The UMBC men's lacrosse team opens its 2019 schedule on Friday, Feb. 15 when they travel to Annapolis to take on the Navy Midshipmen. The opening face-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
A season ago, host Navy (1-2) outscored UMBC (1-1), 7-3, in the middle 30 minutes of play and edged the Retrievers, 7-5, in snowy conditions at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Retriever freshman attackman Trevor Patschorke (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) led the UMBC offense with a pair of goals and one assist. UMBC outshot Navy, 35-30, but only put 15 shots on cage.
It was the first meeting between Navy and UMBC since 2003. The Mids now lead the all-time series, 23-4, however, UMBC's last two wins in the series (1999, 2001) have occurred in Annapolis.
UMBC Head Coach Moran enters his third season at the helm with a career mark of 11-14. Moran was an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy for current U.S. Men's Lacrosse National Team Coach Richie Meade from 2006-2008. He helped the Midshipmen to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Patriot League titles (2006 and 2007).
Moran's staff consists of third-year assistant coach Jamison Koesterer, Joe Bucci and Billy O'Hara. This past fall, Moran has promoted Bucci – a two-year volunteer assistant - to assistant coach and added former Retriever standout O'Hara to the staff as a volunteer assistant coach.
After getting off to a 2-7 start a season ago and dropping its first two America East games, the Retrievers rallied for an inspired month of April. They opened that month by knocking off the No. 1 team in the land, league rival Albany, 11-7, to kick-start the stretch run. Dominating defensive performances highlighted subsequent wins over Binghamton and Hartford and the Retrievers had an outside chance of tying for the regular season title in the finale.
Alas, a talented Vermont team dashed those hopes and knocked UMBC out of the four-team league championships with a 9-6 victory in Burlington. The Retrievers finished the season at 5-8 overall and 3-3 in league play.
The Retriever defense led the nation in scoring defense, allowing 7.77 goals per game. They allowed 6.33 goals per game in six league contests.
The UMBC offense, beset by injuries, struggled and managed a program-low 89 goals in 2018. The pre-season nstarting attack unit of Ryan Frawley (Mountain Lakes, N.J.), Mitch Howell (), and Trevor Patschorke (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) played a total of 11 games between them and all suffered season-ending injuries by the season's mid-point.
UMBC returns 28 letterwinners and nine of ten players who started the final game of the 2018 campaign. Ten freshmen, two eligible red-shirts and one transfer round out the 41-man roster.
The Retrievers received votes in the pre-season Inside Lacrosse poll.
UMBC has selected seniors Jason Brewster (San Diego, Calif.), Billy Nolan (Crofton, Md./Arundel) and Gunnar Schimoler (Edgewater, Md./South River) and junior Nick Griffin (Marriottsville, Md./Liberty) as its team captains for the 2019 spring semester and campaign.
Brewster, a close defenseman, will serve as a captain for the third consecutive year, while Schimoler, a defensive midfielder, reprises his role of 2018. Nolan, an offensive midfielder, and Griffin, a linemate of Brewster on the back end, have earned the honor for the first time.
The men's lacrosse team produced a 3.38 grade-point average for the 2019 fall semester. The team improved its grade-point average for the fifth consecutive semester and six Retrievers, including Griffin, earned 4.0 GPA's. 33 student-athletes earned 3.0 grade-point averages or higher.
Griffin was tabbed to 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America® Division I Men's and At-Large Third Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).He became the first-ever UMBC men's lacrosse student-athlete to earn the nation's most-recognized academic honor.
The chemical engineering major also earned a pair of America East honors, landing on the league's First Team and All-Academic squads.
Nolan joined Griffin on the First Team, while Brewster earned Second Team honors. Nolan led the team with 20 goals and 14 assists a season ago. He has performed at his best in America East play in the last two seasons with 22 of his 38 goals have occurring in 12 league games.
Goalkeeper Tommy Lingner (Fort Salonga, N.Y.) and attackman Steven Zichelli (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) earned America East All-Rookie Team honors. Lingner led the nation in goals against average (7.33), earned a pair of America East Rookie-of-the-Week honors during his initial campaign and made 33 saves, while allowing only 12 goals as UMBC throttled No. 1 UAlbany, Binghamton and Hartford.
Zichelli finished second on the team in goals (17), assists (10) and total points (27). He was a two-time America East Rookie of the Week.
On a Re-Tooled UMBC Offense: "We have kids like Ryan Frawley and Mitchell Howell back who were injured last season and Trevor Patschorke as well. They are playing great and adding some freshmen to that mix has given us a more talent and firepower.
On Team's Readiness for the Season to Begin: "We start with three really challenging games in a nine-day window. We want to make sure when we hit that first game, we're chomping at the bit and ready to go, but also organized and understanding of what we need to do in order to win."
On Facing the Midshipmen in Annapolis: "We have a lot of kids from Anne Arundel County who grew up going to Navy games and had opportunities to play there for their high school playoffs. It's just a cool venue. Any time you get to play a team like Navy, they're going to be conditioned, they're going to be well-coached. It's a good early season test; it's a good team to have early in your schedule because it's going to grab the attention of your guys."
On His Optimism for the 2019 Season: "I just love our seniors. They are great kids, they are hard workers. They set a tremendous example for the underclassmen on our squad. I've been fortunate to be a part of some pretty good teams and all the teams that were special were led by a special group of seniors."
A Glance at the Midshipmen: Navy won its opener, 13-8, over Vermont in Annapolis on Saturday. Senior midfielders Greyson Torain (5g, 1a) and Ryan Wade (1g, 5a) combined for 12 points and third-year starting goalkeeper Ryan Kern made 13 saves to lead the Mids.
Up Next: UMBC heads down to Richmond for a battle with the 2018 Southern Conference champions. Game time at Robins Stadium is set for 3:00 p.m.