The UMBC men's lacrosse team (4-7, 0-4 America East) completes the 2015 home slate on Saturday, April 18 when they welcome the UMass Lowell River Hawks (1-10, 0-5 AE) to UMBC Stadium for the first time. Nine UMBC seniors will be honored before the contest. 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. Gary Stein and Kevin O'Neill have broadcast duties on www.umbcretrievers.tv.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC is coming off a pair of heart-breaking one-goal losses and have been eliminated from the America East Tournament for the first time in 12 league seasons. The Retrievers fell, 9-8, in overtime at Hartford on April 4, then saw a five-goal second half lead slip away in an 11-10 setback to Vermont a week later.
Vermont's Ian MacKay scored the game-winning goal with 1:08 to play in the fourth quarter. It was the Catamounts' only lead of the day. UMBC junior attackman Max Maxwell hit the underside of the crossbar with 32 seconds left and junior attackman Nate Lewnes' follow-up was saved by Catamount netminder Justin Rosenberg.
Lewnes led UMBC with five goals in the contest. Rosenberg was brilliant in the Vermont nets, making 18 saves, as UMBC outshot the visitors, 48-34.
Lewnes (25g, 1a) has reached the 25-goal plateau for the second consecutive season and is now ninth in the nation with a 16-game goal-scoring streak. He and junior midfielder Pat Young (18g, 8a) are tied for the team lead, and junior middie Jack Gannon (17g, 8a) is one point behind.
UMBC will honor nine seniors in pregame ceremonies. Those seniors are attackman Conor Finch, midfielder Ty Kashur, defender Ian Gray, defender Mike Dahl, midfielder Tim Lang, LSDM Seth Mackin, face-off specialist Nathan Klein, midfielder Kevin McDonough and goalkeeper James Maxwell. Finch, Dahl, Lang and McDonough served as team captains for the 2015 squad.
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 70 goals in his career, scored in 41 games… He has scored 40 goals in his last 15 contests, after scoring 30 in his first 26… His streak of scoring a goal in 16 straight games is the ninth-longest in the nation… Young has points 39 of 41 career contests… He is currently ranked 24th in the country amongst active career leaders with 2.02 goals scored per game and is 33rd (tied) with 83 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 83 goals and 25 assists (108 points, 28th in school history) in 40 career contests.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ruston Souder's 17-save effort versus Lafayette 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 had scored man-up goals in five consecutive games (10 total goals), but were blanked against Vermont. Conversely, the Retrievers had allowed only three man-down goals in the previous six games, but the Catamounts tallied four on six chances. Eight of UMBC's 14 goals allowed on the man-down this season have occurred in two games (Hopkins, Vermont).
In its last four games, UMBC has controlled the majority of draws three times and played even with Vermont (12-12). After seven games, the Retrievers' face-off percentage stood at 31.9 percent, it is now 10 percent higher (41.9 percent, 96 won, 133 lost).
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.
RIVER HAWK NOTES: The first year River Hawks of UMass Lowell posted their first program victory on March 7, when they defeated NJIT, 9-7, in Newark, N.J. They put up a season-best ten goals in an 18-10 setback versus Vermont on March 21 and are coming off a 20-9 loss to Stony Brook on April 10. There is one junior, eight sophomores and 22 freshmen on the UML roster. High Point transfer Sam Klingsporn leads the River Hawks with 12 goals on the season, while Canadian freshman Jon Phillips leads the team with 18 points (10g, 8a). Giles Ober, a transfer from Babso, has the lone win in the UML nets and maintains a respectable 44.6 save percentage.
SERIES NOTES: This is the first meeting between UMBC and UML on the lacrosse field. River Hawk head coach Ed Stephenson has a history both coaching for and against the Retrievers. Stephenson was an assistant coach under Don Zimmerman for six years (1995-2000), then returned as associate head coach from 2012-13. The Towson native served as head coach of Binghamton University from 2001-2011 and faced his former mentor on 11 occasions. Binghamton won the first meeting, but UMBC captured the final ten contests in the series.
UP NEXT: UMBC finishes the 2015 schedule when they travel to No. 8 Albany on Saturday, April 25 for a 3:00 p.m. contest at John Fallon Field.