UMBC’s 10-8 loss to Stony Brook Saturday night opened the door for the Seawolves and Albany to leapfrog the Retrievers in the America East.
Although Stony Brook and the Great Danes have identical 3-0 records in the league, UMBC is just one game back at 2-1 and in sole possession of third place. That’s why coach Don Zimmerman emphasized that the team’s goals of qualifying for the conference tournament and winning the tourney to reach the NCAA Tournament are still within reach.
“There’s plenty of season left,” he said Monday. “Are we disappointed [about the loss]? Absolutely. Discouraged? Can’t be. You’ve got to come back today and win or lose, you’ve got to put the last one behind you and get ready for the next one. We certainly have a heck of a challenge coming our way in Albany. Currently, they’re 3-0 in the conference, and we have to take advantage of this week and work hard and get better and be ready against a very, very good Albany team.”
While all three of the Great Danes’ wins have occurred within the conference, they were 0-8 against non-league opponents. Still, Zimmerman said Albany’s run through the America east is what should concern the Retrievers.
“Stony Brook was 1-7 out of the conference, and that didn’t affect that way that they played,” he said. “We expect the same thing from Albany. The way conferences are now, we all load up our out-of-conference schedules to try to give our guys an opportunity to play against other good competition, but the focus is on the conference and being ready to play your best lacrosse in April. That’s what we have to dedicate ourselves to doing this week in practice.”