Retriev­ers start slow, come back vs. Bearcats

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - By Ed­ward Lee

When the UMBC men’s lacrosse team found it­self trail­ing vis­it­ing Bing­ham­ton by three af­ter one quar­ter and by two at half­time, coach Ryan Mo­ran ex­pe­ri­enced a sense of deja vu.

The early por­tion of Saturday night’s game re­minded the coach of an­other against an Amer­ica East foe, UMass Low­ell, in which the Retriev­ers fell be­hind by four af­ter the open­ing quar­ter and trailed by two at half­time, but man­aged to bounce back for a 10-6 vic­tory April 1.

So it wasn’t too sur­pris­ing that af­ter UMBC pulled off a sim­i­lar come­back to edge the No. 20 Bearcats, 7-6, be­fore an an­nounced 704 at UMBC Sta­dium in Ca­tonsville, Mo­ran men­tioned the sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

“This was the same ex­act game against UMass Low­ell,” he re­called. “We were los­ing 5-0 and then it was 5-3 at half­time. That’s what we talked about at half­time, that we had been here be­fore. It’s re­ally a mat­ter of the first ground ball, the first pos­ses­sion, the first shot, the first stop on de­fense, it’s got to come our way. If it does, then it’s 5-4 and Bing­ham­ton’s go­ing to be singing to a dif­fer­ent tune. They’re go­ing to get a lit­tle more tight.”

The Retriev­ers (5-6, 3-1 Amer­ica East), who took one step closer to qual­i­fy­ing for the league tour­na­ment for the first time since 2014, ral­lied for their sec­ond win in a row when trail­ing at half­time. That was thanks to a zone de­fense that flus­tered a Bearcats of­fense that had en­tered the game av­er­ag­ing 11.2 goals. Bing­ham­ton scored only one goal in the fi­nal 36:40 of the game.

Se­nior goal­keeper Rus­ton Souder (Ch­e­sa­peake-AA) made seven saves, and sopho­more de­fense­man Ja­son Brew­ster helped limit Bearcats se­nior at­tack­man Tom Moore to two goals af­ter he had 30 goals and 24 as­sists in his first 10 starts.

The zone pre­vented Moore from dodg­ing freely up top to find team­mates for open looks, and Bing­ham­ton (9-2, 3-1) took only 19 shots, in­clud­ing just five in the sec­ond half and one in the third quar­ter.

“We started man, and we’ve been work­ing on it pretty much the whole week,” said Brew­ster, who picked up two ground balls. “Com­ing out, we thought we didn’t play very well [on] man. So we switched to zone, and it kind of stumped them.”

Of­fen­sively, UMBC was paced by sopho­more mid­fielder Billy Nolan (Arun­del), who had his sec­ond ca­reer hat trick with two of the three goals com­ing in the sec­ond half. Brew­ster said Nolan had pre­dicted Fri­day that he would score three goals, which proved cru­cial as the of­fense was forced to play with a less-than-healthy Max Maxwell. The se­nior at­tack­man, who en­tered the day lead­ing the team in goals and as­sists, had been side­lined for the past four days of prac­tice by a stom­ach virus.

Fresh­man at­tack­man Ryan Fraw­ley’s sec­ond goal of the game proved to be the game-win­ner.

He curled around the right post and bounced the ball past se­nior goalie Tan­ner Cosens with 3:13 left in reg­u­la­tion. It was only the Retriev­ers’ sec­ond lead of the game and first since 1-0. Bing­ham­ton 4 1 0 UMBC 1 2 2 Goals: B—Li­cata 3, Moore 2, McAn­drew; UMBC—Nolan 3, Fraw­ley 2, McDer­mott, Schi­moler. As­sists: B—Kaser, Ko­nen, Li­cata; UMBC—Baker, Maxwell. Saves: B—Cosens 8; UMBC—Souder 7.

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