UMBC freshman goalie R. J. Degenfelder glared at the scoreboard after yesterday's 14-4 loss to Notre Dame at Navy's Rip Miller Field.
Shaking his head in disgust, he tried to figure out where it all went wrong for the Retrievers.
"We're a lot better than we showed today, we just didn't come out to play," he said. "I don't think everyone's head was here today."
Those Retrievers who were present, both mentally and physically, saw Notre Dame score four straight goals in the first six minutes and race to an 8-3 halftime lead.
"We thought after last week's win over Rutgers that we were starting to hit our stride as a lacrosse team and what disappoints me the most is that when the pressure was on, we got away from what we've been doing well," said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman.
"We got away from our game plan and we had guys doing things that we don't practice, like behind-the-back passes, and it just started to snowball from there."
Chad Henry ended the Fighting Irish's initial run when he scored on a feed from Casey Hard with 1: 06 left in the first quarter. After giving up the first goal of the second quarter -- one of five for Notre Dame sophomore James Keenan -- the Retrievers scored on unassisted goals by Keith Chance and Bill Bloom to pull within 5-3.
But from the outset, it was obvious that Notre Dame wasn't taking the Retrievers lightly. The Irish (1-1) had heard about UMBC's recent lopsided win over Rutgers, and they weren't going to be caught by surprise.
"They beat a pretty good Rutgers team, 17-5, so we did everything but take them lightly," said Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan. "We knew this was a good team and we were prepared to play against a good team."
UMBC (1-2) let Will Deriso put on a clinic in the third quarter. Deriso scored all four of his goals in a five-minute span, opening a 12-3 lead for the Irish, who had three players with three or more goals.
Keenan closed the scoring for Notre Dame with back-to-back goals, and Ryan Cherry summed up UMBC's scoring with 10: 59 remaining.
"We were caught a little bit by surprise with their athleticism, but once the game is under way you just have to bear down and play good lacrosse," said Zimmerman. "When the pressure is on, you can't go back to bad habits, which is what we did."
UMBC's top scorers -- Greg Sabo, Matt Shearer and Chris Turner -- failed to produce a goal or an assist. Notre Dame dominated the Retrievers in shots (43-24) and groundballs (51-24).
"We had a really off day and Notre Dame came out ready to go and they played really well," Turner said.
"We prepared for this game really well, but we just came out flat. We knew they would be gunning for us and we wanted to get them but they took us down in the first quarter and we could never get it back. They just kept piling them in."
Pub Date: 3/10/96