UMBC edges Albany again

Better down stretch, Retrievers top Great Danes by 1 for 4th consecutive time

UMBC 10 Albany 9

College Lacrosse

April 03, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

Nowhere is it written in the official collegiate lacrosse rules that UMBC and Albany are required to play a game decided by one goal.

But they followed that script perfectly again yesterday when No. 17 UMBC shed its late-game troubles for the second straight time and fought off the 11th-ranked Great Danes, 10-9, in its America East lacrosse opener before 1,430 fans at sun-splashed UMBC Stadium.

These two teams have met four times in the past three seasons, and every one has been decided by a single goal, with the final either 10-9 or 9-8.

"We're just very equally matched, so it's a good rivalry," Retrievers coach Don Zimmerman said.

"We respect one another and the players realize the America East is an up-and-coming conference. That adds to the drama of the games."

"I told our kids all week it was going to be close," Albany coach Scott Marr said. "Their style tends to keep it that way because they don't really pick up the tempo, so you know you're going to stay in the game."

UMBC (4-3, 1-0) led most of the way before taking a 10-8 advantage with 1:53 to play on an extra-man goal by Evan Kay (Friends) after a feed by Brendan Mundorf (Mount St. Joseph). The score came 23 seconds into a costly slashing penalty against Albany midfielder Matthew Green.

"I don't know about a penalty at that time," Marr said. "It was kind of a chaotic situation. But the referee said he clearly did it."

Albany (4-4, 1-1) responded with a goal by Jordan Levine just 16 seconds later but UMBC won the ensuing faceoff and - with the aid of two timeouts - ran out the clock for its second successive victory.

Down the stretch, Retrievers goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins (Calvert Hall), a 5-foot-8, 135-pound freshman, made two huge stops after Albany had cut the lead to 9-8.

"It wasn't the greatest day for me," said Blevins, who made five of his nine saves in the final period. "But we came up big at the end, thank God. I had seen them making the extra pass all day and I didn't go for the fake [shot] and was right there."

The Retrievers' offense was again resourceful in a game conducted almost entirely without a scoreboard, which was malfunctioning. That made for a lot of guesswork about fleeting seconds.

"You plan your timeouts according to the time left, so it made it tough," Zimmerman said.

"It's hard to play without seeing the time," Marr said. "And it's hard for the officials to determine some of the stalling. But I don't think it was a factor that caused us to lose."

UMBC had been outscored 19-4 in the fourth quarter before closing out Denver with a 4-1 run in the final 10 minutes in the preceding game.

This time, Zimmerman said he played more midfielders and defenders in an effort to keep the team fresher for the finish.

As the third quarter ended, Frank Resetarits, the Great Danes' top scorer, hit the net after a frantic rush upfield in an attempt to beat the clock. The officials disallowed the goal, indicating that the ball had not reached the goal when the horn sounded.

If that goal had counted, these two closely matched rivals might still be playing.

kent.baker@baltsun.com

Albany 2 3 2 2 - 9

UMBC 3 4 1 2 - 10

Goals: A-Resetarits 2, Thomson 2, Cometti, Wolf, Dale, Stankard, Levine; UMBC-Mundorf 3, Kimener 3, Kay 3, Gallagher. Assists: A-Resetarits 2, Thomson 2, Cometti, Dale, Endres, Wolf; UMBC-Gallagher, Hyland, Kay, Kimener, Mundorf, Westervelt. Saves: A-Queener 13; UMBC-Blevins 9. A: 1,430.

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