UMBC came in out of the rain -- and off the campus parking lot -- to throttle overmatched Ohio State, 20-11, in its lacrosse season opener at Loyola College yesterday.
Last week's heavy rainfall forced the Retrievers to abandon their muddy home field and move the game to Loyola's Curley Field. There, they found sunshine, artificial turf and easy pickings.
"We haven't been on our field in a while," UMBC coach Dick Watts said. "We had to practice on a parking lot the last two weeks. There's not a lot of difference between the parking lot and this."
The game was a lot like practice, too.
The Retrievers shelled the Buckeyes for eight first-quarter goals. They scored seven more in the second quarter, getting three in the final 54 seconds, to take a 15-4 halftime lead.
Junior midfielders Jamie Batley and Stewart Walker led the charge. Batley had four goals and four assists in the first half. Walker contributed five goals and one assist.
"The first quarter was the whole game," Buckeyes coach Brion Salazar. "We came out flat and tight and threw the ball away. When they got in our face and put pressure on us, we didn't respond. We're young in spots, and our first five weeks of practice were not strong enough.
"They did great on ground balls. The Walker brothers [Stewart and Sam] got a lot of ground balls, and they were able to possess the ball."
It didn't help that the Buckeyes' best player, defenseman Doug Myers, is out for the year with mononucleosis.
Ohio State salvaged some pride in the second half. The Buckeyes went to a 10-man ride and outscored UMBC 7-5.
"Human nature takes over in a situation like that," Watts said. "The thing that concerned me, in the second half I thought our people were more concerned with scoring than running the offense. I'm not happy there."
Batley, who finished with a career-high five goals, said his opening-day scoring prowess was not born of any deliberate intent.
"Never have I concentrated on scoring," he said. "I have a good eye for the goal. If I think I can go in and score, I'll do it. But if I'm dodging a man and see an open guy, I'll hit him. I try to have a balanced game."
Stewart Walker (Perry Hall) finished with six goals and two assists. UMBC is 15-2 when he scores multiple points in a game.
The offensive bonanza lightened the load on Steve Gorski, UMBC's freshman goalie. Gorski had a 3-0 lead before he saw a shot in his college debut. He had 11 saves, giving up nine goals, before giving way to fellow freshman Sacha Fraiture with six minutes left in the game.
UMBC outshot Ohio State by a staggering 57-27 margin and had a 63-51 advantage in ground balls. Tom Holzer, a junior attackman from Dulaney High, had four goals and one assist for the Buckeyes.
UMBC faces Radford on Wednesday at home -- weather and campus traffic permitting.