BALTIMORE – UMBC senior attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) scored two of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter as the Retrievers opened the home schedule with a 10-8 victory over Monmouth before 641 fans at sun-drenched UMBC Stadium.
The Retrievers improved to 1-1 on the young season, while Monmouth was playing its first-ever NCAA Division I contest.
UMBC freshman attackman Max Maxwell (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) added a second-half hat trick for the hosts. Senior face-off specialist Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) controlled the draws, capturing 17 of 22 in the contest and recording nine ground balls.
MU was paced by freshman attackman Dan Bloodgood, who scored three goals and added an assist.
The Retrievers stormed out to a 4-0 first quarter lead, as Gregoire scored twice and freshman middie Dylan McDermott (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) and sophomore midfielder Steve Winsor (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) each added their first career scores.
But Monmouth answered with a 4-0 second quarter to send the game to the half knotted at 4-4. Bloodgood scored the Hawks’ first-ever goal at the 11:23 mark of the period.
The Hawks would take their first lead on a score by junior midfielder Zach Johannes 2:02 into the third quarter. Maxwell would help the Retrievers re-take the lead with back-to-back scores, but MU scored twice in a span of 49 seconds to surge ahead, 7-6. UMBC junior attackman Ty Kashur (Manassas, Va./CCBC-Essex) scored his first collegiate goal with 2:13 to play in the third to tie the game for the fourth time at 7-7 heading to the final 15 minutes.
Gregoire gave UMBC the lead for good, getting inside and converting a feed from sophomore midfielder Jack Gannon (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) just 1:38 into the stanza. Maxwell completed his hat trick and put the Retrievers ahead, 9-7, finishing a fast-break on a feed from junior midfielder Kevin McDonough (Oak Beach, N.Y./Binghamton) at the 10:45 mark.
MU cut the deficit to 9-8 on a Tyler Keen unassisted score with 6:05 remaining. But Poe got possession on the draw and the Hawks were called for an illegal procedure penalty. On just its second man-up opportunity of the game, UMBC cashed in, as sophomore attackman Nate Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) found Gregoire inside and the tri-captain beat MU reserve netminder Garrett Conaway to reclaim a two-goal advantage with 4:38 to play.
The Hawks got an extra-man chance in the final two minutes, but UMBC red-shirt freshman keeper Connor Gordon (Bourne, Mass./Tabor Academy) made a save on Bloodgood with 1:29 remaining and the Retrievers kept possession for the remainder of the contest.
UMBC outshot the Hawks, 38-33, and Gordon came up with double-digit saves for the second consecutive game, posting a dozen stops. Conaway, who entered the game in the third quarter, took the loss, making eight saves, but allowing six second half goals.
UMBC returns to action next Saturday, March 1, when they welcome Richmond to UMBC Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. contest.
Notes: Gregoire’s four-goal game was the fourth of his career… UMBC won its second consecutive home opener after three straight setbacks… Gordon made ten first-half saves for the second consecutive week.