BOSTON – Senior long-stick defensive midfielder Billy O'Hara (Davidsonville, Md./South River) and freshman attackman Steven Zichelli (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) earned America East Conference Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week respectively, the conference announced today.
Both players were key factors in UMBC's 8-3 victory over Hartford on Saturday, the Retrievers' third consecutive win, the program's longest such streak since 2011.
O'Hara celebrated his Senior Day at UMBC Stadium by causing a season-best four Hartford turnovers and collecting one ground ball. He was part of the Retrievers' suffocating defense that forced 10 of the Hawks' season-high 20 miscues and limited the visitors to 23 shots.
O'Hara is tied for 15th nationally with 1.75 caused turnovers per game and now has 58 in his career.
The Retriever defense is now tied for second place in the nation along with Army West Point, allowing 7.67 goals per game. UMBC has permitted just five goals in the past two weeks.
Zichelli recorded his second three-goal game of the season, scoring in the first, third and fourth quarters against Hartford. He has recorded points in eight consecutive games, goals in seven straight and has 13 points in his last five outings.
Zichelli is second on the squad with 15 goals, 8 assists and 23 total points.
UMBC (5-7, 3-2 America East) concludes the regular season at Vermont on Friday evening, April 27. The Retrievers must defeat the Catamounts (10-3, 3-2 America East) to earn a spot in the America East Championships. Albany (4-1), Stony Brook (4-1) and Vermont all have sewn up berths in the tournament, which begins on Thursday, May 3.