Stony Brook, N.Y. – For the first time since 2014, the UMBC men's lacrosse team will compete for an America East Conference championship.
The fourth-seeded Retrievers jumped out to an 8-1 halftime lead and cruised by top-seeded and host Stony Brook, 14-8, in the America East Men's Lacrosse Championship semi-finals.
UMBC (5-8) will play second-seeded Vermont (8-6), a 13-9 victor over UAlbany in the first semi-final.
Junior attackman Brett McIntyre (Calgary, Alberta) led a balanced UMBC offensive with four goals, while sophomore linemate Trevor Patschorke (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) added a pair of goals and three assists.
Patschorke has taken the team lead in scoring, now with 42 points (25g, 17a). Junior attackman Ryan Frawley leads the squad with 34 goals and has 40 total points. McIntyre (25) and senior middie Josh Jordan (23) have also hit the 20-goal plateau. The last time that UMBC had four or more 20-goal scorers occurred in 2009, (UMBC's last AE championship season) when six players tallied 20 or more goals.
Junior defenseman Colin Kasner (Crofton, Md./DeMatha) caused four more turnovers vs. Stony Brook and has 30 on the season. He leads America East in and was eighth nationally in caused turnovers entering the tournament. His 30 CT's are the most since Mike Camardo recorded 36 in 2011.
All tournament information can be found on America East's Championship Central.
The Series: UMBC leads the all-time series, 12-4, but Vermont has won two straight and four of the last five meetings. This will be the first match-up between the two schools in America East post-season play. UMBC (1-5, 0-1 AE) built three six-goal leads, but could not hold off Vermont (4-3, 1-0) down the stretch and the Catamounts prevailed, 12-11, in double overtime in the America East opener for both squads on March 17. Ryan Frawley led UMBC with four goals.
The Retrievers led, 8-4, at the half and increased the margin to 10-4 after 45 minutes. They were still ahead, 11-6, with less than six minutes to play, but the Catamounts tallied five times in 3:06 to send the game to overtime.
UMBC had three shots on goal in an attempt to win the game at the end of regulation and in the first overtime frame, but each was stopped by Vermont goalkeeper Nick Washuta. The Catamounts won the draw to begin the second OT period and Dawes Milchling scored 59 seconds into the frame to complete the comeback.
This is UMBC's 13th America East Championship appearance, and they have never faced Vermont in 19 previous games. This is also the Retrievers' first-ever No. 4 seeding and the win over Stony Brook was the first true road win (1-2).
A Glance at the Catamounts: Second-seeded Vermont reached the title game by virtue of a 13-9 victory over UAlbany. UVM scored the final four goals of the game to break a 9-9 fourth quarter tie.
Senior attackman Dawes Milchling, who scored the game winning goal in double overtime vs. UMBC in March, led the Catamounts with four goals. First Team America East goalkeeper junior Nick Washuta made 15 saves and allowed only three second half goals.
Vermont reaches the title game for the second consecutive year and third time in four seasons, but are still in search of their first league title.
Milching leads UVM with 36 points (21g, 16a), while junior attackman Ben French is the leading goal scorer with 25.
Washuta is maintaining a save percentage of 57.7 and makes 12.4 saves per contest.