UMBC men hold on to turn back Towson, 10-9

April 07, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

The UMBC men's lacrosse team breathed a little life back into the program, outlasting Towson, 10-9, before 836 at UMBC Stadium Wednesday night.

While the win is a modest gain for a team in the cellar of the America East standings, it did provide the Retrievers with a sliver of confidence heading into the final four games of the regular season.

"This team needed a win and a good, hard-fought win, and that's what they got tonight," UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said. "Now we can build our confidence from there and move forward."

The Retrievers (3-5) scored the first three goals of the first quarter and never trailed. But the Tigers (2-7) made it interesting, scoring two goals in a span of 31 seconds to trail by one with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Towson sophomore Matt Thomas won the ensuing faceoff, but two shots by senior midfielder Pat Britton went wide left and sophomore attackman Matt Hughes' last-second attempt also trickled wide left.

"Everybody played with incredible desire in the last two minutes," Tigers coach Tony Seaman said. "We've got to translate that for the other 58 minutes."

Junior attackman Rob Grimm tied a career high with five points on three goals and two assists despite being benched for the first time this season.

"You'd like to start a game," said Grimm, who leads the team in assists (13) and points (23). "I think not starting definitely helped me to be more focused and to realize that patience is definitely a virtue in this game."

Unlike the team that barely showed up for Friday night's 16-5 loss to No. 10 Stony Brook, UMBC looked energetic and determined. After Grimm scored the first goal of the game just 85 seconds into the first quarter, freshman Phil Poe won the ensuing faceoff and tucked a shot over Tigers senior goalie Travis Love with 13:29 left.

At the 9:07 mark, senior midfielder Jamie Kimbles face-dodged past senior midfielder Peter Mezzanotte and scored from the left alley to give the Retrievers a 3-0 lead. At 7:20, Love (zero saves) was pulled in favor of sophomore Andrew Wascavage.

Towson cut the deficit to two twice in the first half, but UMBC answered each comeback attempt with a goal of its own.

Trailing 6-3 at halftime, the Tigers embarked on a 3-0 run, as Mezzanotte scored one goal and assisted on two others during the spurt.

But Kimbles converted a feed from sophomore attackman Scott Jones during a man-up chance to break the tie with 5:36 left in the third quarter and ignite a 4-1 run before Towson's last-gasp effort.

"I was thinking, 'Hang in there,' and they did," Zimmerman said. "One of the things we've always talked to our guys is being able to finish, to finish strong. We had a couple slip-ups there at the end, but give them credit. They fought back, but we held on in the end."

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