Retrievers fall to Tigers

men's lacrosse no. 6 princeton 6, no. 4 umbc 5

After strong start to season, UMBC loses second straight

March 07, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

The UMBC men's lacrosse team's hot start has cooled off.

What began as a promising opening has turned into a time of concern as the No. 4 Retrievers lost their second consecutive game with a 6-5 setback to No. 6 Princeton at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville last night.

After beating Delaware, Rutgers and then-No. 15 Colgate by a combined 44-28, UMBC has lost to No. 8 Johns Hopkins and Princeton by a combined 20-16 in four days.

"We just need to come out and keep playing hard," said senior goalkeeper Jeremy Blevins, who made 11 saves. "It's tough to lose two in a row, but you've got to look at what you did wrong and come back and try to fix those mistakes. You can't just dwell on one loss or two losses. You've got to look at the whole season."

Senior midfielder Alex Hopmann led the Retrievers in scoring with two goals, and senior midfielder Peet Poillon assisted on four of the team's goals. Trailing 6-2 at the end of the third quarter, UMBC scored three goals in the last period - including two from senior attackman Ryan Smith and junior midfielder Kyle Wimer in a span of 27 seconds in the final two minutes - but could not get a tying score before time expired.

As in the loss to Johns Hopkins, UMBC's troubles began with faceoffs. Princeton junior Paul Barnes won 13 of 15 faceoffs, including all six in the pivotal third quarter.

The Retrievers (3-2) took a 2-1 lead into the second half, but the Tigers received goals from sophomore attackman Chris McBride, senior midfielder Rich Sgalardi, sophomore attackman Jack McBride and senior midfielder Mark Kovler in a span of 3:49.

The Retrievers were finally credited with a faceoff victory to begin the fourth quarter.

"I think when it's 13-2, that's a pretty heavy imbalance," Retrievers coach Don Zimmerman said. "It wasn't just the guys who go down there and take the draw; it's our wings. We were getting out-fought on the wings. Monday, we're going to come out and we're going to start to shake things up and find guys who have what it takes to get in there and help us get the ball. Right now, I'm not seeing it."

For the season, UMBC is just 41 of 125 (32.8 percent) on faceoffs and has yet to reach the 50 percent mark in a contest.

Kovler paced the Tigers (3-0) with two goals and an assist, and Chris McBride scored twice. Freshman goalie Tyler Fiorito (McDonogh) made 10 saves. The Retrievers averaged 13.8 goals before last night.

"We're very confident that all of our defenders can guard anyone in the country," Fiorito said. "Against UMBC, we were showing the slides and then trying to turn them back. They're still a great team. The game's never over, especially with that team."

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