Tag Archive | "Don Zimmerman"

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UMBC opens America East play Friday against Stony Brook

Posted on 27 March 2014 by WNST Staff

UMBC opens its 11th season of America East Conference play on Friday, March 28, when the Retrievers host Stony Brook at UMBC Stadium. The opening face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Live video streaming is available on www.umbcretrievers.tv and the game will be broadcast with Gary Stein and Kevin O’Neill on the call.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: SR A Matt Gregoire recorded career highs in goals (6) and points (8) and SO linemate Nate Lewnes added a career-best five goals as UMBC (4-4) defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 17-7, at Waldron Family Stadium on Saturday.The 17 goals and 12 assists recorded by UMBC were season-highs and the most goals since a 17-16 win over Albany on April 21, 2012. Gregoire, who leads the team with 26 goals and 29 points, has scored all of his season’s goals in the last seven games. He recorded UMBC’s first six-goal goal since Scott Jones scored six times versus Vermont on April 6, 2013. Entering the week, he was sixth nationally with 3.63 goals per game.

Red-shirt FR G Connor Gordon is ranked ninth in the nation with 12.00 saves per game.

UMBC is 7-3 in ten previous America East Conference openers and has won its last two. The Retrievers’ all-time record in ten previous seasons of league play is 39-13 (.750) and UMBC is 22-4 (.846) at UMBC Stadium.

SEAWOLF UPDATE:  Stony Brook (4-5) held an 11-8 lead after three quarters, but St. John’s outscored the Seawolves, 5-0, in the final period to claim a 13-11 win Saturday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Four Stony Brook players had two goals apiece, including SO M Chris Hughes, who added two assists. Stony Brook was 5 of 5 on extra-man chances, scoring five man-up goals for the first time since 2007 at Denver. SBU, which is ranked third nationally in man-up offense, has not won nor lost multiple games in a row in 2014.

SO A Brody Eastwood leads the Seawolves with 26 goals on the campaign. SO A Matt Schultz (14-18-32) and S M Chalen Rogers (12-20-32) are tied for the team lead with 32 points apiece. Three netminders have earned decisions for SBU this season. FR Hayden Johnstone got the start vs. St. John’s and made 10 saves.

LAST YEAR’S RESULT/ALL-TIME SERIES:  Pat Young broke a 12-all tie by scoring with 2:39 remaining and visiting UMBC won a critical America East Conference contest, 13-12, at defending champion Stony Brook at LaValle Stadium on April 13, 2013.  The game featured ten ties before Young took a feed from senior A/M Joe Lustgarten and buried a shot from nine yards out.

Nate Lewnes led a balanced UMBC attack with two goals and two assists. Young and Gregoire each scored two goals apiece for the visitors. Phil Poe won 18 of 29 draws, and the visitors outshot the hosts, 47-23.

UMBC leads the all-time series, 12-7, and snapped a three-game slide to SBU with the 2013 victory. The Seawolves have won the last two meetings at UMBC Stadium and are 4-5 in nine previous Baltimore contests.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC plays its first league road game of the campaign when they travel to Binghamton for a contest with the Bearcats on Sunday, April 6. The opening draw  is set for 2:00 p.m.

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UMBC makes first trip out of state Saturday at High Point

Posted on 14 March 2014 by WNST Staff

UMBC plays its first road game in one month and travels out of the state of Maryland for the first time in the 2014 season when the Retrievers make their first-ever visit to High Point University to take on a 5-2 Panther squad at Vert Stadium on Saturday, March 15. The Retrievers are 3-2, after completing a four-game homestand with a 15-6 victory over Mercer on Tuesday, March 11, while High Point has won five straight, including a narrow 9-8 win over VMI on March 8. Video streaming is available via the Big South Network and live stats will be provided via High Point’s website.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC outscored visiting Mercer, 7-0, in the third quarter and the Retrievers went on to defeat the Bears, 15-6, at UMBC Stadium on Tuesday evening. Five Retrievers posted three or more points – led by four points on two goals and two assists by sophomore midfielder Jack Gannon. Attackman Matt Gregoire was the lone UMBC player to tally three goals and the senior continues to lead the squad with 13 scores in five games. UMBC won its third game in the last four outings and improved to 3-2 on the season. UMBC outshot Mercer, 16-1, in the third period, and 49-28 for the contest. Red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gordon made 10 saves and allowed six goals in 54:14 of work. Gordon, who entered play sixth in the nation with 13.5 saves per game, has 10 or more saves in all five outings in 2014. Senior midfielder Zach Linkous, junior midfielder Ty Kashur and freshman attackman Grant Searfoss all tallied two goals and an assist for the Retrievers.

Gannon now has six goals and four assists in his last three games. Searfoss played in just his second game of the season and scored his first three collegiate points versus the Bears.  The 15 goals scored by UMBC was a season high. Gregoire now has nine career hat tricks, including three in his last four games.

PANTHER UPDATE: High Point is riding a five-game winning streak after losing their first two games of the season. They are also in the midst of a five-game homestead, and have not lost at home this season. For the second time this season the Panthers swept the Atlantic Sun weekly awards last week. Graduate student Stevie Kirkup was named the Atlantic Sun Offensive Player of the Week and redshirt-junior Austin Geisler was named the Defensive Player of the Week. Kirkup, a transfer attackman from UNC, scored five goals on seven shots in a 9-8 win over VMI last Saturday. Geisler had nine saves in the same game, and an even more impressive 17 saves against Michigan in a 9-7 victory. High Point’s last six games have all been decided by three goals or less and the Panthers have won their five contests by a total of eight goals. Sophomore attackmen Matt Thistle and Dan Lomas lead HPU in scoring with 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists), and a team-best 17 goals on the season, respectively.

SERIES RECORD/LAST YEAR’S MEETING: In the first meeting between the two schools, Nate Lewnes tallied a team season-best six points and sophomore netminder Wes DiRito collected 15 saves in his first home start as the host Retrievers defeated High Point, 16-11, at UMBC Stadium on March 16, 2013. UMBC’s special teams were outstanding as the Retrievers scored on all four of its extra-man chances, while denying High Point on all six of the Panthers’ opportunities. UMBC led, 11-9, after 45 minutes, but scored twice in the first 3:24 of the fourth quarter and added two more in a 34-second span in the middle of the stanza to take control.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC is in the midst of a stretch where they play five times in 15 days. As spring break begins for the university, the Retrievers return to the field on Tuesday evening, March 18 when they visit cross-town rival Towson. Game time at Johnny Unitas Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.

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UMBC hopes to bounce back Tuesday against Mercer

Posted on 10 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Men’s Lacrosse Hosts Mercer on Tuesday Evening

SET THE SCENE: UMBC plays its first of two evening, mid-week games of the 2014 season on Tuesday, March 11, when they host the Mercer Bears at UMBC Stadium. Both teams are 2-2 on the season and both have defeated one common opponent, Richmond. The two squads have never met on the lacrosse field, as Mercer is competing in its fourth NCAA Division I campaign. Kevin O’Neill has all the play-by-play action beginning at 7:25 p.m. and video streaming is available via the America East digital network.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: Fueled by sophomore midfielder Pat Young, the UMBC men’s lacrosse team rallied from six goals down to pull within one twice, but could not get over the top, falling to No. 3 Johns Hopkins, 15-8, Saturday afternoon at UMBC Stadium. Young scored four goals and added an assist in the contest and red-shirt freshman netminder Connor Gordon made 16 saves, but JHU outscored UMBC, 6-0, in the final 15 minutes to pull away.  Gordon is ranked sixth in the nation with 13.5 saves per game and is 11th in save percentage at 58.7%. R A Matt Gregoire continues to lead the Retrievers in scoring with 10 goals and 11 total points. Young, who scored four goals and added an assist versus Hopkins, is now just behind with seven goals and three helpers. SO M Jack Gannon, who scored a career-best four points (2g, 2a) versus Hopkins, and Young are the only Retrievers with points in all four games to date.

BEAR UPDATE: Mercer is 2-2 on the season and has not played a game versus NCAA Division I competition since an 11-7 victory in an Atlantic Sun match against Richmond on Feb. 22. The Bears opened the season with a 17-6 victory over Boston U., and then dropped road contests at Michigan (20-7) and Detroit (11-10).  Mercer scored five fourth quarter goals to book a historic 11-7 win over Richmond in the first official Atlantic Sun Conference lacrosse game in Macon, Ga. Eight different Mercer players found the net in the win, led by senior attackman Zack Ward‘s three goal effort. Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Nugent faced 24 shots on goal and made 17 saves in the win to improve to 2-2 on the season. Ward has scored 13 goals and has 17 total points to lead Mercer in both categories. Sophomore attackman Chris Baxa has scored nine goals in support of Ward.
WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC is in the midst of a stretch where they play five times in 15 days. They head to North Carolina on Friday for a Saturday contest at High Point. The opening face-off is set for noon.

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Hopkins tries to stay unbeaten Saturday with short trip to UMBC

Posted on 07 March 2014 by WNST Staff

The Game: Johns Hopkins hits the road for the second straight week as the Blue Jays made the short trip around the beltway to UMBC. Faceoff is set for 1 pm at UMBC Stadium on Saturday, March 8.

Mount St. Mary’s Game Rescheduled: The Johns Hopkins-Mount St. Mary’s game, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 4 in Emmitsburg, was postponed due to unplayable field conditions after a winter storm blew through Maryland on Monday. The game against the Mountaineers has been rescheduled for Monday, April 14 at 4 pm (at Mount St. Mary’s).

A Look Back: Johns Hopkins made it four straight in the win column to open the season as the Blue Jays topped Princeton, 15-9, on the road last Saturday. UMBC picked up its second consecutive victory as the Retrievers topped Richmond, 14-5, at home last Saturday.

Series History: Johns Hopkins and UMBC are meeting for the 12th time in a series that dates to a 15-4 Johns Hopkins victory on March 12, 1983. Johns Hopkins has won all 11 previous meetings, including a 14-11 victory in 2009 in its last trip to UMBC Stadium.

These are the Facts: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game at UMBC with an all-time record of 937-303-15 (.753). The Blue Jays own nine NCAA titles, 29 USILA titles and six ILA titles for a total of 44 national championships.

Poll Position: Johns Hopkins is ranked third in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and fourth in the Warrior/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. UMBC is not ranked in either poll.

Closing on Mr. Scott: Dave Pietramala picked up his 151st victory as the head coach at Johns Hopkins with last week’s 15-9 victory at Princeton and he continues to close in on the record for most career coaching victories at Homewood. Only Bob Scott, who won 158 games as the head coach at JHU from 1955-74, has won or coached (214) more games than Pietramala at Johns Hopkins.

About 4-0: Johns Hopkins is 4-0 for the second time in three years and the fourth time under head coach Dave Pietramala. The Blue Jays previously started 4-0 under Pietramala in 2004, 2005 and 2012.

New Blue: The Johns Hopkins lineup features six new starters after a large senior class departed Homewood last spring. The six are spread throughout the lineup and include Eric Schneider (G), Rob Enright (D), John Kelly (D), Bronson Kelly(M), Connor Reed (M) and Ryan Brown (A). Brown did start four games at midfield last season, but made the move to his natural attack position this season, and Enright had five career starts through his first two seasons.

New Blue II: In addition to the six new starters in the lineup, the overall Blue Jay roster is also vastly different than a year ago. Gone are 11 seniors who exhausted their eligibility and in their place are 17 freshmen.

Youth Will be Served: Johns Hopkins is fielding one of the youngest rosters in the nation this season as 17 of the team’s 49 players are freshmen and 29 are either freshmen or sophomores. Only nine of the 49 are seniors and two of those nine - Eric Schneider and Phil Castronova - have an extra year of eligibility and are planning to return for the 2015 season.

For Starters: Entering the 2014 season, the entire 49-man Johns Hopkins roster counted a total of 132 combined career starts to its credit. Of those 132, Rob Guida (38), Jack Reilly (30), Brandon Benn (29) and Wells Stanwick (17) accounted 114, or 86.7%. No other returning player had started more than five games for the Blue Jays. By contrast, last year’s 11-man senior class graduated with a combined 321 starts with six of those 11 players earning 45 or more starts during their careers.

Must be the Speech: There must be something about the speech that head coach Dave Pietramala gives at halftime that is sparking the Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins was tied with Ohio State at the half (2-2) and led Towson by one (6-5), but the Blue Jays outscored the Buckeyes 6-3 in the third quarter and took that up a notch against the Tigers by outscoring TU 7-1 to put the game away. For the year, Johns Hopkins holds a 20-9 scoring margin in the third quarter. In the first, second and four quarters, JHU is a combined +11 in scoring margin (33-22).

Attack Driven: Johns Hopkins’ starting attack unit of senior Brandon Benn, junior Wells Stanwick and sophomore Ryan Brown will be counted on to lead the way offensively for the Blue Jays this season and the trio has been up to the task thus far. They have combined for at least four goals and nine points in all four games this season, with nine goals against both Towson and Princeton and 16 points against Towson and 14 against Princeton.

Kennedy Shines: Junior Drew Kennedy has gotten off to a quick start at the X for the Blue Jays as he is 54-of-85 (.635) through four games and also has a team-high 37 ground balls thus far. He ranks ninth in the nation in faceoff winning percentage and sixth in ground balls per game (9.25).
Despite missing most of the preseason, Kennedy suited up and fueled Johns Hopkins’ win against Ohio State with a dominating performance as he was 18-of-22 (.818) and grabbed 13 ground balls in the victory. The 18 faceoff wins and 13 GBs are career highs. In addition, Kennedy’s 18 faceoff wins are the most by a Johns Hopkins player since Mike Poppleton won 20 (of 26) against Stony Brook in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
He came back and won 16-of-23 with 10 ground balls against Towson. After winning just 1-of-6 in the first quarter, he was 15-of-17 over the final three quarters against the Tigers.

Crawley Quick Out of the Gate: Freshman John Crawley scored a key goal in the season opener against Ohio State before exploding for four goals on five shots against Towson. He added one goal against Michigan and is now tied for third on the team – and ranks first among midfielders – with six goals on the year. Crawley is the first Johns Hopkins freshman midfielder to score four goals in a game since Paul Rabil scored four times in a 12-11 come-from-behind win at Syracuse on March 18, 2005.

Second-Longest Game in School History: The triple overtime game against Ohio State in the season-opener ranks as the second-longest game in the history of the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program. The longest game in school history was a four-overtime game against Virginia on March 24, 2001.

In Overtime: Johns Hopkins improved to 20-10 all-time in overtime under head coach Dave Pietramala with the 10-9 triple overtime victory against Ohio State. The Blue Jays have now won four of their last five overtime games dating back to late in the 2011 season.

State Rivalries: Johns Hopkins improved its record is to 62-8 (.886) under head coach Dave Pietramala in games played against teams from the state of Maryland with the recent 15-8 victory against Towson.
Including the game against the Tigers, the Blue Jays will play six games this season against in-state rivals.

Poll Position: The Blue Jays are ranked third in this week’s USILA Preseason Coaches Poll. The Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications Office uses the USILA Poll to represent JHU’s official ranking at the time of a game. Prior to falling out of the top 20 of the USILA Poll on April 26 and May 3, 2010 (JHU was receiving votes in both polls), the Blue Jays had been ranked in the top 20 in 367 consecutive polls dating back to the first poll in 1973.

More Poll Position: Including this week’s USILA Poll, there have been 413 weekly polls since the inception of the poll in 1973. Amazingly, JHU has been ranked in the top 20 in 411 of those 413 polls. The Blue Jays have been in the top 10 in 384 of the 413 and the top five in 301 of those 413. Johns Hopkins has been ranked number one 104 times since the poll debuted in 1973.

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UMBC looks for upset Saturday against Johns Hopkins

Posted on 07 March 2014 by WNST Staff

For just the third time in twelve match-ups, the UMBC men’s lacrosse team will host Johns Hopkins University at UMBC Stadium when the two squads face off on Saturday, March 8 at 1:05 p.m. The Retrievers (2-1) have won two straight games in their current four-game homestand, while Hopkins has moved up to No. 3 in the USILA rankings with a 4-0 start. Gary Stein and Kevin O’Neill have all the play-by-play action beginning at 12:55 p.m., video streaming is available via the America East digital network.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: SR A Matt Gregoire led a balanced attack with a career-high five goals and the Retriever defense held Richmond to a season-low five scores in a 14-5 victory in chilly conditions at UMBC Stadium on March 1. Gregoire has now scored nine goals in his last two games. UMBC held Richmond to five goals, the fewest allowed since the 2010 squad defeated Rutgers, 6-5, on Feb. 27, 2010. Red-shirt FR G Connor Gordon came up with double-digit saves for the second consecutive game, posting a 11 stops.  He allowed four of the five UR goals and now has a 62.3 percent save mark, which is tenth-best in the nation. UMBC is eighth in the nation this week in face-off winning percentage (62.5%) and SR face-off specialist Phil Poe is 11th at 62.7%.

BLUE JAY UPDATE: Johns Hopkins (4-0) has moved up to No. 3 in the latest USILA poll, after last Saturday’s convincing 15-9 victory at Princeton. The Jays outscored PU, 8-2, in the second and fourth quarters. SO A Ryan Brown led Hopkins with five goals and three assists versus the Tigers. Hopkins also has victories over Ohio State (10-9, 3ot), Towson (15-8) and Michigan (14-5) in 2014. Brown leads the squad with 12 goals and has 19 total points. JR A Wells Stanwick is the team leader with 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists). He is ranked second in the nation in assists per game, behind Albany’s Lyle Thompson. SR G Eric Schneider has a 7.16 goals against average and a 64.6 save percentage in four starting assignments.

LAST YEAR’S MEETING/SERIES UPDATE: Wes DiRito made nine saves in his first career start, but No. 6 Johns Hopkins ran out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and held off UMBC, 13-7, at Homewood Field on March 8, 2013. Scott Jones and Pat Young each scored two goals to lead the Retrievers. UMBC outshot Hopkins 35-33 and won the ground ball battle, 34-28.

UMBC is winless vs. Johns Hopkins in 11 previous meetings- the Blue Jays are one of just two programs that the Retrievers have faced and do not own a win against. Robert Morris (0-2) is the other program on that short list. Only two of the previous 11 meetings have taken place at UMBC.  The last meeting at UMBC Stadium was in 2009, when the Blue Jays prevailed, 14-11.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC will play its first mid-week game and complete the four-game homestand on Tuesday, March 11, when they meet Mercer for the first-time on the lacrosse field. Face-off time is 7:35 p.m.

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UMBC plays host to winless Richmond Saturday

Posted on 28 February 2014 by WNST Staff

The UMBC (1-1) men’s lacrosse team continues its early season four-game homestand on Saturday, March 1 when the Retrievers host the Richmond Spiders (0-3) at UMBC Stadium. The opening face-off is set for 1:05 p.m. Gary Stein has all the play-by-play action, video streaming is available via the America East digital network.

RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC evened its record at 1-1 with a 10-8 victory over Monmouth on Saturday, Feb .22 at UMBC Stadium. Retriever attackmen accounted for seven of the ten goals, including four by senior Matt Gregoire and three by freshman Max Maxwell. Maxwell earned America East Rookie of the Week honors, as he tallied all three goals in the final 30 minutes of play. SR face-off specialist Phil Poe won 17 of 22 draws and red-shirt FR G Connor Gordon was solid between the pipes, making 12 saves and allowing seven of eight Hawk scores.

SO A Nate Lewnes has been named to the 2014 Tewaaraton Watch List. The Tewaaraton Award annually honors the top college male and female lacrosse player in the United States. Lewnes, an America East All-Rookie Team member in 2013, recorded a pair of assists in last week’s victory over Monmouth.
SPIDER UPDATE: Richmond, a first-year varsity program, has been very competitive through its first three games. The Spiders hosted No. 7 Virginia in their home opener  before 4,249 fans at Robins Stadium and dropped a heartbreaking 13-12 decision on Feb .8. UR has since lost to Hartford (19-11) and at Mercer (11-7). FR A Mitchell Goldberg leads the Spiders with eight goals and 11 points through three games, while SO A Brad Burnam has three goals and a team-best six assists.
WHO’S UP NEXT: For just the third time in 12 meetings, UMBC will welcome Johns Hopkins to UMBC Stadium on Saturday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m.

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UMBC welcomes Monmouth for home opener Saturday

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

SET THE SCENE: UMBC opens its 2014 home schedule on Saturday, Feb. 22, when they welcome the Monmouth Hawks to UMBC Stadium. The Retrievers are looking to rebound from an opening day setback at Maryland, while MU competes in its first-ever Division I contest on Saturday. The opening face-off takes place at 1:05 p.m.  Gary Stein has all the play-by-play action, video streaming is available via the America East digital network.   

RETRIEVER UPDATE: Red-shirt FR G Connor Gordon stopped 15 shots from No. 6 Maryland in his collegiate debut as the Retrievers fell to the Terrapins, 14-3, at Byrd Stadium on Feb. 15. He registered ten saves in the first half alone, five in each quarter, as UMBC (0-1) trailed just 1-0 after the opening frame. SO M Jack Gannon scored his first collegiate goal versus the Terrapins. Gannon, SR M Zach Linkous and SO M Pat Young each contributed a goal and an assist in the contest.
UMBC snapped a three-game losing streak in home openers last season with an 11-7 victory over Rutgers.

HAWK UPDATE:  In its first year of competition, Monmouth University was selected seventh in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll in 2014, according to the league’s head coaches. Under head coach Brian Fisher, the Hawks are in their first season of men’s lacrosse.  Fisher announced that juniors Ryan Horsch and Zach Johannes have been named team captains. Horsch, a transfer from Brookdale Community College, where he helped lead the Jersey Blues to consecutive Region 19 Championships, was honored as a two-time First-Team All-Region 19 defenseman. Johannes, a transfer from Franklin & Marshall, appeared in every game in his two seasons with the Diplomats, and was named the Freshman of the Year in 2012.

WHO’S UP NEXT: UMBC will entertain Richmond next Saturday, March 1. Face-off takes place at 1:05 p.m.

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UMBC opens lacrosse season Saturday at Maryland

Posted on 14 February 2014 by WNST Staff

The UMBC men’s lacrosse team is set to open its 2014 campaign at in-state rival No. 6 Maryland (1-0) on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Byrd Stadium. The opening draw is set for noon and streaming is available on Terps’ TV.

UMBC returns seven starters from last season’s 7-8 squad, which reached the America East title contest. Senior attackman Matt Gregoire (28g ,2013) and sophomores Pat Young (32-7-39) and Nate Lewnes (14-10-24) are expected to lead the Retriever offense. SR face-off specialist Phil Poe is a two-time America East First Team honoree, while the Retrievers will have a new goalkeeper between the pipes in the 2014 debut.

Maryland opened the campaign with a 16-3 victory over Mount St. Mary’s on Feb. 8.

The Retrievers open their seven-game home schedule by welcoming Monmouth in the Hawks’ NCAA Division I debut on Saturday, Feb. 22 (1:00 p.m.).

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UMBC lacrosse hoping to build off late charge last season in 2014 campaign

Posted on 11 February 2014 by WNST Staff

UMBC Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Don Zimmerman is optimistic that what transpired in May and June of 2013 will have a positive impact on the 2014 spring campaign.

For the first time since 2009, UMBC played for the America East title. The Retrievers fell to an extremely talented Albany squad to finish the campaign at 7-8, but left the tournament site at Stony Brook feeling very upbeat about their progress.

“There is no doubt about it,” Zimmerman said.  ”The semifinal win over Hartford, the way we came back in the last six minutes, it was a tremendous come-from-behind win for the team. The fact that we played in the America East Championship game, getting to that next stage, was a big step forward.”

Right after UMBC’s graduation ceremonies, the lacrosse program made its third trip to Japan, taking full advantage of the ever-improving Japanese competition, as well as experiencing an overwhelming cultural experience as a team.

“To continue together as a team and take a trip like we did to Japan definitely brought our returning guys closer together,” said the Retriever mentor, entering his 21st campaign on Hilltop Circle. “That carried over to this year’s freshmen who really benefitted from what transpired last spring and the trip to Japan.”

The Retrievers did lose nearly 50 percent of their letterwinners from the 2013 squad and have suffered some season-ending injuries to several returning players. But the Retriever mentor likes what he sees as UMBC prepares for its 11th America East Conference campaign.

“I really like this team’s attitude,” Zimmerman said. “Since day one, this team has been enthusiastic about playing the game and about playing together as a group.  I like our leadership – we have good leaders which has meant a great deal to this team.”

Seniors Matt Gregoire and Phil Poe and junior Kevin McDonough were announced as team captains for the team in late January.

On offense, Gregoire has steadily built an outstanding career for the Retrievers. The red-shirt senior attackman moved into the starting lineup on a full-time basis in 2013 and produced 28 goals during the season. Described by Coach Zimmerman as “the pillar of our attack,” the two-year team captain will likely move inside to replace Scott Jones, but retains the shooting ability to score from various spots on the field.

Sophomore Nate Lewnes quickly established himself as a mainstay on the attack during his freshman campaign. A member of the America East All-Rookie Team, Lewnes started all 15 games and displayed both finishing (14 goals) and feeding abilities (10 assists). The tough southpaw is a strong dodger and an excellent decision-maker.

The third position on the attack is shaping up to be a battle between junior Ty Kashur and freshman Max Maxwell. Kashur earned a pair of starts in nine appearances in his first season with the Retrievers last spring and is noted for his feeding abilities. Maxwell, a two-time high school All-American, possesses a high lacrosse IQ and outstanding stickwork and will likely play a role on the offense early in the UMBC tenure.

Sophomores Mark Monroe and Drew Borsody also could see action on the attack unit. Monroe, a transfer from Dickinson who sat out the 2013 campaign, possesses excellent size and has displayed good shooting abilities around the cage. Borsody, a walk-on, has proven himself to be a clever inside player.

The offensive midfield lines will feature a blend of experience and youth. The conversation begins with sophomore Pat Young.

Young scored the third-most goals (32) and recorded the fifth-most points (39) of any UMBC freshman at the NCAA Division I level. The 2013 America East Rookie of the Year became the first Retriever to earn America East First Team honors in his freshman campaign. He can break down most players attempting to mark him and possesses a hard, accurate shot, but is also willing to feed and move the ball when necessary.

“Pat Young has the potential to be as good as any midfielder that has ever played at UMBC,” Zimmerman said.  “He must embrace the challenge of fulfilling such high expectations.”

Three seniors also figure into the mix on UMBC’s top two offensive midfield units. Zach Linkous has been a solid point-producer in his three previous seasons on Hilltop Circle. The coaching staff feels he has diversified his game and dedicated himself physically entering his final campaign. Linkous has 30 career goals and can be very dangerous on man-up situations.

Ryan Johnston and Will Fejes should also assume increased roles in their senior campaigns. Johnston has been bitten by the injury bug during his tenure at UMBC, but appears to be ready to go in 2014 and possesses good all-around midfield traits. The speedy Fejes will convert from a defensive to an offensive middie this spring, giving the Retrievers additional depth at midfield.

Sophomore Jack Gannon and freshman Dylan McDermott are other top candidates to compete on the two top lines. Gannon, who logged significant minutes in 2013, is a good all-around midfielder, who is primed for a breakthrough season. McDermott is a blue-collar player, who has clearly derived the benefits of being coached by his father, long-time South Carroll head coach Bill McDermott.

Freshmen Grant Searfoss and Steven Larson should not be ruled out of contributing in their first seasons for the Retrievers.

“Last season, we never really settled into midfield units,” Zimmerman said. “We have changed our approach and hope to settle on two units and let them grow and develop throughout the season.”

The coaching staff likes the depth they possess at the short-stick defensive midfield position. Juniors Kevin McDonough and Tim Lang, sophomore Steve Winsor and freshman James Bull are all likely to contribute in 2014. McDonough, tabbed as a team captain this spring, quickly established himself last year as a player and a leader. He saw action in all 15 games in his first season in the black-and-gold and proved to be sound in all facets of the position.

Lang has settled in at defensive midfield and the veteran has a very good understanding of the nuances of the game. Despite a very good freshman campaign, the coaching staff noticed the biggest growth from Winsor in the off-season and the speedy North Carolina native could play on the offensive end if necessary. Bull is a willing understudy, but possesses the athletic ability to fit well into UMBC’s defensive scheme.

Junior Seth Mackin has taken great steps forward and looks to have secured the leading role as the long-stick defensive midfield. “Seth has really stepped up his game by getting ground balls first-time, knocking down passes. Seth is practicing hard which is building his confidence,” Zimmerman said.

Senior utility man Matt Reeping, another walk-on who has made tremendous strides during his tenure, is slated to serve as Mackin’s back-up. Freshmen Garrett Hasken and Wyatt Griffith are learning every day and provide needed depth at the position.

At the face-off circle, senior Phil Poe is en route to putting his name at the top of the career face-off and ground ball charts in school history. He has finished in the top-20 nationally in 2012 and 2013 in face-off winning percentage and ground balls per game. A team captain, Poe earned his second consecutive America East First Team honor last spring and was selected in the 2014 MLL Collegiate draft by the Boston Cannons.

“We are expecting Phil do the things necessary to have his best year,” Zimmerman said.

Red-shirt senior Joe Impallaria backs up Poe and is another senior that the coaching staff can rely on for leadership. Freshman Alex Phannanstein and the aforementioned Larson are learning from Poe and Impallaria and are bright prospects in-waiting for UMBC.

Juniors Ian Gray and Mike Dahl and sophomore Zach Esser appear likely to form the trio at close defense to start the 2014 campaign. Gray, a red-shirt junior, has started 12 games in the past two seasons and is playing his best lacrosse. The former long-stick midfielder is known for outstanding stickwork, while Dahl is noted for his toughness and communication skills. The 6’2″, 215-pound former Mount St. Joseph product also made six starts last season.

Esser is a very skilled defender, who caused more turnovers (22) than any UMBC freshman since the statistic has been recorded (2003). He will likely be assigned to guard the opposition’s top attackman.

Despite the unavailability of 2013 starting goalkeeper Wes DiRito, the coaching staff regards goalkeeping as another position of strength for the Retrievers.

As a red-shirt freshman, DiRito posted a 6-5 record in a starting role. But he suffered a foot injury in the America East title game, which eventually required surgery and forced him out of action for the year. Red-shirt freshman Connor Gordon, junior college transfer James Maxwell and freshman Ruston Souder have staged a fierce competition for the starting position when the Retrievers open at Maryland on Feb. 15.

Gordon was highly-regarded entering last fall, but suffered an early ACL tear and missed the 2012-13 campaign. But he has returned and looked very solid in the fall and into the early spring. Maxwell, the older brother of freshman attackman Max, led Onondaga CC to a pair of junior college titles in 2012 and 2013. He posted a miniscule goals-against average and is outstanding outside the cage. Souder brings passion and skill to the position as well, giving the coaching staff a tough decision to ponder.

“It is a photo-finish,” Zimmerman said. “It’s really close; we watch and evaluate every day.”

After opening the campaign at Maryland, UMBC will play a mix of local rivals and first-time foes in the non-conference schedule, before opening league play versus Stony Brook at home on March 28. Johns Hopkins will make only its second UMBC Stadium visit when the Retrievers host the Blue Jays on March 8. The Retrievers are aiming to make the America East Tournament at Stony Brook for the 11th consecutive year in early May and build off what the class of 2013 established a year earlier.

“This Retriever team understands the importance of showing up every day ready to work hard and improve,” Zimmerman said. “As always, we have focused on doing the ‘little things’ well on a consistent basis. Practices are competitive and enthusiastic. The team chemistry is strong. Players and coaches are excited about the upcoming season, understanding it will take a determined, consistent effort every day to get the job done.”

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UMBC names three captains for 2014 lacrosse season

Posted on 30 January 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Seniors Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) and Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) and junior Kevin McDonough (Oak Beach, N.Y./St. Anthony’s/Binghamton) have been named team captains for the 2014 UMBC men’s lacrosse team, head coach Don Zimmerman announced today.

“We have very good leaders – that has meant a lot to this team,” Zimmerman said. “Matt Gregoire, Phil Poe and Kevin McDonough are unassuming, but effective leaders.”

Gregoire was tabbed as one of the captains of the 2013 squad early last spring. After red-shirting due to injury in 2010, the senior attackman has built an outstanding resumé for the Retrievers. He started the final 14 games of the 2013 campaign and posted career bests of 28 goals and 32 points. Gregoire excelled in league play, finishing fifth in America East with 3.00 goals per game.

Twenty-seven of his 48 career goals have occurred in ten regular-season America East contests in 2012 and 2013.

Poe has earned America East First Team honors as a face-off specialist in both 2012 and 2013. Last season, he led America East and finished ninth in the nation by winning 58.8 percent of his draws. In addition, Poe set a UMBC single season record with 218 draws won, besting Russ LeClair’s mark of 210, which had stood since 1984. He currently owns 447 career face-off wins, just three shy of Ray Ignacio’s school record of 450, recorded from 1984-87.

Poe was a seventh-round selection by the MLL’s Boston Cannons in the 2014 MLL Collegiate Draft.

McDonough joined the Retrievers last season after competing for one season at Binghamton University in 2011. The short-stick defensive midfielder competed in all 15 games, collecting 24 ground balls and causing four turnovers.

The Retrievers open competition with scrimmages versus Georgetown and Drexel over the next two weeks before commencing regular season play at Maryland on Feb. 15.

NOTE: Gregoire is pronounced “Greg-wahr”

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