UMBC dived into the 2014 campaign without four potential starters, but all four are on pace to rejoin the team for next season.
The Retrievers went 8-7 overall and 3-2 in the America East despite losing senior midfielder Conor Finch (Boys’ Latin) and freshman defenseman Pat Dignan to torn anterior cruciate ligaments, junior goalkeeper Wes DiRito to foot surgery and senior long-stick midfielder Nathan Klein to a broken neck.
Coach Don Zimmerman said all four players are progressing well in their rehabilitation.
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“They’re all recovering very, very well,” he said. “Wes DiRito toward the end of the season was taking shots. So he’s good to go, and he’ll play summer ball. Conor Finch and Pat Dignan both will not play summer ball and should be ready in the fall. Nathan Klein is good to go and will see limited time out in western Canada. He’s going to take it slow as well.”
Finch posted five goals and 10 assists as a member of the first midfield in 2013, and DiRito posted a 12.25 goals-against average and a .451 save percentage. Klein and Dignan had shown promise on defense.
All four could be hard-pressed to gain starting roles next year. The entire first midfield of sophomores Pat Young (33 G, 10 A) and Jack Gannon (18 G, 23 A) and junior Ty Kashur (9 G, 8 A) is back, and so is redshirt freshman goalie Connor Gordon (11.49 GAA, .508 save percentage).
The entire starting close defense of juniors Ian Gray (24 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers) and Mike Dahl (17 GB, 7 CT) and sophomore Zach Esser (32 GB, 18 CT) and starting junior long-stick midfielder Seth Mackin (49 GB, 16 CT) also return.
Still, Zimmerman said the four players who missed this past spring are eager to contribute as much as they can.
“They all said that they learned a lot by being an inactive player,” he said. “What happens is, you’re a player. So you’re in that mode, but you can’t play. So you’re really in an observation mode and you learn a lot that year that you don’t play.”