Stony Brook, N.Y.- A torrid Albany team broke up a tight game with an eight-goal third quarter and defended their America East title, defeating UMBC, 20-11 in the league’s championship game.
UMBC senior attackman Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) scored three goals and became the Retrievers’ single season record-holder in goals with 47.
Classmate Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) won 20 of 30 face-offs and broke his own single-season record with 229 draws captured in 2014.
Gregoire, Poe and sophomore defender Zach Esser (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) were named to the All-Championship team.
UMBC sophomore midfielder Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch (Va.) School) led the Retrievers with three goals and one assist.
The Retrievers would get on the board first, as Young scored from a sharp right angle just 57 seconds into the contest. But Albany would outscore the Retrievers, 5-1, over the remainder of the stanza and took a 5-2 advantage after 15 minutes.
UMBC made its best run of the first half, as Young and Gregoire strung together goals to bring the Retrievers to within 5-4 at the6:55 mark of the second quarter. But UA again controlled the final stages of the stanza and built the lead to 8-4, scoring a disputed goal on a missed off-sides call as the clock hit 0:00.
Poe controlled 9 of 13 first half draws, but Albany got key second chances by winning ground balls and led in that category, 20-15, at the break. Great Dane netminder Blaze Riorden, who recorded 20 saves in the first meeting between the two squads, made five first half saves, including a pair of high stick stops on high quality UMBC chances.
Albany’s Miles Thompson, the championship’s Most Outstanding Player, opened the second half with his 70th goal of the season 1:24 into the frame, but junior midfielder Ty Kashur (Manassas, Va./CCBC-Essex) and Young struck for the Retrievers and the deficit was 9-6 with 10:12 remaining in the third quarter .
But the Danes had their best face-off quarter of the game, splitting 12 draws with UMBC and took full advantage, scoring five unanswered goals in a span of 3:04 to take command.
Albany (11-5) led, 16-7, after 45 minutes and went on to win their sixth overall America East title.
The Retrievers committed 15 turnovers in the first three quarters and were outshot, 48-34.
UMBC (8-7) finished the campaign with its most victories since a 12-win campaign in 2009, the last year the Retrievers captured the title.
Notes: Gregoire broke the goal-scoring record of Jason Smith, who scored 47 goals in 1992… He finished his career with 96 goals (tied for 12th on UMBC all-time list) (and 113 points (tied for 22nd) Poe now has three of the top four single-season face off marks in school history and pushed his UMBC Division I record for ground balls in a season to 140… Senior face-off specialist Joe Impallaria (Lutherville, Md./Calvert Hall), who, like Gregoire, returned for a fifth year, scored his first career goal in the third quarter… UMBC is now 3-3 in America East title games.