Under new head coach Ryan Moran, the UMBC men's lacrosse team opens the 2017 campaign on Sat., Feb. 4, when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to take on defending national champion North Carolina.
The game will be played at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C. at 3:00 p.m. It is being moved from Chapel Hill because of a current water emergency in Orange County, North Carolina.
Cardinal Gibbons High School Stadium is located at 1401 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh, N.C., 27607.
Live stats' links will be available via www.umbcretrievers.com and fans can also follow via the men's lacrosse program's Twitter feed (UMBC_MLax). Access is also available via UMBC Front Row, UMBC Athletics' mobile website.
In June of 2016, Ryan Moran (Maryland, '03) was named UMBC's third head men's lacrosse coach since the program entered the USILA in 1971. UMBC's new mentor honed his skills on staffs at Navy, Maryland, and, for the past two seasons at Loyola Maryland. The Greyhounds earned a trip to the national semifinals a year ago and Moran's offense produced over 12 goals per game over the final 10 games of the season.
Moran and his staff of Jamison Koesterer, Neil Hutchinson and Joe Bucci welcomed back 28 letterwinners from a squad that battled hard in 2016, but produced a 4-10 overall record and a 1-5 conference slate.
The team selected seniors Max Maxwell and Ruston Souder and sophomore Jason Brewster as its 2017 team captains. Maxwell, a three-year starter on the attack unit, ranked tenth nationally and second in America East in assists per contest with 2.14 last spring. Maxwell became the 11th Retriever to post 30 assists in a single season and has amassed 106 career points.
Souder has started 15 games over the past two campaigns, finishing the 2015 and 2016 as the starting netminder. Brewster saw action in all 14 games in his initial collegiate campaign. The Californian garnered 20 ground balls, caused three turnovers and scored once in 2016.
For the fifth-straight season, the Albany Great Danes are the favorites in America East men's lacrosse according to the conference's 2017 preseason coaches' poll. UMBC was picked in the fifth position in the seven-team conference.
UMBC opens the 2017 slate by taking on the 2016 national champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC is ranked No. 1 in the USILA pre-season poll. A week later, the Retrievers travel to No. 8 Johns Hopkikns. Towson (No. 12) and Albany (No. 13) are other ranked teams on the schedule, while Richmond, Stony Brook and Vermont also received votes in the pre-season poll.
Maxwell needs just five assists to move into UMBC's all-time top ten... He enters the campaign with 40 goals and 66 helpers... His 30 assists in 2016 is the eighth-most (tied) in a single season in school history... Sophomores Jack Andrews and Billy Nolan made the 2016 America East All-Rookie Team... Andrews scored 14 goals and added 15 assists in 13 games and led the team with a 77.4 shots-on-goal percentage... Nolan earned starts at midfield in 13 of 14 contests... Junior midfielder Max Haldeman produced an outstanding second half the campaign in 2016 and the hard-shooting southpaw tied for second on the squad with 15 goals... Junior LSDM Billy O'Hara is expected to reprise his role as the primary long-stick defensive midfielder... Despite missing two late games due to injury, the junior led the team in ground balls and caused 17 turnovers in 2016... UMBC's last two games of 2016 went into overtime - the Retrievers defeated UML, 9-8, on a Max Maxwell goal and fell, 15-14, to Albany, in the season finale... Nate Lewnes tied a school record by scoring 10 goals in his final UMBC contest.
TAR HEEL UPDATE
Six Tar Heels are featured on the preseason All-America Teams led by senior defenseman Austin Pifani on the first-team squad.
Pifani is joined by a fellow close defenseman, sophomore Jack Rowlett, on the second team squad. A pair of Tar Heels are featured on the third team squad – senior attackman Luke Goldstock (31g, 22a, '16) and senior face-off man Stephen Kelly (57.4% face-off, 124 ground balls) Two more members of head coach Joe Breschi's team were tapped for honorable mention All-America honors. Junior attackman Chris Cloutier (43g, 14a, '16) and senior midfielder Michael Tagliaferri (27g, 9a) are featured on that squad.
North Carolina is coming off a 12-6 season in 2016 in which the Tar Heels won their fifth overall NCAA championship and its first title since 1991.
This will be the 27th meeting between UMBC and UNC, but the first since 2011. The Tar Heels hold a 20-6 series lead and have won five straight contests in the all-time series. UMBC's last win was a 10-8 triumph at UMBC Stadium in 2003. In the most recent meeting, UNC edged UMBC, 13-9, at Fetzer Field in 2011. The Tar Heels have won 12 of 13 meetings in at home and ten straight since UMBC's lone victory in 1975.
UMBC makes the short trip to Homewood Field for a Sat., Feb. 11 contest No. 8 Johns Hopkins. Face-off time is slated for 1:00 p.m.