High Point, N.C.- UMBC senior attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) matched his career high with five goals and sophomore linemate Nate Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) added a career-best four scores, but the Retrievers dropped a 17-15 shootout to host High Point at Vert Stadium.
UMBC slipped 3-3 on the season and 0-2 on the road. High Point (6-2) won its sixth consecutive game and all of victories have come by three goals or less.
The Retrievers trailed, 10-7, at the half and managed to cut the deficit to one goal on three occasions, including twice in the fourth quarter. With the Panthers leading, 14-11, sophomore Jack Gannon (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) scored his eighth goal of the year at the 11:35 mark of the fourth quarter and 51 seconds later, fed Gregoire for another UMBC tally to cut the deficit to 14-13.
The teams exchanged goals, with senior defender Matt Reeping (Frederick, Md./St. John’s Prep) again bringing the visitors to within 15-14 as he scored his first career goal with 5:02 remaining. UMBC won the ensuing draw and put two shots on goal in short order, but Panther netminder Austin Geisler made a pair of saves to deny the Retrievers the tying score.
High Point’s Matt Thistle scored two goals in a 14-second span to restore the hosts’ lead to 17-14 with 2:30 remaining. UMBC sophomore midfielder Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch School) would counter with an extra-man goal with 43 seconds remaining, but UMBC could not capture the final draw of the contest and suffered the narrow defeat.
Young added three goals and two assists for UMBC, while Gannon tallied a goal and added a team season-high four helpers.
Michael Leclair led all scorers with four goals and three assists, while Thistle contributed three goals and three helpers for High Point.
UMBC took leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the first quarter as Lewnes and Gregoire scored twice in the opening period. But HPU scored five times in a span of 4:08 to take a 7-4 lead at the 12:18 mark of the second quarter. The Panthers led by as many as four goals at 9-5, but goals by Lewnes and Young in the final 1:17 of the stanza shaved the deficit to 9-7. But High Point took momentum into the break as face-off specialist Jamie Piluso won a man-down draw and scored with 11 seconds to play in the half to give the hosts a 10-7 halftime edge.
High Point outshot UMBC, 39-32, and won the battles of ground balls, 42-36, and face-offs, 20-14. Both Geisler and UMBC freshman netminder Connor Gordon(Bourne, Mass./Tabor Acad.) came up with 12 saves for their respective teams. Nine of Geisler’s stops came in the second half.
UMBC returns to Baltimore and continues its stretch of five games in 15 days with a Tuesday evening contest at Towson.
Notes: Gregoire also recorded five goals versus Richmond on March 1 and leads the team with 18 through six games this season… He now has 10 career games with three or more goals scored… Gordon made double-digit saves for the sixth straight game, but finished under 50 percent in save percentage for the first time in his brief career… Gannon, who tallied a single assist as a freshman, now has eight goals and a team-high 10 assists in 2014… In addition to Reeping’s first career goal, JR D Ian Gray (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) also notched the first of his career.