UMBC (5-7, 3-2 America East) can secure the No. 2 seed in next week's America East Tournament with a victory over the Vermont Catamounts (5-7, 1-4 AE) on Saturday, April 29 in the regular season finale. The opening face-off is set for noon at UMBC Stadium.
A Retriever setback and a Hartford loss at Albany on Saturday evening would give the Retrievers the No. 3 seed. A Hawk win, combined with a Retriever loss would drop UMBC the No. 4 seed and a date with regular season champion Albany on the Great Danes' home field.
The game will be streamed live on www.umbcretrievers.tv with Gary Stein on the call. A live stats' link 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
Prior to the noon opening face-off, the men's lacrosse program will honor its eight seniors, competing for the final time at UMBC Stadium. The seniors are Pat Dignan, Wyatt Griffith, Garrett Hasken, Steven Larson, Max Maxwell, Dylan McDermott, Grant Searfoss and Ruston Souder.
UMBC has clinched a berth in the America East Tournament and would be the championship's No. 2 seed with a win over Vermont. The berth is the Retrievers' first since 2014 as the semi-finals will get underway at regular season champion Albany on Thursday, May 4.
A senior-laden, desperate Hartford Hawks' men's lacrosse team stayed alive to defend their 2016 America East title as they defeated visiting UMBC, 13-8, on Senior Day at Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium last Saturday. Sophomore midfielder Billy Nolan led the Retrievers with three goals, notching hat tricks in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Nolan has scored 13 of his 15 goals in five league contests.
Max Maxwell, the lone Retriever to score in all 12 games, leads UMBC with 16 goals and 18 assists. Maxwell has moved into 16th place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 140 points (56 goals, 84 assists). He needs just one assist to tie Emmett Lazaro ('77) for fifth place with 85 career assists.
Ruston Souder became 10th player in school history to record 300 saves (304).
Three Retrievers have earned America East weekly awards in 2017. Freshman face-off specialist Jake Brothers earned Rookie of the Week on Feb. 13, midfielder Billy Nolan captured the Player of the Week award on March 20, and Souder was tabbed Defensive Player of the Week on April 3.
The 13 goals allowed by the Retrievers was the most permitted since a 15-5 loss at Johns Hopkins on February 11. UMBC was allowing just 7.8 goals per contest in four previous America East contests.
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.
The Retrievers had made the tournament in its first 11 league campaigns, capturing three titles (2006, 2008, 2009).
UMBC opened the 2017 slate by taking on the 2016 national champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels, ranked No. 1 in the USILA pre-season poll. No. 8 Johns Hopkins, Towson (No. 12) and Albany (No. 13) were other ranked teams in the pre-season, while Richmond, Stony Brook and Vermont received votes.
Scouting the Catamounts
Vermont (5-7, 1-4 AE) opened the season at 3-0, but has dropped seven of its last nine games. The Catamounts had the week off after being eliminated from America East Tournament contention by Stony Brook in a narrow 10-9 setback on April 15.
Vermont's average margin of defeat in its last three AE setbacks is 2.0 goals per game.
The Catamounts are averaging 10.2 goals per game, but allowing 11.3. Their foes are taking 10 more shots per game (40.3-30.3) and the Cats have suffered 17.8 miscues per contest.
Three Catamounts have scored 20 or more goals - Freshman attackman Ben French leads the squad with 25, while senior linemate Cam Milligan and sophomore attacker Dawes Milchling each have 22. Milligan leads UVM with 42 total points.
Freshman goalkeeper Nick Washuta is 4-7 on the season and owns a solid 52.5 save percentage.
UMBC won the first 11 meetings between the two squads before Vermont rallied to stun the Retrievers, 11-10, in April of 2015 at UMBC Stadium. UVM secured its first win in Burlington a year ago, as they prevailed, 14-10.
Max Maxwell scored three goals and added two assists each, but Vermont piled up 10 first-half goals and held off a late UMBC rally.
UMBC will compete in the America East Championship semi-finals on Thursday, May 4. The Retrievers can play in either semi-final contest – if they are the No. 2 seed, UMBC would play either Binghamton or Stony Brook at 4:30 p.m., while the Retrievers would face regular season champion Albany if they are the No. 4 seed at 7:00 p.m. Both semi-final games take place at Albany's Tom & Mary Casey Stadium at the University at Albany.
The championship contest takes place at noon on Saturday, May 6, also at Casey Stadium.