Retrievers start slow, come back vs. Bearcats
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.