won two of the last three meetings, after UH posted four straight series victories. UMBC is 2-4 at Al-Marzook Field, and the Hawks have won four straight at home, including a dramatic 15-14 overtime decision two years ago. UMBC did avenge that loss with a come-from-behind 15-13 triumph in the teams' lone playoff meeting at Stony Brook in the league semifinals.
LAST YEAR'S MEETING: Pat Young scored four of his game-high five goals in the fourth quarter as UMBC thwarted a Hawk rally in a 16-11 victory. UH trimmed an early 9-3 deficit to 10-8 in the third quarter, but the Retrievers scored three straight goals in a span of 3:32 midway through the fourth period to salt away the victory. Gannon recorded a career-high six points, with a pair of goals and four helpers.
Young has 12 goals and 14 total points in three career games versus the Hawks .
UP NEXT: UMBC gets back to home America East action on Saturday, April 11 when they welcome the Vermont Catamounts to UMBC Stadium for a noon contest.