Nine UMBC lacrosse players honored by America East

April 30, 2014 | WNST Staff

Stony Brook, N.Y. – UMBC senior Matt Gregoire (Crofton, Md./South River) and sophomores Zach Esser (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) and Pat Young (Ewing, N.J./Christchurch (Va.) School) earned America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse First Team honors, the league announced at its pre-championship awards banquet this evening.

Six other Retrievers were honored for their performances on the field and in the classroom in voting done by the league’s head coaches. Senior Phil Poe (Harwood, Md./DeMatha)  and sophomores Jack Gannon (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) and Steve Winsor (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) earned AE Second Team honors.  Freshmen starters Connor Gordon (Bourne, Mass./Tabor Academy) and Max Maxwell (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) were named to the All-Rookie Team and senior Ryan Johnston (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) was selected to the league’s All-Academic Team.

The nine conference honorees for UMBC represents the most for the program since 12 Retrievers were cited in 2009.

The all-conference selections are the first for Gregoire and Esser. Gregoire, an attackman and team captain, is currently second in the nation with 3.15 goals scored per game. His 41 goals scored is currently tied for the fifth-most in school history and his eight-point effort (5g, 3a) at Vermont on April 26 moved him past the 100-point plateau (89-13-102) for his career.

Esser started all 13 games at close defense in 2014 and is tied for the team lead with 14 caused turnvoers.  He is also third on the squad with 29 ground balls.

Young is a repeat First Team selection, after earning that honor to go along with his 2013 Rookie of the Year award.  The sophomore midfielder has 27 goals and 36 points to date and has scored 59 goals in less than two full collegiate seasons. Young becomes the seventh player in school history to earn multiple AE First Team recognition.

Poe earns his third conference honor, after receiving First Team accolades in 2012 and 2013. The face-off specialist owns UMBC’s single-game, single-season and career marks for draws won and is fifth amongst all active players in career face-offs won (632). He set the 2014 NCAA single-game mark and broke his own school record by controlling 28 draws at Vermont on April 26. He also garnered a school-record 20 ground balls in the game, tying a Division I mark for the season and vaulting into third place on UMBC’s all-time list with 323.

Also a team captain, Poe is the fifth Retriever to earn placement on three all-league teams, joining attackman Brendan Mundorf (2004-06), attackman Drew Westervelt (2005-07), midfielder Terry Kimener (2006-08), and attackman Scott Jones (2011-13) to achieve the distinction.

Gannon, a sophomore midfielder, recorded a single assist in 2013, but has posted a 40-point season (18-22-40) in 2014. He is tied for 24th in the nation with 1.69 assists per game and has multiple points in 12 of 13 contests.

Winsor has seen action in all 13 games this season as a short-stick defensive midfielder. The sophomore has recorded three goals, 13 ground balls and is a valuable asset in clearing opportunities.

Gordon and Maxwell have both started all 13 games in their initial seasons of intercollegiate competition. Gordon, who suffered a torn ACL in the fall of 2012 and red-shirted last year, made 15 or more saves in three contests in 2014 and is currently sixth nationally with 12.2 saves per game. His 159 saves is two shy of the UMBC freshman record, held by Bob Bailey (1989).

Maxwell is tied with Gannon for the team lead in assists (22) and his 14 helpers (2.8 per game) in America East play is second in the conference. The attackman has the second-most assists of any freshman in school history, trailing only Chris Turner, who dished out 29 in 1996.

This season marks the fourth time that the Retrievers have placed two student-athletes on the AE All-Rookie team. Pat Young and sophomore Nate Lewnes (Arnold, Md./St. Mary’s) earned honors in 2013.

Johnston, a senior who elevated his game in conference play, maintains a 3.32 grade-point average in the major of business technology administration. The attackman/midfielder has five goals and three assists to date. He tied a UMBC school record by scoring three man-up goals in a game versus Hartford on April 12.

The third-seeded Retrievers (7-6, 3-2 AE) take on second-seeded Binghamton (7-7, 4-1 AE) in the first semifinal match-up of the America East Tournament. The contest is set for Thursday, May 1st at Stony Brook’s La Valle Stadium with the opening draw scheduled for 5:00 p.m.