The UMBC men's lacrosse team (0-2) continues its early rigorous slate when the Retrievers face their third consecutive nationally-ranked team in the 16th-ranked Richmond Spiders (1-0) on Saturday, Feb. 18. The opening face-off at Robins Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast by Spider TV, a premium service.
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
Eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins (2-0) outscored UMBC, 7-0, in the second quarter and went on to a 15-5 victory over the Retrievers (0-2) at Homewood Field on February 11.
UMBC has dropped its first two games of the season, as they fell, 17-6, in the opener at top-ranked and defending national champion North Carolina.
Maxwell leads UMBC with four goals and two assists through two games. Sophomore attackman Jack Andrews has one goal and two helpers. Senior goalkeeper Ruston Souder has played all 120 minutes to date, making 20 saves against two of the nation's elite squads.
Brothers was selected as America East Conference Men's Lacrosse Rookie of the Week, for games through February 11. He has won 17 draws in his first two games against top-ranked North Carolina and Hopkins. He is second on the squad with six ground balls and has a face-off winning percentage of 47.2 percent against the nation's elite specialists.
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.
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 in the pre-season on the schedule, while Richmond, Stony Brook and Vermont also received votes in the pre-season poll.
Maxwell needs just three assists to move into UMBC's all-time top ten... He now has 43 goals and 68 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… Brewster, who caused five turnovers in the opener at UNC, is third in the nation with 3.0 caused miscues through games of Feb. 14.
Scouting the Spiders
Starting its fourth year of existence, the University of Richmond men's lacrosse program has high expectations. The Spiders delivered a statement and a glimpse into why those expectations are so high in the season opener with a dominating 15-3 victory over 17th-ranked Fairfield on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Defensively, senior netminder Benny Pugh notched 15 saves in the game, two shy of the program record, which he set in 2014.
Richmond posted an 11-5 record a season ago and won six of seven games in the Southern Conference. They fell in the finals of the So.Con. Tournament, 9-8, to Air Force.
Hatfield led a modest offense that averaged 8.62 goals per game with 20 goals and 36 total points. The Spider defense, however, allowed only 7.35 goals per contest.
The Series/Last Year's Match-Up
UMBC and Richmond have met in each year of the Spiders' varsity tenure and UR captured the contest a year ago, after the Retrievers won the first two. UMBC triumphed, 14-5, at home in 2014, and 9-5, in Richmond a year later. Last season, in UMBC's season opener, UR won a low-scoring affair, 7-5.
Richmond took a late first quarter lead and maintained it through the final 45 minutes on Feb. 20, 2016 at UMBC Stadium. Connor Gordon excelled in the cage for the hosts, making 12 saves in 60 minutes of work, while Max Maxwell was the Retrievers' lone multiple-point scorer, posting a goal and an assist.
Richmond's Alex Hatem and Teddy Hatfield led a balanced Spider attack with two goals each and netminder Benny Pugh collected eight saves.
Gordon earned wins in the cage in 2014 and 2015 versus the Spiders, making 24 saves and only allowing 10 goals. Maxwell has three goals and three assists in the three previous match-ups.
UMBC opens the home schedule on Sat., Feb. 25, when they welcome Mercer to UMBC Stadium. The opening draw is set for noon and will be available on www.umbcretrievers.tv with Gary Stein on the call.