Statistically, UMBC was superior to Robert Morris in shots (47-32), groundballs (38-27) and faceoffs (15-6). But in the end, the only numbers that mattered involved the final score.
The visiting Colonials outlasted the Retrievers, 10-8, in the season opener for both teams Saturday, and the outcome – not the other categories – is what resonated with UMBC coach Don Zimmerman the most.
“It’s disappointing to lose no matter what the stats say,” he said Monday morning. “It just lets us know that we were there, and we had an opportunity to win the game. Now we have to work and find ways to get it done when we have that opportunity.”
The Retrievers never led in the contest, fighting back from deficits of 2-0 in the first quarter and 8-5 in the third quarter to deadlock the score. But after junior attackman Scott Jones converted a pass from junior midfielder Dave Brown during a man-up advantage with 10:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, Robert Morris scored the final two goals to cement the win.
Zimmerman said the players were forced to expend a lot of energy to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
“I think our guys really worked hard to climb back and got the tying goal. That’s one thing, but the next thing is to get that go-ahead goal, and that’s something that we need to work on,” he said. “… Now we have to figure out a way not to get into that situation where we have to expend that kind of energy to come back. That first game – win or lose – you’re not going to be where you need to be as far as being in midseason form. We have to try to get off to a good start and play a full 60-minute lacrosse game.”
One area Zimmerman plans to address is the offense’s ineffectiveness on extra-man opportunities. UMBC went just 2-of-8 on man-up chances, including 2-of-5 in the final period. The Colonials successfully killed off a two-man disadvantage for 30 seconds with 6:57 left.
“I thought we had some opportunities, and we didn’t put them away,” Zimmerman said. “Your job on the man up is to get in there and score goals. We didn’t. I think we had some good personnel in there, but there are some other guys we’re going to look at. I think we’re doing some good things. We’re getting shots, but we need to can them. So whether it be man up or all even, I think one of the things we need to work on is just our shooting and become better shooters no matter what the situation is. But you would certainly like your man up to be at a higher percentage than we were on Saturday.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun