No one would have faulted UMBC fans for fearing the worst as Vermont scored three consecutive goals – including two in the final 47 seconds of the second quarter – to knot the score at 6 with 6:50 left in the third period.
But the Retrievers answered with a four-goal run into the fourth quarter en route to an eventual 11-8 victory in an important America East contest Saturday.
UMBC’s response was especially encouraging after the team failed to hang onto a lead of 8-6 in the third quarter and 11-8 in the final period that allowed Towson to record a come-from-behind 12-11 decision Wednesday night.
“I thought on Wednesday, we didn’t finish strong, and I think on Saturday, we did,” coach Don Zimmerman said Monday morning. “That was the big difference between Wednesday and Saturday.”
The disappointment of dropping that contest to the Tigers was palpable, but Zimmerman said he didn’t need to emphasize it to the Retrievers, who, at 2-0 in the conference, are tied with Stony Brook and Albany for the league lead.
“Our guys realized that in the Towson game, we didn’t finish strong and were disappointed,” he said. “I’ve said all year, we have a good work ethic, a good attitude, and the kids care a lot and they want to be successful. They understood that Wednesday was one that we kind of let slip away from us, and I think they were determined to get it back on Saturday.”