The UMBC men's lacrosse team (0-1) continues its early rigorous slate when the Retrievers make the short trip into Baltimore to take on the eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (1-0) on Saturday, Feb. 11. The opening face-off at Homewood Field is set for 1:00 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast by ESPN3 with Anish Shroff and former Retriever mentor Don Zimmerman on the call.
Live video and stats' links will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and fans can also follow via the men's lacrosse program's Twitter feed (UMBC_MLax). Access is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
Scouting the Retrievers
In June of 2016, Ryan Moran (Maryland, '03) was named UMBC's third head men's lacrosse coach since the program entered the USILA in 1971. UMBC's new mentor honed his skills on staffs at Navy, Maryland, and, for the past two seasons at Loyola Maryland. The Greyhounds earned a trip to the national semifinals a year ago and Moran's offense produced over 12 goals per game over the final 10 games of the season.
Moran and his staff of Jamison Koesterer, Neil Hutchinson and Joe Bucci welcomed back 28 letterwinners from a squad that battled hard in 2016, but produced a 4-10 overall record and a 1-5 conference slate.
The team selected seniors Max Maxwell and Ruston Souder and sophomore Jason Brewster as its 2017 team captains. Maxwell, a three-year starter on the attack unit, ranked tenth nationally and second in America East in assists per contest with 2.14 last spring. Maxwell became the 11th Retriever to post 30 assists in a single season and has amassed 106 career points.
Souder has started 15 games over the past two campaigns, finishing the 2015 and 2016 as the starting netminder. Brewster saw action in all 14 games in his initial collegiate campaign. The Californian garnered 20 ground balls, caused three turnovers and scored once in 2016.
Sophomores Jack Andrews and Billy Nolan made the 2016 America East All-Rookie Team... Andrews scored 14 goals and added 15 assists in 13 games and led the team with a 77.4 shots-on-goal percentage... Nolan earned starts at midfield in 13 of 14 contests... Junior midfielder Max Haldeman produced an outstanding second half the campaign in 2016 and the hard-shooting southpaw tied for second on the squad with 15 goals... Junior LSDM Billy O'Hara is expected to reprise his role as the primary long-stick defensive midfielder... Despite missing two late games due to injury, the junior led the team in ground balls and caused 17 turnovers in 2016.
For the fifth-straight season, the Albany Great Danes are the favorites in America East men's lacrosse according to the conference's 2017 preseason coaches' poll. UMBC was picked in the fifth position in the seven-team conference.
UMBC opened the 2017 slate by taking on the 2016 national champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC was ranked No. 1 in the USILA pre-season poll. No. 8 Johns Hopkins, Towson (No. 12) and Albany (No. 13) are other ranked teams on the schedule, while Richmond, Stony Brook and Vermont also received votes in the pre-season poll.
The top-ranked and defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels sprinted to a big early lead and defeated UMBC, 17-6, at Cardinal Gibbons High School on Saturday after in the opener for both teams. It had to be moved from the UNC campus due to a major water main break in Chapel Hill.
Maxwell led UMBC with three goals and an assist. Junior long-stick defensive midfielder Billy O'Hara also had a strong game with seven ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. Sophomore attackman Jack Andrews added a pair of assists for the Retrievers and Brewster caused a career-high five turnovers.
Maxwell needs just four assists to move into UMBC's all-time top ten... He now has 43 goals and 67 helpers... His 30 assists in 2016 is the eighth-most (tied) in a single season in school history... Retriever first-year players Austin Mitchell, Ryan Frawley and Ben Revak all scored their first goals in black-and-gold at UNC... Frawley scored the lone man-up goal of the game as UMBC committed no fouls in 60 minutes.
Scouting the Blue Jays
The eighth-ranked Blue Jays got underway at home on Tuesday with a 15-8 victory over Navy. The contest was tied at 5-all at the half, but JHU outscored Navy, 6-2, in the third quarter, to gain the advantage and surge to the victory.
Junior midfielder Joel Tinney led a balanced attack wtih three goals and two helpers. Linemate Patrick Fraser and attackman Williams Dismuke added three goals each. Netminder Gerald Logan made eight saves to record the victory in the JHU cage.
The Series/Last Year's Match-Up
The Blue Jays have won all 14 meetings between the two sides... UMBC is 0-8 at Homewood Field... In last year's match-up at UMBC Stadium, Hopkins led only, 7-6, at halftime, but outscored UMBC, 8-0, in the final quarter to prevail, 19-7... Max Maxwell had a goal and two assists, Ruston Souder made 16 saves, and Billy O'Hara scored his first collegiate goal and recorded six ground balls and two caused miscues.
UMBC plays its third consecutive road contest on Sat., Feb. 18 when the Retrievers travel to Richmond. The opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m.