Burlington, Vt. – 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.
The Retrievers complete the regular season at 7-6 overall and 3-2 in America East play. UMBC will be the No. 3 seed for the America East Tournament, which begins on Thursday, May 1st at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium.
Senior face-off specialist Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) 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.
Sophomore attackman Nate Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) and senior linemate Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) shared game-high scoring honors with eight points apiece. Lewnes scored seven goals and added an assists – the performance was UMBC’s first seven-goal effort since Brendan Mundorf tallied seven times versus Stony Brook on April 29, 2006.
Gregoire scored five goals and added three helpers. He became the fifth UMBC Division I player to score 40 or more goals (41) in a season and also became the 31st player in school history to reach the 100-point plateau (89-13-102).
The Retrievers trailed, 5-1, after 15 minutes, but it took just 5:40 of the second stanza for UMBC to grab the lead for good. Poe won 9 of 11 draws in the quarter and Lewnes, Gregoire and sophomore midfielder Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch (Va.)) School) each scored twice in a 6-0 surge that put the Retrievers ahead, 7-5, with 7:56 to play in the stanza. Senior midfielder Ryan Johnston (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) ended the run with an extra-man score with 2:25 to play until halftime.
On three occasions in the quarter, UMBC scored a pair of goals with less than one minute elapsing from the game clock.
Vermont would battle back in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors, 3-1, to come within 12-8 after 45 minutes.
UMBC appeared to put the game away when they scored three times in a 53-second span early to take a seven-goal advantage. Lewnes tallied an unassisted goal 1:07 into the frame, then fed Gregoire for his final goal of the day 51 seconds later. Vermont drew a flag for a late hit after that goal, and Lewnes scored two seconds later on the re-start.
But Vermont went on a 6-1 run and came within 16-14 on Graham Horvath’s team-best fourth score of the game with 1:03 to play. But Poe won the ensuing draw and Lewnes broke through a double-team and scored his seventh and the game’s final goal into an empty net with 37 seconds to play.
UMBC freshman attackman Max Maxwell (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) added a goal and a team-best three assists in the game and Young scored a pair of goals.
Vermont outshot UMBC, 44-39, as UMBC red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gordon (Bourne, Mass./Tabor Acad.) made 12 stops and allowed 13 of the Catamount’s 14 goals. Vermont starter Nate Billings took the loss, making three saves and allowing 11 goals in 23:42 of action.
Notes: UMBC is now 11-0 all-time versus Vermont… The Retrievers have finished above the .500 mark in conference play in all eleven America East campaigns… Gregoire’s 41 goals are the most in a season for UMBC since Cayle Ratcliffe netted 42 in 2007… Poe now has a career-best 112 ground balls on the campaign, the most-ever by a UMBC Division I player and tied for the fourth-most in school history… His 28 face-off wins is three more than two other players who shared the NCAA single-game mark in 2014 entering play this week… The 20 ground balls recorded ties Bryant’s Kevin Massa, who has done it on two occasions in 2014.