Piscataway, N.J.- UMBC sophomore midfielder Zach Linkous (Jarrettsville, Md./St. Paul’s) scored a career-best five goals and junior goalkeeper Adam Cohen (Arnold, Md./The Severn School) stopped career-high 14 Rutgers shots as the Retrievers defeated the Scarlet Knights, 11-7, at the RU Stadium Complex.
UMBC evened its record at 1-1, while Rutgers fell to 2-2 on the season.
Cohen scored UMBC’s final goal of the day with 1:39 remaining and it is believed to be the first goal scored by a Retriever goalkeeper in 32 years of NCAA Division I competition.
The Retrievers never trailed, as Linkous opened the scoring on an unassisted tally at the 9:03 mark, but Rutgers got the equalizer on a score by Nick DePaolera less than three minutes later.
But the visitors took control in the second quarter and outscored Rutgers, 7-1, over a 15-minute span. Junior midfielder Dave Brown (Coopersburg, Pa.) started the surge, converting a Rob Grimm (Black River, N.Y.) feed exactly three minutes into the quarter. Junior attackman Scott Jones (Port Coquitlam, B.C., sophomore midfielder Ryan Johnston (Huntingtown, Md.) and Linkous added goals to give UMBC a 5-1 lead at the 5:42 mark of the quarter, before Rutgers’ leading goal-scorer midfielder Will Mangan responded with one minute to play and cut the deficit to 5-2 at halftime.
But UMBC completed the run early in the third quarter with three goals in an 81-second span. Brown scored his second of the game 1:19 into the quarter, and face-off specialist Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) won the ensuing draw and scored unassisted just 16 seconds later. Linkous completed the hat trick on a man-up opportunity just 2:41 into the stanza.
Rutgers responded with two goals in a 55-second span to close the gap to 8-4, but Linkous put away a Brown feed 50 seconds after the fourth Rutgers goal and scored his fifth goal to close out the third quarter scoring with 1:20 to play.
UMBC held the 10-4 lead for the first half of the final quarter, but the Knights peppered Cohen with 13 fourth-quarter shots and cut the gap to 10-7 with ample time (2:43) remaining. But the Retriever netminder made seven fourth quarter saves and turned a late Knight turnover into a one-man clear and goal to punctuate his first victory since a 8-7 overtime win at Vermont on April 24, 2010.
Cohen’s first career win also occurred at Rutgers, a 6-5 victory on Feb. 28, 2010.
“Adam had a terrific day in goal,” head coach Don Zimmerman said. “The defense did a nice job of eliminating high percentage shots and he was all over shots from the outside.”
Linkous, an America East All-Rookie team selection in 2011, scored a season-best two goals on two occasions in his freshman campaign.
“Zach had a big day for us,” Zimmerman said. “He got us started early by scoring a couple of big goals. It was just one of those days that he was putting the ball on target and (really) cashed in on his opportunities.”
Brown added two goals and two assists for UMBC, while Johnston also had multiple points with a goal and a helper. Poe won half of his 22 draws attempted, while junior midfielder Neill Lewnes (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary’s) and sophomore LSM Nathan Klein (Coquitlam, B.C.) each contributed five ground balls and two caused turnovers apiece.
DePaolera led Rutgers with two goals and two assists.
The Retrievers took an 8-7 series lead over the Scarlet Knights and avenged a 12-5 loss to RU at UMBC Stadium a year ago.
UMBC returns home on Saturday, March 3, when they host Fairfield.