UMBC had gone more than a month without trailing in the first quarter, but that all changed Saturday night as the Retrievers found themselves in a 5-1 hole en route to a 10-8 loss to America East rival Stony Brook.
The four-goal deficit in the first quarter compounded by six turnovers impacted UMBC (4-6 overall and 2-1 in the conference), which hadn't trailed in the first since March 10 against Johns Hopkins.
“I think we just came out flat and turned the ball over six times in the first quarter, and that allowed Stony Brook, who I thought was ready to play, an opportunity to build a lead on us,” coach Don Zimmerman said Monday. “We just weren’t clicking offensively and defensively. Against a good team like Stony Brook, they’re going to take advantage of that. We got behind 9-2 and then made that fourth-quarter comeback and got it to 9-7. And then again, we had some opportunities on offense, but turned the ball over. And as usually is the case, when you have to come back from so far, you can get close, but boy, it’s awful hard to get over that hump. So we just have to find a way to be more consistent and value the ball on offense and hopefully get back to playing lacrosse the way we’re capable of doing.”
The Retrievers’ rally seemed to deflate after freshman attackman Mike Rooney scored a goal to give the Seawolves (4-7, 3-0) a 10-7 cushion with 8:11 left in regulation. Zimmerman agreed that the energy the players used to make it close was no longer there.
“You mount this comeback, and comebacks take a lot of energy and a lot of emotion, and you only have so much in the tank,” he said. “Stony Brook’s a good team, and they worked hard for three quarters. And good teams, when the momentum shifts the other way, they’re going to work hard to tighten their belts and try to stem the tide a little bit. The key to us is to come out strong from the opening whistle, to be consistent, to value the ball, and to make little plays. I just felt like the little things are what hurt us during the game.”