Albany, N.Y. -- The UMBC men's lacrosse team came close to repeating as America East champion, but the visiting Retrievers dropped a tough 15-14 decision to top-seeded Albany yesterday in the title game of the tournament.
UMBC's six-game winning streak came to an end and the No. 13 Retrievers fell to 10-5. The No. 8 Great Danes are 9-0 at home this season.
A 5-0 run by the Great Danes (14-2) in the first half propelled them to a 6-2 lead, and UMBC had to play catch-up the rest of the way. Albany led 8-5 at halftime and built a 13-8 margin after three quarters.
The Retrievers got within 14-13 on a goal by Alex Hopmann with 5:21 to play. But Albany long-stick midfielder Chris Schonger scored on the ensuing faceoff to restore a two-goal lead 13 seconds later.
Hopmann scored his third goal of the game with 1:11 to play to bring UMBC within 15-14, and the Retrievers won the next draw. But UMBC committed a turnover and UMBC defender Travis Begay was called for slashing with 44 seconds left. The Retrievers forced a turnover and came down for the potential game-tying score, but Kelvin Moulden's crossing pass to an open Terry Kimener deflected off the top of his stick with 14 seconds left, and Albany was able to clear the ball and run out the clock.
Albany has won four of the past five league titles, only interrupted by the Retrievers' 19-10 title win in Baltimore last season.
"They're a great team. We didn't play a great first half, but we came back in the fourth quarter," said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman. "I'm very proud - I'm always proud of this team. They've played hard through adversity, and I think you saw that character today."
Hopmann and senior midfielder P.J. Kimener scored three goals each for UMBC, and Andy Gallgher, Cayle Ratcliffe and Kyle Wimer added two each.
Senior attackman Drew Westervelt had four assists and has 199 career points. Gallagher, Westervelt and sophomore goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins, who made a season-high 15 saves, were named to the all-tournament team.
The nation's leading scorer, Albany attackman Frank Resetarits, had six goals and two assists. Merrick Thomson added three goals and Mike Ammann had five assists.
Each team had 40 shots, but the Great Danes controlled 20 of 33 faceoffs. Albany trails in the series 4-3, and five of the games in the series have been decided by one goal.
UMBC 2 3 3 6 - 14
Albany 3 5 5 2 - 15
Goals: UMBC-Hopmann 3, Kimener 3, Gallagher 2, Ratcliffe 2, Wimer 2, Burch, Latham; A-Resetarits 6, Thomson 3, Green 2, Small, Ammann, Wolf, Schongar. Assists: UMBC -Westervelt 4, Burch, Gallagher, Hopmann, Kimener; A-Ammann 5, Resetarits 2, Green, Levine. Saves: UMBC -Blevins 15; A-Queener 12, McKeon.