Jack Gannon’s development as UMBC’s primary playmaker shouldn’t be too surprising considering his roots as a point guard in basketball.
The sophomore midfielder leads the Retrievers (6-5 overall and 2-1 in the America East) in assists with 18 and ranks second in points with 35 and credits his evolution as a player to his days running the varsity basketball team at Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
“When I played basketball growing up, I was a point guard. So I was always looking to feed and that translated into lacrosse,” Gannon said Monday. “Whenever I dodge, I’m always looking. But this year, you can tell that with our crease guys in [senior attackman] Matt Gregoire and [sophomore attackman] Nate Lewnes, they’re not sliding off. So sometimes I just have to take it myself. But I’m always looking to have my eyes up for the open man.”
In his senior year at Sachem North, Gannon had 26 goals and 24 assists, and that potential is what led UMBC coach Don Zimmerman to Gannon.
“He has great vision, and that’s what you want from a playmaker,” Zimmerman said. “So it doesn’t surprise me. Jack came back this year and as a lot of sophomores do, he had more confidence, was more mature and more determined. That has all contributed to his success.”
After finishing his freshman season with no goals on eight shots and one assist in 12 games and compiling three goals and two assists in his first three starts this year, Gannon has posted 14 goals and 16 assists in his last eight games. He said one of his objectives was to improve on his rookie season.
“I always have goals to do better than the year before, and last year, I didn’t do much,” he said. “This year, my goal was to do as much as I can to help out my team get wins. While I’m in the game, I just try to produce and beat my guy and find the open man because we have a lot of guys on the team that can score.”