Ann Arbor, Mich – UMBC (3-5) could not pull off its third straight road victory in three weeks as the Retrievers dropped a narrow 10-7 decision to No. 20 Michigan (8-1) in overcast, drizzly conditions at Michigan Stadium.
UMBC junior midfielder Max Haldeman (York, Pa.) led the Retriever offense by posting his first three-goal effort of the season. Senior netminder Ruston Souder (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) collected 13 saves, one shy of his season high, as the Retrievers were oushot by the Wolverines, 32-24.
The game was the Retrievers’ sixth road contests in eight games this year. They were coming off road triumphs at Marist (6-4) and Stony Brook (12-9) and will play three of the remaining five America East games at UMBC Stadium.
The Retrievers led briefly when Haldeman opened the scoring with an unassisted tally just 3:08 into the game. But Michigan’s Mike Schlosser equalized 25 seconds later and gave the Wolverines a 2-1 lead just 55 seconds later. The hosts extended the lead to 3-1 before Haldeman closed the quarter the way he started it, netted an unassisted goal with just 11 seconds to play in the period to close the gap to 3-2.
UMBC would get the game knotted at 3-all just 18 seconds into the second quarter as senior defensive middie Dylan McDermott (Westminster, Md./South Carroll) scored off the initial face-off win. Freshman specialist Jake Brothers (Elkridge, Md./Mount St. Joseph) won the draw, fed senior attackman Max Maxwell (Hamburg, N.Y.), who found McDermott for the game-tying goal.
But Michigan went on its second of three 3-0 runs of the game and would take a 6-3 lead to the latter stages of the period. Retriever sophomore midfielder Billy Nolan (Crofton, Md./Arundel) ended the scoring for the half with an unassisted tally at the 13:39 mark to trim the deficit to 6-4 at the break.
On two occasions in the third quarter, UMBC cut the deficit to one goal, but never had the ball with a chance to tie. Haldeman completed his hat trick with 5:25 to play in the stanza, but Michigan countered on a man-up goal exactly one minute later. Then, Maxwell trimmed the deficit to 7-6 two minutes later, setting up the crucial sequence of the game.
Souder nearly performed a miraculous feat, as he made three saves in a span of 76 seconds later in the quarter. But after Michigan’s fourth shot in the sequence hit the post, attackman Brett Noseworthy picked up the ground ball and scored a huge goal with four seconds to play in the period to give the hosts an 8-6 lead after 45 minutes.
Midway through the fourth, the Retrievers had a chance to cut the gap to one again, but could not capitalize on a man-up chance. Moments later, Michigan’s Ian King scored to give the hosts a 9-6 lead with five minutes left and the Wolverines went on to their fourth consecutive victory.
Maxwell was the only other Retriever to score multiple points, with a goal and a helper and became the seventh Retriever to record 80 assists in his career.
King and Noseworthy scored three goals each for Michigan.
Brothers won 10 of 19 draws, as Michigan narrowly won the face-off battle, 11-10. The Wolverines also forced 10 of 13 UMBC turnovers, while UM only gave the ball away on eight occasions.
The final month of regular season play gets underway on Sat., April 1, when UMBC hosts UMass Lowell. The opening face-off is set for 3:00 p.m.