UMBC has enjoyed some memorable comebacks wins during Don Zimmerman’s tenure. Just a couple that come to mind include a five-goal rally to edge Maryland, 8-7, on March 6, 2012 and a 5-1 fourth quarter to nip Albany, 14-13, in an America East tournament final on May 3, 2008.
But the longtime coach said that the Retrievers’ six-goal explosion in Thursday’s 15-13 decision over Hartford in a conference tournament semifinal at Stony Brook may have been one of best he witnessed.
“That was a special comeback, especially against a team like Hartford in a championship setting,” Zimmerman said Friday morning. “I would say that the team’s determination, their resolve to not panic and stick with the game plan, it was a good win.”
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After both teams closed the third quarter in a 9-9 tie, the Hawks opened the final period with four unanswered goals over a span of 3 minutes, 15 seconds. During that spurt, Zimmerman called a timeout to gauge his players’ attitudes and what he saw encouraged him.
“I saw that the guys were determined,” he recalled. “They didn’t come into the huddle with their heads down. They came in and they knew that we had to stop this thing, that we had to stop the run. We got on the same page and just kind of regrouped. But I didn’t sense any heads dropping or guys getting down. I just think we were determined and we just needed to regroup a little bit.”
UMBC (7-7) earned a title-game rematch with No. 10 Albany (12-4), which trailed Stony Brook, 7-2, before escaping with a 17-15 win Thursday night. Zimmerman said he is not putting too much into the Great Danes’ struggles against the Seawolves.
“I think Albany is a very, very good lacrosse team,” he said. “They won the regular-season conference. So I wouldn’t say that they’re not firing on all cylinders. We have to prepare to take Albany’s best shot, which I’m sure they will give us.”