The UMBC men's lacrosse team makes its 2017 home debut on Saturday, Feb. 25 when the Retrievers host the Mercer Bears. Due to impending storms in the region, the opening face-off will now take place at 11:00 a.m. at UMBC Stadium. The contest will be broadcast on www.umbcretrievers.tv with Gary Stein on the call.
Live video and 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.
Scouting the Retrievers
UMBC cut a late six-goal deficit in half, but could not complete the comeback and fell at 16th-ranked Richmond, 10-5, at Robins Stadium on February 18.
Sophomore midfielder Billy Nolan was the lone multiple point scorer for UMBC (0-3) with a goal and a helper. UMBC outshot UR, 32-24, and face-offs were even at 9-all. Freshman Jake Brothers attempted all 18 draws in the game and won five-of-seven in the final 15 minutes. He also scored his first collegiate goal to cut the gap to 8-5 in the fourth quarter.
Junior LSDM Billy O'Hara produced an outstanding game with a goal, four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
UMBC could not take advantage of four man-up opportunities, failing on all four chances.
Senior attackman Max Maxwell leads UMBC with five goals and two assists through two games. Sophomore attackman Jack Andrews has one goal and three helpers. Senior goalkeeper Ruston Souder has played all 180 minutes to date, making 27 saves against three of the nation's elite squads.
Brothers was selected as America East Conference Men's Lacrosse Rookie of the Week, for games through February 11. He has won 17 draws in his first two games against top-ranked North Carolina and Hopkins. He is second on the squad with six ground balls and has a face-off winning percentage of 47.2 percent against the nation's elite specialists.
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.
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.
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 opened the 2017 slate by taking on the 2016 national champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC was ranked No. 1 in the USILA pre-season poll. No. 8 Johns Hopkins, Towson (No. 12) and Albany (No. 13) are other ranked teams in the pre-season on the schedule, while Richmond, Stony Brook and Vermont also received votes in the pre-season poll.
Maxwell needs just three assists to move into UMBC's all-time top ten... He now has 44 goals and 68 helpers... His 30 assists in 2016 is the eighth-most (tied) in a single season in school history... Brewster, who caused five turnovers in the opener at UNC, is 11th in the nation with 2.67 caused miscues through games of Feb. 20.
Scouting the Bears
Mercer opened at home with a tough 13-12 overtime loss to America East rival Vermont, then rebounded to get a 10-8 victory over Detroit Mercy in Louisville, Ky.
Sophomore attackman Jake Nelson broke a 7-all tie in the fourth quarter and scored an insurance marker with 2:41 to play to propel the Bears over the Titans last Saturday. Nelson, a transfer from Binghamton, scored four goals and added a helper in the victory and leads Mercer with six goals and eight total points in two contests.
The Bears held a 12-9 lead with just over four minutes remaining against Vermont, but the Catamounts scored three times in less than two minutes to send the game to overtime and won 2:28 into the overtime frame.
The tandem of Kiel Brennan and Will Beecham has dominated the face-off x, winning 63.3 percent of the draws to date. Freshman netminder Bradley Hodoval has earned both decisions and is stopping 54.5 percent of shots on goal.
The two teams met in 2014 and UMBC broke open a close game by outscoring Mercer, 7-0, in the third quarter and prevailing, 15-6 at UMBC Stadium. Retriever senior midfielder Grant Searfoss produced his best collegiate game, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist in the triumph.
UMBC hosts local rival Towson (currently ranked tied-No. 12) on Saturday, March 4. The opening draw is set for noon and will be available on www.umbcretrievers.tv with Gary Stein on the call.