A win last Saturday night against Binghamton would have put UMBC in the conversation for the America East regular season championship and the top seed and homefield advantage in the conference tournament.
Stony Brook’s 12-11 decision against Albany made that discussion moot as the Seawolves finished with a 4-1 record in the league and clinched the aforementioned rewards. That left the Retrievers with a 3-2 conference mark and the second seed in the America East Tournament.
UMBC didn’t exactly help its own cause with a 15-8 loss to the Bearcats. While acknowledging that a victory over Binghamton would have been nice, coach Don Zimmerman said he wasn’t concerned about playing host to No. 3 seed Albany on Wednesday night without some momentum on the team’s side.
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“You’d like to do that. It just didn’t work out that way, and we can’t harp on Saturday night,” he said Monday morning. “We have to look forward to Wednesday night. We know we can play better, and that’s what we have to focus on – to come out and put our best game on the field against Albany.”
The Retrievers’ setback was somewhat surprising considering they had beaten the Bearcats 10 consecutive times prior to Saturday night’s outcome. Zimmerman chalked up the loss to a motivated Binghamton team honoring its group of seniors that evening.
“I just think that we ran into an inspired Binghamton team,” he said. “They came out and they played well, and we didn’t play to our ability. Give them credit. They just beat us.”
Still, UMBC has a chance to grab the league’s automatic qualifier and made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.
“The bottom line is, we’re in the position now where we’re hosting a game on Wednesday at home,” Zimmerman said. “We made the tournament. That’s what we were hoping for. As it turns out, the loss to Binghamton didn’t really affect that.”