Moon Township, Pa.-Senior attackman Scott Jones (Port Coquitlam, B.C./Terry Fox) scored four goals, but visiting UMBC dropped its season opener, 12-9, at Robert Morris (1-1) at Joe Walton Stadium.
In a contest similar to the 2012 season opener, UMBC stayed within striking distance for 60 minutes, but never led in the game.
Retriever freshman midfielder Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch (Va.) School) added two goals, junior midfielder Zach Linkous (Jarrettsville, Md./St. Paul’s) posted one goal and one helper and senior attackman Joe Lustgarten (Wading River, N.Y./Wading River) added a pair of assists.
Colonial freshman midfielder Eric Rankle led all scorers with five goals and one assist.
The Retrievers fell, 10-8, to Robert Morris at UMBC Stadium to open the 2012 season. UMBC never led, but did even the score at 8-8 early in the fourth quarter. But RMU quickly regained the advantage and held UMBC off the board over the final ten minutes to prevail.
For the second straight year, UMBC was victimized by solid RMU goalkeeping. The Colonials made 16 saves in last year’s contest and RMU netminder Charles Ruppert stopped 13 UMBC shots this afternoon.
UMBC senior goalkeeper Adam Cohen (Arnold, Md./The Severn School) stopped eight shots for the visitors.
The Retrievers outshot RMU, 33-32, including 20-16 in the final 30 minutes. Both teams committed 25 turnovers in below-freezing conditions just outside of Pittsburgh.
Young, getting the start at midfield in his first collegiate game, equalized the game at 1-1 and 2-2 in the first quarter, scoring the second goal at the 7:38 mark. But the Colonials scored twice in a 10-second span late in the first quarter to take a 4-2 lead after 15 minutes.
Jones scored his first goal of the game just 1:18 into the second quarter, but RMU again strung back-to-back scores to take a 6-3 lead late in the stanza. Linkous scored an unassisted goal from the right alley to give UMBC momentum heading to intermission and the deficit reduced to 6-4.
Jones, who recorded his 14th career hat trick, opened the second half with a score after a 30-second warning at the 12:05 mark. But that goal would be the only time UMBC would string back-to-back scores together in the game.
RMU’s Jacob Ruest and Jones exchanged mid-third quarter scores, but the hosts rattled off a pair of goals in a span of 1:39 late in the third quarter and led, 9-6, after 45 minutes.
UMBC junior face-off specialist Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha) won the opening draw of the fourth quarter and scored five seconds into play. The Retrievers appeared to have momentum as they went on a one-minute, man-up situation moments later, but the game flipped as UMBC failed to capitalize and RMU scored 19 seconds after the penalty expired.
The Retrievers got to within 10-8 and then 11-9 on Jones’ fourth goal with 3:11 remaining, and had a possession to creep closer, but were unable to and the hosts scored into an unguarded net with 29 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
UMBC did win many of the statistical battles, capturing 15 of 25 draws, outdueling RMU, 39-31, on ground balls and clearing 20 of 22 times. But the Retrievers were 0-for-4 on the extra-man in the second half.
Senior Neill Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) and sophomore LSM Seth Mackin (Davidsonville, Md./South River) led all players with seven and six ground balls respectively.
UMBC opens the home schedule on Sat., Feb. 23 when they host Rutgers at 1:00 p.m.