UMBC (7-6, 3-2 AE) has qualified for its 11th America East championship in 11 league campaigns and the third-seeded Retrievers will meet second-seeded Binghamton (7-7, 4-1 AE) in the 2014 America East Championships on Thursday, May 1. The tournament will take place at Stony Brook University’s La Valle Stadium and the Retrievers and Bearcats face-off in the opening game of the doubleheader at 5:00 p.m. Live video streaming is available on the America East Digital Network (www.americaeast.tv) and live stats will be available via America East Championship Central.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC outscored Vermont, 10-0, in the second quarter and three Retrievers etched themselves in the record books as UMBC defeated the Catamounts, 17-14, at Virtue Field in the regular season finale for both squads.
SR face-off specialist Phil Poe set a pair of school records in the contest. UMBC’s all-time lead in face-offs won, controlled a school-record 28 (of 34) draws, surpassing his own school mark by five. He also collected 20 ground balls, eclipsing Nick Brownlee’s record of 18, recorded on April 6, 1997.
SO A Nate Lewnes (7g, 1a) and SR A Matt Gregoire (5g, 3a) shared game-high scoring honors with eight points apiece.
The Retrievers have won three AE titles (2006, 2008, 2009) and got back to the title game for the first time since 2009 last season. As the No. 3 seed in 2013, UMBC defeated Hartford, 15-13, in the semifinals before falling to Albany, 19-10.
Gregoire leads the team with 41 goals and 47 points. Entering the week, he is second nationally with 3.15 goals per game (behind UA’s Miles Thompson) and the 41 goals is tied for the fifth-most scored in a single season in school history.
Gregoire and Poe are two of just seven seniors on the 2014 Retriever roster. UMBC started two freshmen and four sophomores throughout the campaign.
Four other Retrievers have 33 or more points. SO M Jack Gannon (18-22-40) and FR A Max Maxwell (11-22-33) share the team lead in assists, while SO M Pat Young (27-9-36) and SO A Nate Lewnes (28-8-34) round out an efficicent offensive unit.
Red-shirt FR G Connor Gordon is ranked sixth in the nation with 12.23 saves per game. He earned AE Rookie of the Week honors on March 31.
UMBC is ranked 11th in the nation with 12.0 goals scored per game. The Retrievers averaged 13.2 goals per game in America East play and 15.7 in their last three contests. UMBC is also 12th in the nation in shooting percentage at 32.1 percent.
BEARCAT UPDATE: Binghamton fell on the road at Albany (9-5, 5-0 AE) 21-7 from John Fallon Field on Saturday night. The Bearcats received three goals from senior Michael Antinozzi in a losing effort.
Antinozzi, who has 19 goals on the season, recorded a point in his 45th straight game. Fellow senior Matt Springer added a pair of goals for BU and broke the single season goals record at the school with 37. JR A Tucker Nelson, who did not play at Albany, leads BU with 42 points (14 g, team-high 28 assists).
ALL-TIME SERIES/2014 RESULT: UMBC leads the all-time series, 12-3, but the Bearcats have taken two of the last three meetings.
The teams have met four times in the America East Tournament, but not since 2009. UMBC has won all four tournament contests (all semi-final contests), but all were decided by four goals or less and the last two (2008, 2009) were one-goal decisions.
UMBC held a 6-4 halftime lead, but the host Binghamton Bearcats outscored the Retrievers, 9-1, in the second half and earned a 13-7 America East Conference victory at the Bearcats Sports Complex on April 6. FR A Max Maxwell led UMBC with a goal and two assists, while SO M Pat Young and SR A Matt Gregoire each scored a pair of goals.
NOTES: Top-seeded and defending league champion Albany takes on host and fourth-seed Stony Brook in the second semi-final, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The title game will be played at La Valle Stadium at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 3 and will be televised live by ESPNU.