UMBC’s opponent Wednesday night in one semifinal of the America East tournament is Albany, a foe that the Retrievers memorably edged, 17-16, in overtime on April 14.
In that contest, UMBC overcame a 16-11 deficit with a five-goal run in a span of 2 minutes, 18 seconds in the fourth quarter and then got a goal from junior attackman Scott Jones with 2:17 left in overtime to cap the impressive rally.
Coach Don Zimmerman is fully expecting the Great Danes to use that loss as inspiration for Wednesday night’s game at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville.
“Albany-UMBC is always a tough game no matter where it’s played,” he said. “It’s a good rivalry, and I’m sure that Coach [Scott] Marr is going to use the fact that they had us by six goals as motivation for them. We’ll do what we need to do to have our guys ready to go, and that’s all part of it.”
Despite falling hard in Saturday’s regular-season finale to Binghamton, the Retrievers still earned the No. 2 seed and could play host to the tournament final this Saturday night if Hartford knocks off Stony Brook as it did in the regular season. Zimmerman said team morale is high after achieving one of the preseason objectives.
“The guys are excited,” he said. “This is where we wanted to be at the start of the season. We wanted to make the tournament, which we did. Certainly, we wanted to have the home game in the semis. So the guys are excited and understand that it’s crunch time. It’s sudden death, and I think our guys are ready to rise to the occasion.”