Dick Watts, coach of University of Maryland Baltimore County expected his Retrievers to have an edge over visiting Hofstra, which was coming off the artificial turf to play at UMBC Stadium yesterday. But the edge didn't make itself apparent.
The Flying Dutchmen (2-0) controlled the game early, staved off a spurt by UMBC (1-1) midway through the first half and pulled away in the second half for a 12-8 East Coast Conference lacrosse victory.
"I thought we'd have a definite advantage playing on the dirt with Hofstra coming off the [turf]. It's supposed to be harder for a team coming off the turf to pick up the ball," Watts said. "But it sure wasn't apparent. Hofstra got all the ground balls and all of the breaks.
"I'm tremendously disappointed with our performance. I must have overestimated us. But maybe it's because of the youngness of the team."
Hofstra outshot UMBC, 11-2, in the first eight minutes, but managed to score only twice as Retrievers goalie Bob Bailey made seven of his 22 saves in the first quarter.
Then UMBC rallied to take a 3-2 lead early in the second period on a pair of goals by Brian Duncan and one by Jamie Batley. But the Retrievers squandered many scoring opportunities with errant passes and had several other shots thwarted by Flying Dutchmen goalie Kevin Barry, who finished with 20 saves -- hTC seven in the second quarter.
"If you can't catch and throw the ball, you're not going to do well," Watts said. "And defensively we looked like we were lost at times."
A pair of goals by Domenic DiNardo late in the second quarter put the Flying Dutchmen on top to stay, 4-3, and things got worse for UMBC after halftime.
Hofstra kept the pressure on offensively and scored the first three goals of the third quarter. DiNardo took a fast-break feed from Gary Rinaldi to open a 7-3 advantage 10 minutes, 41 seconds into the second half.
After UMBC's Matt Pfeiler (two goals) broke a 24-minute Retrievers scoring drought with an unassisted goal late in the quarter, Hofstra scored the first four goals of the fourth quarter to assume control with an 11-4 lead.
DiNardo led Hofstra with four goals, but it was the senior attackman Rinaldi who did serious damage with five assists. Andrew Carlson also scored three goals for Hofstra.
The Retrievers had trouble finishing all afternoon and got just four goals and two assists from its starting attack unit. On the other side, Hofstra's starting attack combined for seven goals and seven assists.
UMBC gets a chance to correct some of its mistakes Tuesday when it plays host to Michigan State at 3 p.m.
Hofstra 2 2 3 5 -- 12
UMBC 2 1 1 4 -- 8
Goals: H--DiNardo 4, Carlson 3, Laudenslager 2, Ricigliano, Maddock, Barra. M--Duncan 2, Pfeiler 2, Pasko, Marohl, Batley, Arthur. Assists: H--Rinaldi 5, Maddock, DiNardo, Laudenslager, Carlson; M--Pasko, Batley, Marohl, Sam Walker, Bowman. Saves: Barry 20, Cohen 1; M--Bailey 22, Antonopoulos 1.