Emmitsburg, Md. – Senior attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) recorded career highs in goals (6) and points (8) and sophomore linemate Nate Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) added a career-best five goals as UMBC defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 17-7, at Waldron Family Stadium.
The Retrievers completed the non-conference slate at 4-4, while Mount St. Mary’s fell to 0-8.
“We came ready to play,” said head coach Don Zimmerman. “We were disappointed in the back-to-back losses and determined to come up here and play well.”
Gregoire had a hand in all five UMBC first quarter goals as the Retrievers raced out to a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes. He converted a pair of feeds from Maxwell in the first 4:05 of the stanza to stake the Retrievers to a quick 2-0 lead. After the Mount got a goal back ,the senior tri-captain took advantage of a Mountaineer turnover and scored on an unsettled situation to give UMBC a 3-1 advantage at the 8:35 mark. Then, playing the point on the man-up, he fed sophomore midfielder Jack Gannon (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) and Maxwell for inside tallies in the late stages of the quarter to propel the Retrievers to a 5-1 advantage.
Lewnes stretched the lead to 6-1 early in the second quarter, but Mount responded with back-to-back scores to come within 7-3 at the 5:19 mark. But Gregoire got one back at the 8:32 mark and the Retrievers scored twice in the final 26 seconds of the stanza to take a 9-3 lead into the break.
The Mount opened the third quarter with a goal just 1:58 into the period, but Lewnes started a 7-0 response with back-to-back scores which gave the visitors an insurmountable 16-4 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“Nate (Lewnes) played injured and we didn’t know if he was going to play,” said Coach Zimmerman. “He plays, he’s a tough kid and he has his best day shooting the ball. Matt (Gregoire) has been a great leader for us since he’s been at UMBC. He finishes opportunities.”
Freshman attackman Max Maxwell (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) also posted a season-best, scoring twice and adding three assists for five points. Gannon added a pair of scores and an assist, while senior midfielder Ryan Johnston (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) added a goal and two helpers .
All of UMBC’s players in uniform competed in the contest.
UMBC outshot MSM, 47-25 and controlled 18 of 27 draws. Red-shirt freshman netminder Connor Gordon (Bourne, Mass./Tabor Academy) made six saves, allowing four goals in the first 46:48 of the game. Senior face-off specialist Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) won 14 of the 19 draws he attempted and collected a season-best 12 ground balls.
The 17 goals and 12 assists recorded by UMBC were season-highs and the most goals since a 17-16 win over Albany on April 21, 2012.
UMBC opens America East Conference play versus Stony Brook at UMBC Stadium on Friday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Notes: Gregoire now has 26 goals through eight games in 2014… He recorded UMBC’s first six-goal goal since Scott Jones scored six times versus Vermont on April 6, 2013… UMBC remained undefeated in 21 all-time meetings versus Mount St. Mary’s… The win snapped a four-game road losing streak for the Retrievers, dating back to the 2013 season.